Alyssa Healy made history in the Women's Premier League (WPL) 2023 by scoring 96 off 47 balls against Royal Challengers Bangalore Women, the highest score of the maiden edition of India's T20 franchise-based tournament for women.
It was a day of pyrotechnics on Friday evening at the Brabourne Stadium as UP Warriorz's captain fantastic, Alyssa Healy, cranked up the style and led the charge, helping her side register a thumping 10-wicket win against the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Healy, who finished with the Player of the Match award, was in full flow, smashing 18 boundaries and a towering six during her 47-ball unbeaten 96.
Reflecting on her stunning knock, the captain said, "I am delighted that we got the win and it was important for the UP Warriorz to defeat the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Personally, it was great to get some runs under my belt and contribute. But I think as a whole, we played great cricket against RCB and I am really proud of the group."
One of the most lucrative and watched tournaments in the game of cricket currently, the WPL was something all the players were keenly looking forward to.
"I was really excited about the WPL, and it has been a long time coming. And even the Indian players in particular have called for it as well, especially after experiencing the WBBL and what it's done for Australian cricket. So, from that point of view, I was excited and nervous, and wondering how I'd fit in. Since coming here, I have been welcomed in by the franchise and everyone," the captain said.
When asked about what's the most important aspect of leading a team to success in a such short tournament, Healy responded with a straight bat - "Trust".
"I think trust is the most important thing in building a successful environment. Over here at the UP Warriorz, I think we have finally got that trust and I am here trying to do the best for the franchise and the Indian players as well, and we crossed that hurdle and played a great game of cricket. So, when you are rushed into an environment like this, getting to know each other takes a bit of time, the girls have been awesome. I think this is only going to help play more team-oriented cricket and three games in, I think we are doing that which is the most pleasing part," Healy was quoted as saying by her franchise on Saturday.
The experienced wicket-keeper batter had a small word of advice for some of her teammates, who haven't had a go at the biggest stage, saying that they should simply look to enjoy the moment.
"Yes, it is a high level of cricket, but enjoy the contest and the challenge of playing against the best players in the world, and winning sometimes. If you come off a great knock against a world-class bowling attack here, it gives you the confidence to go and do it again the next time, when you play for India. So, enjoy it and embrace it. And if you understand that cricket is important but not the be-all and end-all, I think you'll end up having some success, and enjoying it as well, which is important," Healy said.
While her success in batting is cherished, winning the WPL title is the top priority for Healy.
"Experiencing one another and learning about each other and the various cultures and just getting to know everybody is high on the priority. As a new team, we want to play some good hard cricket and compete against the more settled teams. And if we can do that, it will only help grow our brand of cricket and grow our franchise, which is also very important," said Healy.
( 650 Words)