WPL: No prize for being a good human - Alyssa Healy after loss to Mumbai Indians
Star all-rounder Grace Harris had to sit out UP Warriorz' encounter with Mumbai Indians owing to illness.
For a moment it looked like England cricketer Nat Sciver-Brunt and her Mumbai Indians captain Harmanpreet Kaur were playing a game of one-upmanship in their Women's Premier League match against UP Warriorz here on Sunday.
The veteran players came to the crease at a juncture when anything could have gone wrong in the chase of a competitive 159 set by the UP side. Yastika Bhatia and Hayley Matthews had just departed one after the other and, at 58/2, things looked far from rosy, with two new batters at the crease.
The game of who will hit more boundaries started, and by the time the match ended, Harmanpreet had smashed nine fours and a maximum, while Nat Sciver-Brunt had clobbered six boundaries and a six. The two remained unbeaten at 53 and 45 respectively and their unbroken partnership fetched 106 runs as MI won by eight wickets.
Harmanpreet complimented Nat Sciver-Brunt for the way she made the competitive target look easy. "Thanks to Nat, she played really well. I got time to settle in. We were calculating (the scoring rate) very well. That time (UP Warriorz bowlers) Sophie (Ecclestone) and (Shabnim) Ismail were bowling well so we were calculating that there are other bowlers we can attack," Harmanpreet said after the match.
"Very happy with the performance. I can't be thankful enough, the way we are playing and we are gelling together. This is the best tournament so far," added the MI skipper. Harmanpreet conceded that the way Warriorz skipper Alyssa Healy (58) and Tahlia McGrath (50) were batting in the first innings, it put her team under pressure.
But with Grace Harris not in the UP Warriorz playing XI on Sunday due to illness, it gave MI hope that they would be able to restrict their opponents to a reasonable total.
"The way they (Healy and McGrath) were batting, we were a little tense. But I knew that if we are able to take one or two wickets, we could stop them, because we knew (Grace) Harris was not playing and they didn't have anyone who could hit hard," said Harmanpreet, explaining the strategy.
The losing team captain Alyssa Healy said another 15-20 runs would have made the game more competitive and blamed herself and her bowlers for the below-par total.
"I think we were probably 15-20 runs short. We needed a set batter at the end. It was as scratchy as it comes for me. It wasn't easy. We didn't score as many boundaries as the Mumbai Indians did. We also bowled too much junk and gave too many boundaries.
"We just have to see how we can do well with the players available. We have some bowlers on the bench and (Grace) Harris as well. No prizes for being a good human is it? When an lbw that is not out is given out and Harmanpreet is bowled but the bails don't fall," said Healy, referring to some call that didn't go her team's way.
On her partnership with Harmanpreet, Nat Sciver-Brunt said, "It feels brilliant. The team's really on a high. I thought I should be hitting more boundaries and she just hit four boundaries in an over. That just put a nail in the chase."