How Harmanpreet Kaur led India to Women's World Cup final?
Derbyshire: Harmanpreet Kaur does not need an introduction in the world of Cricket after getting her name imprinted in the history books with a blistering match-winning 171-run unbeaten inning in the crucial semifinal bout against Australia at the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017.
Kaur, who hails from Moga district of Punjab, played a tremendous 171-run knock of only 115 deliveries and laced her inning with 20 fours and 7 huge sixes. One of the most traumatising innings for the Aussie bowlers till date was part of the plan of Kaur who dealt the bowlers brutally at the County Cricket Ground here on Thursday.
During her inning, Kaur had understood that she was hitting the ball from the middle of her willow and it could turn out to be vital for team India. On realising that she immediately told her partner at the other end, Deepti Sharma, to just give her the strike and let her handle all the pressure.
"I just told Deepti to rotate the strike, you don't have to take the pressure. I was hitting the ball well and I told her to give me the strike and I will take the responsibility, and she did a great job," Harmanpreet Kaur said after the match.
Kaur’s inning can be rated amongst the most destructive yet sensible innings in the sport as she came in to bat when India was reeling under immense pressure at 35/2 within first 10 overs with both openers Smriti Mandhana (6) and Punam Raut (14) back to the pavilion.
From here she started to deal with the Aussie bowlers sensibly, before finally shifting to the top gear during the final 10 overs. She helped India put up a mammoth score of 281 runs for the loss of 4 wickets on the board. Subsequently, Australia fell 36 runs short of the target and was wrapped up in 40.1 overs in the rain-affected 42-over match.
It was Harmanpreet's third ton in ODIs, while was the second highest score in the Women’s World Cup history. Sri Lanka's Chamari Atapattu holds the record with 178 not out, also against Australia in the ongoing tournament.
"I didn't get a chance to bat in the whole tournament," Harmanpreet Kaur said.
"Today when I got the chance I just wanted to utilise this opportunity, because today was the day where I wanted to prove myself and thanks to God, whatever I was thinking, (worked).
"Mithali (Raj) and Deepti (Sharma) scored really well and Veda (Krishnamurthy) scored really well," she added complementing her batting companions.
Apart from this historic inning, the 28-year old cricketer had already become the first ever Indian player to be picked for the popular T20 tournaments like Big Bash League and Kia Super League. It must be mentioned that Harmanpreet Kaur idolises former belligerent Indian opener Virender Sehwag.