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Women’s Cricket World Cup: Missed chance motivated Harmanpreet to excel in SF

Harmanpreet Kaur scored 171* off 115 balls as India defeated Australia by 36 runs to reach the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup final, to be played against hosts England at Lord’s on Sunday

cricket Updated: Jul 21, 2017 13:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Women's Cricket World Cup,ICC Women's World Cup,Harmanpreet Kaur
Harmanpreet Kaur scored 171* in India vs Australia ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup semifinal on Thursday.(AP)

Harmanpreet Kaur scored a brilliant hundred in Derby on Thursday as underdogs India went through to the final of Women’s Cricket World Cup defeating Australia by 36 runs after the game was reduced to 42-overs a side.

After electing to bat first on a rain-marred day, India lost the prize wicket of Smriti Mandhana early in the innings, before Punam Raut fell in the 10th over with the score at 35. It was then that captain Mithali Raj (36) and Kaur steadied the ship for their side before the latter unleashed the carnage. Kaur slammed six sixes and 21 boundaries to score 171 off just 115 deliveries, the joint fifth highest score in the history of women’s ODI cricket.

READ | Highlights - India vs Australia, Women’s Cricket World Cup

“Today’s plan was just watch the ball, hit it hard and this is what I was doing. Some areas they were bowling well but I just wanted to hit and rotate the strike,” Kaur said.

“I didn’t get a chance to bat in the whole tournament. Today when I got the chance I just wanted to utilise it, this opportunity, because today was the day where I wanted to prove myself, and thanks to God, whatever I was thinking, (worked). Mithali and Deepti scored really well and Veda scored really well.”

READ | ‘Harmanpreet Kaur bats like Virender Sehwag, aggressive like Virat Kohli’

The blitz was required from Kaur as India didn’t have the cushion to build their innings slowly after those eight overs were reduced. However, with 281 on the board, it seemed like a score that should pose a threat to the side that had won on all previous occasions when they reached the last-four stage. It was quite a single-handed show that guided India throughout as apart from her and Veda Krishnamurthy’s 10-ball 16, no other batter had a strike rate of more than 100.

READ | After Harmanpreet Kaur’s ton, mother reminds India of ‘Save girl child’ motto

“I’m really proud of my whole team, it was a really great effort,” Kaur added. “I’m really looking forward to the final now. It’s always good when you score some runs for your team to win. I’m feeling really good now. When we started in Bombay, we wanted to reach the semifinal, then reach the final.”

India will now take on hosts England in a sell-out final at Lord’s on Sunday, their first since 2005.

First Published: Jul 21, 2017 13:37 IST