Harmanpreet Kaur played inarguably one of the finest ODI innings ever to lead India to victory against Australia by 36 runs in the semi-final of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 on Thursday. The Indian vice-captain smashed her way to a career-best magical 171 off 115 balls, leaving the Australian bowlers in a daze and helping India post an imposing total of 281/4 in a reduced match of 42 overs a side due to inclement weather.
Opting to bat first, India got off to a poor start. After losing Smriti Mandhana (6) and Punam Raut (14) early, captain Mithali Raj (36) and Harmanpreet Kaur stitched together a 66-run stand for the third wicket and built a solid base. Harmanpreet’s (171*) stunning display of power towards the end of the innings helped India post a mammoth total of 281 for 4 against Australia. During her innings, the right-handed batter slammed 21 boundaries and 7 sixes.
The innings could well be termed as the best ever played by an Indian woman in the limited overs cricket. This is also the second highest individual score in ODIs for India behind Deepti Sharma’s 188 not out against South Africa earlier this year.
Alex Blackwell (90) gave India a scare as she played a brilliant innings and brought up her 24th ODI fifty at the dying stages of the Australian innings but it was all too late for the six time World Champions. At the end, Australia were bowled out for 245.
They got off to a horrendous start, losing their first wicket in the second over and their second in the third. Ellyse Perry and Elyse Villani who got Australia going somewhat, putting up 105 for the fourth wicket. Villani’s wicket triggered another collapse and Australia found themselves 169/9.