India just knocked Australia out in the semi final of cricket's World Cup -- and out of the park several times too -- thanks largely to a ruthless force of nature otherwise known as Harmanpreet Kaur.
Australia's women's cricket team is the number-one ranked side in all three formats of the game -- T20, Tests and One Day Internationals. Sadly, our women won't get to show why in the final of the 2017 Cricket World Cup, and here's why.
India batted first and Kaur, 28, hit 171 -- her third ODI century and highest score. This was some innings from the woman who also plays T20 cricket in Australia for the Sydney Thunder, but who was merciless towards some of her Aussie friends and teammates.
In a piece memorably headlined "Australia eaten by Harmanpreet monster", cricket writer Jarrod Kimber delivered the following equally unforgettable description of Kaur's effectiveness in her preferred hitting zone.
"Between wide long-on and deep square leg, every single woman ever born in Australia could have stood there and they wouldn't have stopped what came."
What came was 171 runs off 114 balls, including seven sixes and 103 runs off her last 40 balls. At one point, she berated her teammate Deepti Sharma for a mix-up running between the wickets. Wrote Kimber of this incident:
Harmanpreet started screaming at Deepti while she was still running. Had she been further down the pitch, she would have picked Deepti up and tossed her like she did the helmet. Deepti is almost in tears; she won't even look up, she's afraid of Harmanpreet. And she should be. In this mood, Harmanpreet is angry, Harmanpreet is a monster.
Speaking of monsters, India ended up with a monster score 4/281 off its allotted 42 overs. Australia did what Australia does, which is to chase like you're chasing the guy who stole your car. But when captain and world's best batter Meg Lanning went for a duck, you kind of knew we'd fall short. In the end we were bowled out for 250.
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