The day Harmanpreet Kaur descended upon Derby

The day Harmanpreet Kaur descended upon Derby

India Women were 101 for 3 after 25 overs. Then all hell broke loose.

Updated: July 19, 2018 9:22 PM IST | Edited By: Abhishek Mukherjee

What followed?

Australia, reduced to 21 for 3, found respite in a 105-run stand between Perry and Villani. Then wickets fell in a heap and they were soon 169 for 9, but then, as is always the case with Australians, some fight was left. Alex Blackwell gave India serious scare, smashing 90 in 56 balls and taking Australia to within 37 of the target, but in the end it turned out to be too much.

The other story

I was in the newsroom when Kaur smashed Australia to smithereens. Journalism demands neutrality, but Kaur had squeezed all that out of me that night. We were celebrating, thousands of miles away from the scene of action as we celebrated an Indian win.

For decades I had struggled to find a cricketing incident to take place on July 20. I wanted something to happen on my birthday. I share it with Maurice Leyland, an outstanding cricketer with a terrific career but not quite brag-worthy: nobody I know has seen him bat, you see.

Ian Botham s Headingley miracle of 1981 was more appealing, but I was too young for that, and the match was not telecast in India anyway. I had hopes on Debasis Mohanty, but he let me down, and Naman Ojha never stood a chance against MS Dhoni.

In 2017 at Derby, Harmanpreet Kaur gave me something cricketing to brag about on my birthday. Spending the birthday evening at work was more than worth it.

Brief scores:

India Women 281 for 4 in 42 overs (Harmanpreet Kaur 171*) beat Australia Women 245 in 40.1 overs (Elyse Villani 75, Alex Blackwell 90; Deepti Sharma 3 for 59) by 36 runs.

Player of the Match: Harmanpreet Kaur.