Harmanpreet Kaur’s blitzkrieg helped India edge past the defending World Champions Australia in the ICC World Cup semifinals happening in England. In the league match, Australia ha defeated India comfortably by a margin of 8 wickets.
Yesterday’s semifinals match was halted due to rain the match overs were reduced to 42. India batted first. India had a sloppy start losing Mandhana when the score was just 6. When the score reached 35, Poonam Raut was dismissed for 14. Captain Mithali Raj gave a 66 run partnership stand before she was dismissed for 36. Deepti Sharma who joined Manpreet took the score well past 236 when she was dismissed for 25. Manpreet who had a very slow start showed her real potential. The T20 Women’s team captain and the first Indian to play for Australian T20 team, she started hitting the bowlers all across. Her last 50 runs came in just 17 deliveries. By the time when the match got over, she stood not out at 171 in 115 deliveries making it the second best in Run Rate(of scores about 150+)in the World Cup and over all, the fourth highest score as well. Her knock helped India reach 281-4 in 42 overs.
Facing a mammoth total, Australia too had a sloppy start. They lost 3 wickets when the score reached 21. The middle order players Perry,Vilani and Blackwell played really well yesterday by scoring 38,75 and 90 giving some hope for the Australian Team but since the tail enders did not shine losing their wickets on constant intervals, the team was bundled out for 245 in 40.1 overs. Deepti Sharma took 3 wickets where as Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey took 2 wickets each.
Harmanpreet won the Man of the Match Award as expected for her brilliant knock.
India will now face England in the Finals in The Lords on Sunday where Indian men’s team had won their first world cup way back in 1983.