India was on the cusp of victory in the opening encounter of the Commonwealth Games 2022, but their party was spoiled by Grace Harris.
India on top
India would not have been overly pleased with the score of 154 in the first-ever women’s clash in the Commonwealth Games. But they were in with a chance after reducing Australia to 49/5 within the first 8 overs.
It was then that Grace Harris walked out to bat at number 7 and changed the complexion of the match completely with her counter-attacking play and took on the Indian bowlers.
She was finally dismissed on 37 off 20 deliveries after striking 5 boundaries and 2 sixes. However, by the time she got out, the momentum of the match had shifted with the manner in which she batted, going at a strike rate of 185.
“I wasn’t concerned whatsoever,” Harris said. “India is a great team. They’ve always been challenging. Their opening bowler was moving it off the wicket and in the air. She bowled well, and you’ve got to give credit where credit’s due. I’m happy for the top order to face the swinging ball. I’ll take any opportunity I get to bat at the moment because at No. 7, I don’t often get to spend that amount of time in the middle. I’m disappointed with how I got out – it was probably the one shot all game that I didn’t make the best contact.”
“We basically just back our depth in the batting line-up, and if you’re going to win T20 cricket, it’s not ideal for losing wickets, I will say that but runs on the board always matter, wickets not so much given you’ve only got 120 balls to face.”
The power that Grace Harris possesses is among the best in women’s cricket. It is courtesy of that muscle that she is easily able to clear the boundary and can be an extremely dangerous batter, particularly in situations where the team is going for broke.
Clearly, coming in to bat at number 7, she did not have a lot to lose and was swinging for the fences. It was her partnership with Ashleigh Gardner which turned the match on its head.
After Harris was dismissed, Gardner applied the finishing touches and took Australia to a hard-fought 3-wicket victory with 6 balls to spare.