When you talk about cricket in India, you automatically tend to associate it with the likes of MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar because men’s cricket has dominated Indian sports. However with the women’s cricket team performing really well, they are now getting more attention with every passing year.
The Indian women made the nation proud when they booked themselves a place in the World Cup final against England after beating Australia by 36 runs in the second semi-final. India went into the semi-final as the underdogs as they were thrashed by Australia in the opening rounds and were not expected to beat the Aussies who are six time World Champions.
Kaur Dominates With The Bat
India batted first in a match that was reduced to 42 overs a side and immediately found themselves in trouble after they lost their openers cheaply. The 28 year old Harmanpreet Kaur came to the crease and dominated the bowling and the strike, scoring an unbeaten 171 of just 115 balls at a strike rate of 148. Her knock included 7 sixes and 20 fours to provide the crowd with some clean hitting and great entertainment. The Aussies had no answer for Kaur who helped India reach a total of 281.
In a post-match statement, Kaur said “I didn’t get a chance to bat in the whole tournament,” she told the host broadcasters after her unbeaten innings, “Today when I got the chance I just wanted to utilise it, this opportunity, because today was the day where I wanted to prove myself, and thanks to God, whatever I was thinking, worked.”
The Aussies also suffered a poor start losing their top 3 with just 21 runs on the board, making their challenge a lot tougher. They did put up a good fight as their middle-order played well with A Blackwell contributing a valuable 90 and E Villani scoring 75 to give the Aussies a chance at chasing down the score. Blackwell fought till the end but the Indian bowlers struck at regular intervals and wickets kept falling at the other end. Australia was bowled out in 40.1 overs for 245 and for once did not make it to a World Cup final.
India Face England In World Cup Final
This is now the first time since 2005 that the India women’s cricket team has reached a World Cup final. They will play hosts England in the World Cup final at Lord’s on July 23.