When Harmpanpreet Kaur walked in the field to face his first ball of the semi-final against Australia, India was two down for 35 and the innings was moving ahead quite slowly. With time, run-rate went up but the pressure to notch a big score in a 42 over the game was present. Runs weren’t coming easily, which frustrated the Indian batter.
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In the end, the scenario was different as Harmanpreet took on the Aussie bowlers and her innings was of 171* off just 115 was enough to see India putting up a humungous total of 281.
Comparisons were drawn between her innings and that which Kapil Dev played against Zimbabwe in 1983 World Cup. It was a do or die game for India and the team was stuck in a difficult position. 34 years back, it was Kapil Dev who alone led the team huge total and on June 20, it was Harmanpreet who emulated Dev’s knock to alone steer the team to success.
“It’s a great honour for our country to see such a knock happening from Harman. I am certainly going to catch up with the recorded version soon,“ Kapil Dev told TOI after knowing that comparisons are being made between the two innings.
“You can’t compare those two knocks. Right now, we should celebrate Harman’s innings. It is special by itself because women’s cricket doesn’t get that kind of encouragement and when you see such a brilliant innings, it is a special day for Indian cricket. The feeling is as if India has already won the World Cup. The final match is yet to be played and England can be strong on their day. I wish our girls all the luck,“ the former World Cup winnings captain added.
Harmanpreet’s innings was somehow better than that of Dev’s innings as the former skipper himself explained that women cricket do not get such encouragement. The last time when India played a final in 2005, the contest wasn’t even televised and this time, the media is chasing the team only when they have reached the final.
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The team has also done well, as per the expectations. Defeating Australia in the semi-final was a herculean task but thanks to Harmanpreet that women in blue defeated the Aussies, to rule them out of the tournament.
India will face England in the final of the tournament on Sunday with both the eyes of the trophy. Should they win the cup, the women’s cricket in India will get a big boost and certainly, there will be improvements in their field as well.
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