Harmanpreet Kaur stole the show with her scintillating knock that helped India take an unassailable 2-0 lead against England in their own backyard. This is also the first series win of India in England since 1999. Asked to chase a daunting total of 334, England could only manage 245 before getting bundled out in 44.2 overs.
Harmanpreet started slow but wreaked havoc in the final overs to walk back unbeaten on 143. She reached the triple-figure mark in 100 balls, then brought up her next 43 runs in just 11 balls. She smashed three fours and a six against Freya Kamp in the last over to drag India to the highest-ever total against the hosts.
In the last three overs, India amassed 62 runs, as Harmanpreet was assisted by quick cameos from Pooja Vastrakar and Deepti Sharma. Harleen Deol too struck a half-century, and her 112-run stand with Harmanpreet formed the bedrock of the innings.
Not too long ago, there were calls to drop Harmanpreet when she was going through the leanest patch of her career. But she has responded to the critics in an emphatic fashion, transforming herself in the most consistent run-scorer across formats. This was her fifth ODI century, and second in England.
“I just wanted to spend some time on the wicket because today’s wicket was not easy to bat on in the first innings,” she said after the match. “I wanted to keep watching the ball and play accordingly. I didn’t try too many shots [early on].”
Harmanpreet also talked about her impeccable innings construction, as she seamlessly shifted through the gears in the last few overs. She said, “It is important to read the wicket and be there. Being there is more important because I know if I take more balls initially, I can easily cover up in the end.”
As far as England’s innings are concerned, Danni Wyatt scored 58-ball 6 but the others couldn’t manage anything substantial. Renuka Singh got a couple of early breakthroughs and finished the game with a four-wicket haul.
The final ODI will be played on 24 September at the iconic Lord’s Ground. This will also be the final match of Jhulan Goswami, who will bid adieu to the game after that.
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