Harmanpreet Kaur produced arguably the greatest ever World Cup knock by a women’s cricketer yesterday when he smashed a scintillating unbeaten 171 of a mere 115 deliveries against the 6 time champions Australia and helped India reach the final of the World Cup for only the 2nd time in their history. It was a once in a lifetime knock by the Punjab girl who made batting look ridiculously easy.
She didn’t get enough batting practice coming into the game so she wanted to prove herself when the opportunity arrived. She conceded that she wanted to prove her worth in such a crunch game and the moment finally arrived. She came to the crease with India struggling on 35/2 after 10 overs but at the end of the 42 overs Harmanpreet remained unbeaten on 171 and took India to 282 in the rain curtailed semi final.
Before this match, Harmanpreet struggled to get going and faced only 31 deliveries in the 5 innings she played. “I didn’t get a chance to bat in the whole tournament,” she said after playing a match winning knock.
“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) and Veda (Krishnamurthy) scored really well,” she quipped. It was just mayhem at the Derby especially during the final phase of India’s innings.
Harman had scored only 41 runs in 60 balls half way through and from there on there was no stopping her. She kept on depositing the listless Aussie bowlers all around the park and smashed 20 fours and 7 sixes during her marauding innings which left the Australians scratching their head. She revealed that her tactics was just to see the ball and hit the ball just like her idol Virender Sehwag.
“Today’s plan was just to 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” Harman said. She shared an outstanding 137 runs stand with Deepti Sharma who is the only Indian woman with a bigger score than Harmanpreet.
“I just told her (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 concluded.