Alyssa Healy has roared to the highest score in the new Women’s Premier League while winning her heavyweight duel with fellow Australian great Ellyse Perry.
Neither Healy, skipper of the Lucknow-based UP Warriorz, nor Royal Challengers Bangalore’s allround ace Perry had set the tournament alight, yet both found their A games with half-centuries in Friday’s clash at Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.
But while Perry unfurled a 39-ball 52, top-scoring in RCB’s 138 all out, it proved no match for a familiar Healy special at the top of the Warriorz order as she smashed an unbeaten 96 off just 47 balls to speed them to a 10-wicket win.
With the scores level at the end of the 13th over, Healy needed a six to move to the first three-figure score in the new tournament but miscued her slog to deep midwicket and had to settle for a winning single instead.
She had dominated her matchwinning opening stand with Devika Vaidya (36no off 31 balls), cracking 78 of her runs in boundaries, with 18 fours and a six.
And her knock surpassed that of Australian teammate, world No.1 T20 batter Tahlia McGrath, who had scored an unbeaten 90 for the Warriorz against Delhi Capitals earlier in the week.
It was such a clinical, clean-striking knock that English teammate Sophie Ecclestone was reminded of when Healy had hammered her bowling in one of the all-time great white-ball knocks in last year’s World Cup final in Christchurch.
“Midge (Healy’s nickname) just showed just how good she can be. Took me back to that World Cup final in New Zealand – and I’m just glad I’m on the same team now,” said spinner Ecclestone, the world’s No.1 T20 bowler who played her own part in the win by taking a masterful 4-13.
In the unbroken 139 stand with Vaidya, Healy will doubtless have taken quiet satisfaction at winning her head-to-head with fellow luminary Perry.
First, Healy edged a delivery from her old friend, audaciously and deliberately, just past the diving wicketkeeper for four and later in the same over clouted Perry straight back over her head for another one.
Asked how she managed to up the rate so dramatically after reaching 50 off 29 balls and then taking 46 off the next 18, Healy shrugged: “I’m not too sure … we had discussed about not dragging it out until the final over.
“Sometimes it comes off, sometimes it doesn’t. Today it did and I am really happy about that.”
The win puts the Warriorz third in the five-team table, just behind Meg Lanning’s Delhi Capitals, who are also on four points but have a superior net run-rate. RCB look to be out of the race, without a win in their four matches as unbeaten Mumbai Indians set the pace at the top.
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