Indian batter's sublime 171 eliminates Australia from the women's Cricket World Cup

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Indian batter's sublime 171 eliminates Australia from the women's Cricket World Cup

Mithali continued from where she left against New Zealand in the final group stage game, meddling the balls to their merit and slowly rescuing India's drowning ship before a leg-spinner from Kirsten Beams cut short her stay in the middle.

Elyse Villani looked brutal as she attacked the Indian bowlers. The innings saw her lose her cool at non-striker Deepti Sharma, who almost caused a run-out when her partner was coming back for a second run to bring up her century. "They are the World Champions, so naturally the knock was all the more satisfying".

All-rounder Alex Blackwell (90, 56b, 10×4, 3×6) made a valiant effort in the end, but she was always fighting a losing cause.

Deepti Sharma bowled Blackwell and made sure Blackwell did not overshadow a masterclass from Harmanpreet Kaur who made unbeaten 171 off just 115 balls to help India post 281 for 4 from 42 overs.

After Mithali got out in the 25th over, the onus was on Harmanpreet to keep the runs flowing and she didn't disappoint. The Australians by now had failed to find an answer to Harmanpreet's onslaughts. Both were nearly run-out. Her innings was dotted with 12 boundaries and two maximums. The closest they came to dismissing her was when Schutt speared one down the leg side and had Kaur overbalancing, but Alyssa Healy, the wicketkeeper, did not collect the ball cleanly and missed a hard stumping chance. Leigh Gardner halted India's march in her first over itself, nabbing Punam for 14.

Former England captain Charlotte Edwards - who owns the spot directly above Kaur on the list of World Cup high scores with her innings of 173no in 1997 - lauded the Indian's knock as above all others. Then Kaur took over and played some fearless cricket. Instead, she flung her helmet onto the turf and fired verbal volleys at her partner even as the third umpire was called to check on the run-out chance. It was perhaps the most unsavoury celebration of a century, which was forgotten in the melee, her second 50 off just 26 balls. The first Powerplay will be of nine overs while the second will be four overs. She was looking to hoick the ball over mid-wicket when she ended up gifting a simple catch to Beth Mooney.

A flawless restart for India followed.

In May this year, Kaur became the first woman from India to sign for England's domestic Twenty20 tournament, the Kia Super League. Social media noticed it. People watching the match on television back in India at prime time also noticed it.

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