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Harmanpreet Kaur’s smashing 143* leads India to ODI series victory in England after 23 years

Indian women set a record total of 333/5 in 50 over; their second highest score in One Day International format. Harmanpreet Kaur scored her 5th ODI century while Smriti Mandhana completed 3000 ODI runs.

Harmanpreet Kaur left England bowlers clueless as she smashed 43 off the last 11 deliveries to reach an unbeaten 143 and set India’s second highest ODI total of 333/5. In response England finished at 245 to give India an unassailable 2-0 lead. This is India’s first 50-over series win in England since 1999 and England’s first standalone home ODI series defeat since 2007. The final match of the series will be played on 24th September, which will also mark the last match of India’s veteran Jhulan Goswami.

After sending India to bat, the English bowlers started well clinching India opener Shafali Verma’s wicket in the second over. The batter struck two boundaries in the first over but was clean bowled by Kate Cross.

Yastika Bhatia and Smriti Mandhana together kept the scoreboard ticking at a good rate. Mandhana in the process also completed 3000 ODI runs and became the fastest Indian woman to reach the mark. After a 54-run partnership, Yastika Bhatia was dismissed by Charlotte Dean in the 12th over.

In came captain Harmanpreet Kaur who steered her innings as per the situation. Harmanpreet stitched four vital partnerships with Smriti Mandhana (40), HarleenDeol (58), Pooja Vastrakar (18), and Deepti Sharma (15*).

The Indian captain and Deepti Sharma scored a 71-run partnership in the last four overs. The duo off just 24 balls to take India to their highest-ever ODI total against England.The Indian captain Harmanpreet notched her fifth century in ODIs in the 47th over.

With both Deepti and Kaur sending the ball over the boundary four times, India scored 26 runs on the 48th over bowled by debutant Freya Kemp. The 49th over bowled by Sophie Ecclestone yielded 17 runs as the Indian captain hit  a six and two boundaries. In the last over bowled by Freya Kemp Kaur smashed three boundaries and a six. India’s total reached 333/5.

England started positively but the loss of three early wickets, made an already challenging task near impossible. Indian pacer Renuka Singh Thakur took 4 wickets for 57 runs in her 10 over spell.

After the match, England captain Amy Jones admitted, “She (Harmanpreet) was finding the boundary, and it was important to try and slow it down as much as possible. It is going to be a great learning for them (the younger bowlers). It felt like everywhere we bowled, she was finding the boundary.”

Harmanpreet Kaur was clearly elated after the series victory against England. She said, “I am really happy, everyone utilised their chance. I always enjoy (captaining) and I am getting all the support. When I was batting, before my first 50, it was not easy to bat on because they were bowling well. After that, I just gave that freedom to myself and looked for all the shots.”

About Poulomi Kundu

PoulomiKundu started her career in 2000 as a freelance journalist in Hindustan Times. Soon after she was selected an intern in Zee News, Kolkata. After her post- graduation in English, Poulomi joined the leading television production house of eastern India, Rainbow Productions. She was a journalist in Khas Khobor, a Bengali news magazine programme in Doordarshan and also headed the post production department of another programme, Khas Kolkata. In 2004, Poulomi moved to Delhi as a creative writer in an advertising agency, Brand Stewards Pvt. Ltd. In 2005, she again shifted her base for a better opportunity and that in Mumbai. There she got the job in Raa Media Pvt Ltd. as an associate director of two programmes for Doordarshan-Yuva and Paisa Vasool. In the meantime, she also wrote features in DNA as a freelancer. Poulomi directs promotional videos, develops scripts for films for Corporate and NGOs. But an ardent sports lover, Poulomi always had an urge to contribute somewhere in the field of sports. Her love for sports started from an early age when she played gully cricket and football for local teams. Academics and professional hazards sometimes took her away from her passion, but it never died in her. She always nurtured the never-ending dream. So she materialized her dream in the form of ‘SPORTSAVOUR’. It is an online sports portal that serves sports with the tagline ‘For the indigenous, unconventional, unknown’.

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