Gujarat Giants wicketkeeper-batter Sushma Verma has conceded that India and Mumbai Indians captain Harmanpreet Kaur is unstoppable with the bat at the moment, after she scored a quickfire 51 in their Women's Premier League (WPL) game.
Kaur hit seven fours and two sixes to turn around the game in the favour of Mumbai Indians, taking them to a competitive 162/8 in 20 overs. In reply, Gujarat Giants could manage just 107/9 in their quota of 20 overs, losing by 55 runs at the Brabourne Stadium on Tuesday.
Verma said even though Gujarat Giants executed their plans well against Kaur, it is difficult to stop batters like her when they are in form.
"It is difficult to stop batters like Harman when they are in such good form," Verma told the media after the match.
"We had planned on how to bowl at her and I do not think she would have found run-making that easy. From behind the wickets, I could see that the bowlers hit the right spot against Harman but she used the shorter part of the ground very well," Verma added.
"Harman is unstoppable right now, but it also matters how well you are able to execute your plans, which I thought was better in our case today," she said.
Verma said Gujarat Giants failed to build partnerships at the top which resulted in their second defeat against Mumbai in as many games.
"It was a chaseable target and it would not have been so difficult towards the end had we got partnerships in the top four. Our execution was good in order to stop Mumbai Indians (from getting a big total).
"The first innings went according to our plans which was a big positive, and it will also give confidence to the bowlers and fielders for the next matches," Verma said.
Verma is confident that Gujarat batters will be able to perform in unison.
"It is important for us to win the remaining three matches. Our batting has not fired yet but hopefully they are able to turn around things in the remaining games," she said.
Mumbai Indians and New Zealand all-rounder Amelia Kerr heaped praise on captain Kaur for her match-winning knock.
"She is very experienced and knows her game. To bat alongside her takes pressure off you because you know you are going to score off most balls and build partnerships," Kerr said.
Talking about Nat Sciver-Brunt who played an all-round role with a solid 36 off 31 balls and 3/21 in four over, Kerr said, "I think she is the best player in the world so I am not surprised with the performances that she has put up. Bat, bowl or field, she does everything so well.
"Having her in the team and to see her go out and go about the way she does is outstanding. She is one of the best players in the world, if not the best."