Harris hits Warriorz into play-offs, eliminates Gardner

Rapid fifties from Grace Harris and Tahlia McGrath have earned UP Warriorz a WPL play-off place but sent a raft of fellow Australians out of the competition.

GRACE HARRIS. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Half-centuries from Grace Harris and Tahlia McGrath have booked UP Warriorz a spot in the Women's Premier League play-offs with a tense victory over Gujarat Giants.

Ash Gardner made a 39-ball 60 for Giants and also took McGrath's wicket, a catch and a run-out in a fine all-round display, but could not prevent her franchise being eliminated.

Delhi Capitals then thrashed Mumbai Indians by nine wickets in front of a near-30,000 crowd in Navi Mumbai to move top of the ladder with all three teams in contention for direct entry to Sunday's final.

Warriorz chased down Giants' 6-178 with three wickets and a ball to spare in Mumbai.

Harris hit 72 off 41 balls, exactly maintaining her competition-topping average, and McGrath 57 off 38, her third fifty in the campaign.

The Australian duo put on 78 in 54 balls for the fourth wicket after Warriorz slipped to 3-39 in the power play with skipper Alyssa Healy first out, for an eight-ball 12.

After McGrath was out Harris accelerated and looked like winning the match with plenty to spare.

But with eight balls remaining and seven needed she perished to Kim Garth, caught at long-on a ball after lofting her compatriot for six in the same area.

England's Sophie Ecclestone, however, kept cool and paddled the penultimate ball for four to ensure Warriorz would progress.

Giants were the most Australian of the five franchises, but were hampered by losing captain Beth Mooney to injury after one match. Besides her, Gardner and Garth they had Annabel Sutherland and Georgia Wareham in their squad and Rachel Haynes as coach.

The result also spelled the end of Royal Challengers Bangalore's play-off chances with a match to go, condemning Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Erin Burns and coach Ben Sawyer to an early return to Australia.

"Our batting unit held their nerve and got the job done," said Healy. "Grace, Tahlia and Sophie are doing amazing things for the bat for us."

"I started again pretty scratchy," said Harris, "so I'm glad I was able to catch up. I'd love to finish a game off and still be out there, last couple of games I've got out at the wrong time, so that's a key learning for next time."

'It's fun batting with Grace," concluded McGrath. "She makes it look easy, she commentates on her own batting - she's just a freak."

Mumbai Indians were restricted to 8-109 with Marizane Kapp taking 2-13, Shikha Pandey 2-25 and Australia's Jess Jonassen 2-25.

Capitals knocked off the runs in nine overs, Meg Lanning made an unbeaten 32 off 22 balls but the Australian was overshadowed by the brutal hitting of Shafali Verma (33 off 15) and Alice Capsey (38 not out off 17).

"It was a great game, hard to fault much," said Lanning. "Everybody did a role, to chase it down like that was very special."