Harmanpreet Kaur was is such a destructive mood on Thursday that she was angry at Deepti Sharma. Even after reaching her century off just 90 balls, she did not celebrate. She threw her helmet and gloves on the ground and was shouting at her partner. She was not happy that she had no focus on the game. Deepti just looked down. Later, Harmanpreet put her arm around Deepti and with calmness sorted things out.
This was not the only talking points of India’s 36-run win over defending champions Australia in the semi-final of the ICC Women’s World Cup at Derby. India made it to their second World Cup final ever and will now face England at Lord’s on Sunday.
Raj and Kaur: At one stage in her innings, Harmanpreet was scoring a run every four balls. There were no boundaries and her partner Mithali Raj was doing the same. No quick runs. The match had been shortened to 42 overs per side and India needed a good target against the mighty Australia. After two early wickets, India need to rebuild but Raj and Kaur shared a 66-run stand from 94 balls.
The turnaround: Harmanpreet scoring pattern went like this: Her first fifty came in 60 balls. From 51 to 100, she took only 30 balls and from 101 to 150 she took only 17 balls. In her unbeaten innings of 171, Harmanpreet hit 20 fours and seven sixes. India accelerated and how. Her 115-ball 171 lifted India to 281 for 4 in 42 overs.
The lift: If you thought that Harmanpreet had power, she did not. She was hitting those mighty shots only due to her backlift. A proper swing of her bat and you could sense that the hit will sail over. Even her fours were more of timing and the momentum she generated because of her back-lift.
Bowlers open up: For the third time in this tournament, Shikha Pandey now has a wicket in her first over. She did it against South Africa, New Zealand and now Australia. Jhulan Goswami then made it 9 for 2 for Australia and India got what they wanted: early wickets. Australia collapsed to 21 for 3 before Elyse Viallani and Perry struck that partnership.
Lone duo: Viallni made 75 runs for Australia but the way she made them looked so threatening for India that she could have taken the game away. But, Pandey had her caught before any more danger. After Australia lost nine wickets for 169 runs, Alex Blackwell began hitting almost every all out of the park. She made 90 runs off 56 balls but even that was not enough for a win. But Blackwell kept them in the game and lot very dangerous. That was all the Australia batting could be proud of.