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'I wanted to prove myself' says Kaur

21 July 2017

Aaron Pereira, at the County Ground, Derby


Aaron Pereira, at the County Ground, Derby


India's Harmanpreet Kaur blitzes the Australia attack with a statement of intent that put her side into the World Cup final against England

Harmanpreet Kaur has played the innings of her life to see India through to their second World Cup final.

Her unbeaten-171 from just 115 balls is India's highest-ever individual score at a World Cup and second highest of all time. Kaur blasted 20 boundaries and seven sixes against the Australia attack.

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.

Kaur, who plays with the Sydney Thunder in the Women's Big Bash League, had faced more than 23-balls just once previously in the tournament, but took her chance when it arrived.

"I didn't get a chance to bat in the whole tournament, 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," Kaur said.

"Today's plan was just watch the ball, hit it hard and this is what I was doing.

"Some areas they were bowling well but I just wanted to hit and rotate the strike."

Match wrap: Australia out after Kaur's Cup carnage

Australia were resigned to watch the show, much like they had been during Chamari Athapathu's unbeaten 178 in the group stage, with each batter in full control against Australia's bowlers.

Kaur had been the one of India's top four to have not scored a century in this tournament before the semi-final.

Smriti Mandhana (against the West Indies), Punam Raut (against Australia) and captain Mithali Raj (against New Zealand) had all reached triple-figures in the group stage matches.

Raj's knock of 109 against the White Ferns was the India's previous highest score in World Cups, a record that stood for all of five days.

Post-match, players on both sides were quick to commend the innings that saw India into Sunday's Women's World Cup final against hosts England's at Lord's, their first visit to the final in 12 years.

Tributes flow for complete Kaur

Meg Lanning, Australia captain

"I was a pretty good innings from her. I don't think we executed as well as we could have. We just sort of gave her a little bit too much to work with and it was pretty hard ground to defend once she got going.

"That's the second time it's happened in this tournament where someone has got going and we haven't been able to stop them."

Mithali Raj, India captain

"As an Indian player (that is the greatest knock I've seen), we saw (Chamari) Athapathu score that 178no, but obviously it's good to see someone play that from the Indian team, especially at this stage.

"It was important for us to come out with this sort of a performance to qualify for the final, it was an exceptional performance."

Alex Blackwell, Australia vice-captain

"I've seen her bat like that before but not for that long and she hit the ball incredibly well today.

"We've seen a couple of big innings this World Cup, but that's probably the best one yet given the what was on the line; a place in the final. She can be very proud to get her team in to that match against England."

Ellyse Perry, Australia allrounder

"It was a special innings; we've probably been on the receiving end of two of them this tournament.

"It's tough to watch as a fielder and as a bowler because it's pretty hard to stop someone like that."

Veda Krisnamurthy, India allrounder

"I've played the last eight or nine years with (Kaur), we play for the same domestic side so I've seen the beast mode often, but today to play in a semi-final, that's incredible, she's just amazing."

About the Writer

Aaron Pereira is a writer for, with a major focus on the Indian Premier League. He also edits news packages and highlights.