Harmanpreet Kaur has played one of the greatest ever ODI knocks in women’s cricket as India trounced defending champion Australia to gallop into the ICC World Cup final. The final will be played between hosts England and India at the iconic Lord’s on Sunday. Cricket experts have termed the blistering knock of 171 off 115 balls as the best they have seen in the women’s world cup histoty. It is only the second time that India have entered the summit clash of the global event. Last time they were beaten by Australia in the final of the 2005 edition. The Indian vice-captain’s brutal-yet-beautiful knock even drew comparison with legendary all rounder Kapil Dev’s historic 175 against Zimbabwe at Tunbridge Wells during the 1983 world cup. It was also India’s highest ever total against the women from the down under. Harmanpreet made the headline when she was selected to play the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) for Sydney Thunders in Australia.
Take a look at how she played
It was Harmanpreet’s third ODI century. Her career-best knock was embellished with 20 fours and seven towering sixes. It was also the second highest individual score in ODIs for India behind Deepti Sharma’s unbeaten 188 against South Africa earlier this year.
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It was out of the world power-hitting by the girl from Moga district in Punjab — something that has made her a stand-out player for India. The milestone from 51 to 100 was reached in 26 balls while she raced to 150 from 101 in mere 17 balls. The sixes flew from her bat with monotonic regularity as the Aussie bowlers had no clue as to what hit them.
How she craft her inning
Harmanpreet’s footwork against the spinners was exemplary as she would repeatedly come down the track to loft them in the arc between long-on and deep mid-wicket. She seemed in some discomfort with side strain but that did not deter her from targetting the on-side as a whopping 137 runs was added in 13.4 overs along with Deepti Sharma (25) for fourth wicket.
Such was her focus that once she scampered home for a double to complete her hundred, Harmanpreet was seen shouting at Deepti after she flung her helmet in disgust. She regained her composure, said sorry to a teary-eyed junior and like a woman on mission completely annihilated the opposition bowlers finishing the match as contest by the time they went into the break.