Former India batsman Mohammad Kaif on Monday said Indian women’s cricket has seen a phenomenal rise after Harmapreet Kaur played a match-winning knock of 171 runs in the semi-final of the 50-over Women’s World Cup in 2017.

On this day three years ago, Kaur had scored 171 runs off just 115 balls against Australia at the County Ground in Derby and guided the side to final of the tournament.

“Three years back, on this day, Harmanpreet Kaur hit 171*(115) v Australia in World Cup semi-final. Quality innings under pressure. The rise of Indian women’s cricket in the past three years has been phenomenal @ImHarmanpreet,” Kaif tweeted.

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The match was reduced to 42 overs per side due to rain. India had won the toss and the Mithali Raj-led side elected to bat first.

India was reduced to 35/2 in the 10th over as Smriti Mandhana (6) and Punam Raut (14) were sent back to the pavilion.

It was then, that Harmanpreet joined Mithali Raj in the middle and the duo went on to form a 66-run stand. Mithali (36) was sent back to the pavilion in the 25th over, but Harmanpreet continued to march on for India.

Harmanpreet found support in Deepti Sharma and both batters formed a 137-run stand for the fourth wicket.

The right-handed Harmanpreet registered 20 fours and seven sixes in her innings to take India’s total to 281/4 in the allotted 42 overs. India then managed to defend the total as the side bundled out Australia for 245 runs.

Deepti Sharma scalped three wickets while Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey registered two wickets each. India managed to enter the finals of the tournament, and Harmanpreet was declared as the Player of the Match.

The Mithali Raj-led side, however, stumbled to a loss against hosts England in the final at the Lord’s Cricket Ground.

Earlier this year, India managed to enter the summit clash of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup but failed to grab the title as Australia won the match by 85 runs at Melbourne Cricket Ground.

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