India beat Australia by 36 runs to go through to the final of the ICC Women’s World Cup. India’s win was largely due to a blitzkrieg by Harmanpreet Kaur who scored 171 off 115 balls. This is only the second time that India have reached he final of the Women’s World Cup.
India’s openers were once again unable to accumulate runs as they Smriti Mandhana was dismissed in the first over. She was soon followed by Poonam Raut. Harmanpreet then came to crease and struck a 66-run partnership with her skipper Mithali Raj. Mithali, was soon dismissed for 36 in what was a rare blip on her radar. But then Deepti Sharma stuck on with Harmanpreet to take India back to stable grounds. Harmanpreet soon got to her century but that came off a frantic double at the end of which she was almost run-out. But the third umpire flashed green light and after that, Harmanpreet turned it on at Derby. The ball was connecting to her willow with ease and mostly stopped only after clearing the ropes one way or the other. At the end of the 42 overs, which was the maximum after rain delayed the match, Harmanpreet had smashed 20 fours and seven sixes.
Australia never seemed to have survived from that pummeling. 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. Alex Blackwell then scored a defiant 90. Her 76 run partnership with Kristen Beams was one of almost carefree batting and it looked Australia had a shot at pulling off the unlikeliest of wins. But Blackwell was finally dismissed and Mithali Raj and co. breathed a sigh of relief.
Here are a few reactions to the thriller:
— Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) 20 July 2017
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) 20 July 2017