3 Times when Harmanpreet Kaur accelerated her innings to Victory

Harmanpreet Kaur made history by becoming the first Indian woman to score a century in a Women’s Twenty20 International (WT20I) match. She is also the only Indian female cricketer to have amassed over 3,000 runs in T20Is, holding the record for the highest run scorer in the format among Indian women. With 145 innings to her name, she has accumulated a total of 3204 runs at an impressive average of 27.62.

3 Times when Harmanpreet Kaur accelerated her innings to Victory
3 Times when Harmanpreet Kaur accelerated her innings to Victory

Renowned for her impactful contributions in matches, Kaur often begins her innings steadily before unleashing a barrage of hits to guide her team to victory. One such knock was witnessed recently in the ongoing 2024 Women’s Premier League (WPL), where with an unreal acceleration, she powered the team to victory and also confirmed a spot in the knockouts.

Mumbai Indians vs Gujarat Giants, 2024

In the Women’s Premier League 2024 season, in the 16th match between Gujarat Giants and Mumbai Indians, the Giants put in a huge total of 190 runs in the first innings. Chasing the total, Mumbai was 57 for 2 at the eight-over mark when Harmanpreet came to the crease. With a significant target to chase, she struggled to score initially, managing only 21 runs off 20 balls. The turning point in Harmanpreet’s innings came in the fourteenth over.

With 91 runs needed from the last 36 balls, Harmanpreet shifted gears. In the very next over bowled by Meghna Singh, she cleared the boundary for a maximum, sparking her momentum, and struck 19 runs off that over alone. From scoring 21 runs off the initial 20 balls she faced, she transformed her innings, smashing 74 runs off the next 28 balls. Her unbeaten innings of 95 runs, consisting of ten boundaries and five maximums, with a strike rate of 197.91, proved pivotal in Mumbai sealing the victory.

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The unreal finish to the game, courtesy of Harmanpreet’s innings, wasn’t the first of its kind, and here are a couple of notable instances of her timely acceleration –

India vs New Zealand, 2018

In the first match of Group B at the ICC Women’s World T20, 2018, against New Zealand, India struggled at 40 for 3. Initially, Harmanpreet Kaur started slowly, struggling to create momentum, scoring only 5 runs off 13 deliveries. However, in the 10th over bowled by Jess Watkin, Harmanpreet smashed 15 runs off the 5 balls she faced, stepping foot on the accelerator. As she continued, Harmanpreet went on to score her maiden T20I century, becoming the first Indian woman to achieve this feat at the international level. Her knock of 103 runs off 51 balls included seven boundaries and eight maximums, with a strike rate of 201.96.

Unfortunately, she was dismissed by Sophie Devine off the penultimate ball of the innings. However, her century significantly contributed to India’s total of 194 runs for the loss of 4 wickets. India eventually won the match by 34 runs and Harmanpreet was awarded the Player of the Match for her notable contributions with the bat and for taking 2 catches as well.

Melbourne Renegades vs Brisbane Heat, 2021

In the 31st match of the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) between Melbourne Renegades and Brisbane Heat on November 6, 2021, Melbourne Renegades were at 115 for 2 after 12 overs in the first innings. Harmanpreet started at a slow pace, scoring only 8 runs off 11 balls, but she steadily anchored her team’s innings.

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In the fifteenth over, she smashed 2 maximums against Grace Harris, scoring 13 runs in the three balls she faced in that over. This gave her a strong push to her innings and ultimately scored 65 runs off 32 balls with four boundaries and six maximums, boasting a powerful strike rate of 203.12. Her innings boosted the total to 207 runs. In the second innings, she also made a significant contribution with the ball, claiming a wicket as Melbourne Renegades went on to win by 15 runs.

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