Harmanpreet Kaur kept it brief when talking about her groundbreaking century against England in the second ODI on Wednesday which helped India Women clinch their first series win against them in 23 years. She went on to discuss Jhulan Goswami's imminent retirement in the final game of the series.
Harmanpreet Kaur has continued with her relentlessly good batting form and produced the innings of a lifetime in the second ODI against England on Wednesday at Canterbury. The Indian skipper stroked a clinical 143 not-out, taking just 111 balls in the process. She stroked 18 boundaries and four maximums en route to a brutal slog in the death overs, scoring her last 48 runs in just 13 deliveries.
Kaur's inning not only broke many records in itself but was also the catalyst to a major achievement for the Indian Women's team. The ensuing victory meant the Women in Blue had gained an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series, confirming their first ODI series victory against England since 1999. Meanwhile, the 143* was the third highest score by an Indian batswoman in the format as well as the highest individual score against England, a record previously held by Harmanpreet herself. Also, India's total of 333/5 was their highest ever in England and the second highest in their ODI history, alongside being the second-highest score ever conceded by the hosts.
"Today was a very important game for us, and everyone who got a chance contributed. I always enjoy leading, I'm always in the game, and all the support from the staff and the players," Kaur was quoted saying by ESPN Cricinfo in the post-match presentation.
Alongside half-centurion Harleen Deol, Kaur built a partnership of 113 runs for the third wicket setting up the stage for a brutal onslaught late in the innings. Her batting efforts were backed up well by the bowling unit which bowled out England for 245, securing an 88-run victory. Renuka Singh was the pick of the bowlers, with the new-ball pacer scalping four wickets.
"I took my time and that partnership was important. After that I gave freedom to myself and backed myself. Whoever got the chance today gave us breakthroughs," Kaur added.
The result means India can put their focus on dedicating the third and final ODI ar Lord's to veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami who is set to retire after a 19-year-international career. The 39-year-old is the leading wicket-taker in WODIs of all time with 253 in 203 games at an average of 22.10. Incidentally, it was under the Bengal-pacer's captaincy that Kaur made her debut for India in 2009.
"I think so (on the third ODI being Goswami's final). Lord's will be very special for us with Jhulan going to retire," Harmanpreet concluded.