Watch: Harmanpreet Kaur's last over heroics to clinch thriller

Watch: Harmanpreet Kaur’s last over heroics to clinch thriller

Harmanpreet Kaur
Harmanpreet Kaur of India poses for a photograph. (Photo by Pal Pillai/IDI via Getty Images)

India continued their unbeaten run by winning a thriller against the South Africans in the World Cup qualifier final. The qualifiers held in Sri Lanka came to an end on 21st February. India already assured a place in the world cup but their unbeaten run was on the line as Harmanpreet Kaur starred in a nerve-wracking win for India.

For the start, South Africa were bowled out for 244 in 49.4 overs. None of the South African batters could get hold of their innings as many fumbled after getting a good start. M du Preez was one of the batters who got a start. She was their top scorer with 40 runs. Their captain van Niekerk also scored a handy 37 but could not capitalise.

Indians were outstanding in the bowling department. Rajeshwari Gayakwad stole a three-for. S Pandey also grabbed a couple as South Africa were not allowed to settle down.

India batting didn’t start as planned as they lost an opener in the very early stages of their innings. Thirush Kamini had walk back with just 10 to her name. But Mona Meshram and Deepti Sharma crafted a 122-run partnership to not only get India back on top but to put them into the driver’s seat.

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Mona Meshram scored a stable 59 as Deepti Sharma was the star with a 71. Both these batters, who were well settled at the crease were sent back in the space of two overs. MM Letsoalo got rid of Sharma as D van Niekerk grabbed Meshram as India were in a spot of bother at 148-3.

That score soon became 223-8 as the women in blue’s lower order collapsed. It all went down to the last over of the match as India needed 9 of six deliveries with only two wickets in hand.

Harmanpreet Kaur was a proper batswoman present while Poonam Yadav was the tail-ender at the non-striker’s end. On the first delivery, Yadav sacrificed herself in the process of bringing Harmanpreet back on strike; she was run-out with a score of 7 to her name. The next three deliveries were beauties from Letsoalo. She being the specialist in such situation was handling the ball for South Africa. The penultimate delivery was bludgeoned for a six over mid-wicket to give reduce the deficit to 2 from one ball.

Harmanpreet Kaur held her nerve as they ran two of the last delivery to win the game for India. It was the best game of the tournament. South Africa had got the better of India in a practice game leading into the tournament but could not do the trick when it mattered.

Watch: Harmanpreet Kaur’s last over heroics to clinch thriller