Harmanpreet Kaur’s 143 sends India Women to ODI series victory over England | Women’s cricket

On Wednesday morning, the ECB announced an ambitious list of women’s Ashes for 2023, including first visits to Lord’s, the Oval and Edgbaston; and a five-day test at Trent Bridge. It’s a scheme designed to reflect the apparent superiority of England and Australia in women’s cricket worldwide: these two teams are the ones worthy of appearing for. By evening, Harmanpreet Kaur had enjoyed tearing that assumption into small pieces and placing it in a metaphorical wastepaper basket.

In a series-sealing appearance at Canterbury, the India captain batted an imperious 143 out of 111 balls, while India piled up a total of 333 for five – the second highest ever against England in ODIs. Kaur sealed the deal by beating local hero Tammy Beaumont in the second over of England’s chase with a direct hit from center.

“It wasn’t an easy wicket to save,” Kaur said. “I didn’t try too many shots, too many things, I just kept it really simple.”

England stumbled to 47 for three in the power play – Renuka Singh Thakur (four for 53) picked up Sophia Dunkley and Emma Lamb cheaply – and although half a century of Danni Wyatt at number 5 offered some resistance, Thakur returned in the 30th and broke by her defense. England clung to the 45th left but were eventually knocked out for 245, forcing them to lose their first loss of the series at home to a team other than Australia since 2007.

England had tried to bolster their bowling by bringing in Lauren Bell and left-armer Freya Kemp, who received her ODI cap from Wyatt before playing. But the two young sailors were both bruised by Kaur’s attack. Bell conceded an England ODI record of 79 runs from her 10 overs, until Kemp “improved” minutes later, allowing 82.

“It’s been tough,” admitted stand-in captain Amy Jones, after being reluctantly cast in the role in the absence of Heather Knight. “It has been very new. In over-50s cricket, it’s something I’ve never done before. There is much longer to make decisions.

“After the second drink break they put a lot of pressure on us and often found the limit. It was very difficult to bowl.”

Harmanpreet Kaur Celebrates Tammy Beaumont's Run Out
Kaur celebrates the run out of Tammy Beaumont. Photo: Steven Paston/PA

Curiously, the option to bring Lamb’s off-spin into play was ignored, despite Charlie Dean being England’s most frugal bowler. After asking India to bat first, Kate Cross, who opened from the end of the pavilion in her 50th ODI, had bowled Shafali Verma clean with her third ball. But Smriti Mandhana and Yastika Bhatia picked up where they left off in the first ODI and again shared a half-century partnership. Along the way, Mandhana became the third Indian (after Mithali Raj and Kaur himself) to rack up 3,000 ODI runs.

Bhatia was caught and thrown by Dean for 26, and while the Decision Review System was only functional occasionally, it managed to show up long enough to show that Mandhana was indeed LBW to Sophie Ecclestone in the 20th over. From there, however, Kaur and Harleen Deol (58 of 72) kept the ship steady with a 113-run partnership for the fourth wicket; before Kaur caused the innings to end with a bang. In the last three overs, 62 runs were scored as Kaur – who had increased her century by exactly one run per ball in the 47th – took just 11 deliveries to add 43 more.

“England has a very good batting formation and we knew that if we scored 300 it could be chasing,” said Kaur. “That’s why we looked at maximum runs in the last five or six overs. Whoever came to hit with me, I gave them that message – if they can push boundaries it’s fine, otherwise we have to keep running the strike. ”

Without the experience of Knight and Nat Sciver, this would always be a tricky series for England to navigate. Still, none of this bodes well for the Ashes series in next year’s big arena. At the time, England must negotiate the bleed of a new coach and hope Knight returns fit as a fiddle – as no one else seems to want the captaincy. It could be nine interesting months.

Leave a Comment