Grace Harris doesn’t take shortcuts.
The opening batswoman and captain of Sri Lanka, Chamari Athapaththu, gave Australia a hint of the threat she may present when she walked up to Ashleigh Gardner’s delivery in the slot, got down on one knee, and smashed it over cow corner for six. However, when Ellyse Perry joined the attack in the fifth over and Athapaththu launched herself into the air, back over the bowler’s head, in came Harris with a full-power sprint from mid-on, launching herself forward, and snatching the ball from mid-air at full stretch for what may have been the best catch of the competition.
Harris then grabbed two wickets in one over, bringing Sri Lanka to 69 for three. The ball gripped and spun past the outside edge of the first delivery, forcing Harshitha Samarawickrama into an attempted slog. Alyssa Healy was waiting with her gloves to complete the stumping.
Harris throws another length ball up on middle and off-stump, and Oshadi Ranasinghe skied the ball to Tahlia McGrath at long-on. Harris returns to her mark more quickly than she can take her delivery step to release her offbreaks.
Healy said of Harris’ screamer, “I’m actually quite sure it was Tahlia McGrath’s grab and Grace called her out of it and wanted to take a hanger, but full respect to her for hanging on to it.” “In that situation, getting a key batter is kind of crucial. It’s good to have a character like that on the field, even though she was enjoying herself to the point of sickness while watching the replay.”
After rejoining the Australian team at the beginning of 2022 after an absence of more than five years, Harris had only bowled in two T20Is. Her outing in the lone T20I of the series that wasn’t wiped out was her first for her nation since November 2016. She was called up to Australia’s Ashes team when Beth Mooney broke her jaw.
She was a member of Australia’s T20 World Cup squad in 2016, but she was unable to travel after receiving a 13 cm blood clot diagnosis just before her flight to India. During that year, she visited Sri Lanka and played one ODI there before playing several at home against South Africa, but after that, her opportunities dried up.
She improved her technique after being born with a strong bat and came back for the Ashes. By the time she arrived at the Commonwealth Games, she had played five matches since making a comeback but had yet to face a ball due to a mix of poor weather and unusually strong batting further up the Australian order. She also didn’t participate at the ODI World Cup despite being in the squad because she hadn’t bowled against Australia’s spin stocks, which included players like Gardner, Jess Jonassen, and Alana King.
But Harris then made her presence known with a brash 20-ball knock of 37 in a half-century stand with Gardner that saved Australia in their first match of their gold medal campaign against India.
Grace is really resilient, Healy remarked. “Our team as a whole has changed dramatically, and I’m extremely proud of Grace for coming back and for everyone on the team to have welcomed and let her to do so. to be herself both on and off the field. She is an unbelievable character, so if you haven’t had the chance to have breakfast or drinks with her in the evening, take the opportunity because you will laugh She’s not only a great person to have on our team because of her personality, but also because of her skills. out loud the entire time.” She is really destructive when holding the bat. Although we haven’t fully seen it, I suppose that’s something.
probably exciting as this competition nears its conclusion.
Harris bowled for Australia in the second T20I match against Pakistan in Hobart, picking up the wicket of opener Muneeba Ali, who on Wednesday in Cape Town became the first The first woman from Pakistan to make a century in a T20 A career-best 64 not out against India in December indicated Harris was in good form going into this tournament. Healy praised Harris’ ability to knock any length over the boundary, calling it “very amazing in our game.” The women’s game has advanced significantly in recent years.
Although it has become more dynamic, athletic, and forceful, a player like Grace has been playing for a while, and I think the way she just believes her game now… That work she’s done behind the scenes has allowed her to come out and be this really powerful player. She thinks about the game a lot more and knows the shots she wants to play and the shots she will be able to clear the boundary with to particular bowlers.
When we’re a little bit in doubt, you want a player like her in our middle order who can step up and blow the game wide open. down or need 12 or more runs. She is therefore a real value to everyone.
Megan Schutt’s four wickets at the death, including three in the final over, were largely overshadowed by Harris’ work with the ball and in the field. Along with Beth Mooney, who broke a lean run with the bat at the tournament, Healy was named Player of the Match for her three stumpings and undefeated half-century.
Mooney’s time at the crease was beneficial for her, maybe more for her own mental health than anything else, according to Healy. “Even though she’s been hitting the ball incredibly good in the nets, her play on the field hasn’t exactly been clicking. She played pretty well, in my opinion, today, which should boost her confidence going forward.”
If that occurs and Mooney continues to rise, it might take longer before Harris ignites any fireworks with his bat. The Australians, however, won’t be upset.