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Harmanpreet Kaur etched her name into record books after her scintillating 115-ball unbeaten 171 helped India thrash Australia by 36 runs and took them to the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 final. India will now face hosts England in the summit clash at The Lord’s in London on Sunday. After her marauding knock, the 28-year-old from Punjab explained how she resurrected India innings with her team-mate Deepti Sharma. Harmanpreet was involved in a 137-run stand for the fourth wicket with Deepti (25), the only Indian woman with a higher score in ODIs.
“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 said after the match.
Coming in at No.4, Harmanpreet’s unbeaten 171 bailed out the team that was tottering at 35/2 after losing both the openers, Smriti Mandhana (6) and Punam Raut (14), inside the first 10 overs. With India in a spot of bother, Harmanpreet mauled the Australian bowlers with her brutal force and powered India to 281 for 4 in the rain-hit semi-final. In reply, Australia women could only muster 245.
Harmanpreet, who hammered her third ODI ton, laced with 20 fours and seven massive sixes, now has the second-highest score in Women’s World Cup. Sri Lanka’s Chamari Atapattu is on top of the list with 178 not out, also against Australia in the ongoing tournament.
“I didn’t get a chance to bat in the whole tournament,” Harmanpreet 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.
The 28-year old cricketer hailing from Moga in Punjab had earned acclaim in the T20 circuit, becoming the first Indian to be picked for the Big Bash League and the Kia Super League.
Talking about her knock, Harmanpreet, who idolises Virender Sehwag, said: “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.”