Grace Harris has given the Australian women’s cricket selectors a massive reminder of her big-hitting talent, with a WBBL individual record score of 136 not out and an amazing highlight against Perth Scorchers at North Sydney Oval.
Such was her power hitting on Sunday, not even a broken bat could stop the destructive right-hander from clearing the rope.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Grace Harris breaks bat in viral WBBL moment.
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Omitted from the national team for the recent T20 and ODI series against West Indies, Harris followed up an innings of 49 off 26 balls in Brisbane’s season opener with her third and highest WBBL century.
But after smoking 64 from her first 36 balls of the innings, the 30-year-old called out to the Heat bench, asking for a new bat to be brought out.
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Asked by a teammate if she needed it right there and then, the nonchalant batter said: “Nah, nah it’s alright… Nah stuff it; I’ll still hit it.”
Former Brisbane Heat teammate Kirby Short said in commentary for Channel 7 that it was “Classic Grace Harris behaviour.”
“She’s box office, there’s no doubt about that,” Andy Maher added.
Harris smashed a ball over long-on despite her bat breaking in the process. Credit: Channel 7
Harris then produced what will surely be one of the highlights of the season, swiping a six over long on despite the handle of her bat snapping off after she made contact.
It left Maher, Kirby and Trent Copeland in stitches of laughter and disbelief.
“There is is! She knew… and she’s still hit it for six!” Maher exclaimed.
“It is extraordinary stuff. That is priceless.
“Have you ever seen anything like it?”
The bat was sent upstairs for Seven’s commentators to look at. Credit: Channel 7Whoops! Credit: Channel 7
Copeland could hardly believe his eyes.
“You cannot script this stuff with Grace Harris; she says, ‘Nah, stuff it, I’ve got a broken handle, I’ll still hit it — and it’s gone for six,” he said.
“I mean, if you want to talk about the power that this woman possesses, that was a checked swing with a broken handle.”
Stumps mics picked up Harris’s cheeky response to her own ridiculous feat.
“I told you I’d still hit it,” she said to no one in particular with a beaming smile printed across her face.
Harris couldn’t wipe the smile off her face. Credit: Channel 7
“Imagine how far it would have gone if the bat didn’t snap in two,” Maher finally said.
The very next ball Harris repeated the shot with her new bat, which remained intact as the ball again flew over the rope.
“It was actually a bit loose at the beginning of the game and that’s when they are at their best,” Harris said of the broken bat after the game.
Probably can’t use that one anymore. Credit: Channel 7
In her memorable 59-ball knock, Harris hit a WBBL individual innings record of 11 sixes, scoring at a strike-rate of 230 as the Heat racked up 7-229.
Video of the moment was approaching one million views online as of Monday morning.
In reply, Perth were well placed at 1-99 after nine overs, but pacer Courtney Sippel (4-27 off four overs) scuppered the Scorchers’ hopes by taking thee wickets in four balls in the tenth, and they finished at 8-179.
In the second of two games for the day, Phoebe Litchfield, who successfully replaced Harris in the Australian team, showed she had no intention of relinquishing her position.
Her sparkling 54 not out off 28 balls included successive sixes off the last two balls of the innings to help Sydney Thunder to 5-190 and ultimately a 42-run win over Sydney Sixers in the second half of the North Sydney double-header.
Sri Lankan Chamari Athapaththu also starred with 52 off 39 balls in a 98-run opening stand, and took 3-20 with the ball
The Sixers lost wickets at regular intervals, finishing at 9-148.
Ellyse Perry in action for the Sixers. Credit: Mark Evans/Getty Images
Only Ellyse Perry (31 off 16) and Erin Burns (29 off 16) threatened the Thunder, for whom captain and long-time England skipper Heather Knight took 3-27.
Litchfield acknowledged the quality of Harris’s innings and the threat she posed to her place in the Australian team.
“I watched all of it including the broken bat six. Well played mate and you’re coming after my spot,” Litchfield said after the day was done.
Litchfield also shone some light on the finger injury which kept Sixers and Australian captain and wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy out of Sunday’s game and required surgery.
“It sounded like a pretty vicious dog attack, and I don’t know if this is public, just a lacerated finger I’m pretty sure, so hopefully she’s alright,” Litchfield said.
– With AAP
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