Harmanpreet Kaur during India’s loss against Australia in Women’s T20 World Cup© AFP
Harmanpreet Kaur looked on course to guide India to victory over Australia in the Women’s T20 World Cup semi-final but a freak run-out ended her innings and the hopes of reaching the tournament’s final. The India skipper was very close to completing her run but her bat got stuck in the ground and Alyssa Healy completed a crucial dismissal. The Indian batters were unable to finish the chase as India fell agonisingly short of the target. Former England Skipper Nasser Hussain called it a ‘school girl error’ on her part and blamed her slow start to the first run for the dismissal.
In the aftermath of the match, Harmanpreet was asked about the comment.
“How will you take the pressure when someone like Nasser Hussain on live commentary calls it a schoolgirl error or a club cricket error? How do you defend something like that?” the reporter asked.
“He said that? Yes. Okay. I don’t know. That is a way of thinking. I don’t know. But sometimes it happens. I have seen many times in cricket when batters are taking a single like that and sometimes the bat is stuck there. But obviously, I will take it as we were unlucky today. Maybe something still, we have to improve to go to the finals because we definitely didn’t field badly. We didn’t bowl well in patches. Sometimes we didn’t bat well. If you want to win any game, we have to do well in all the departments. Then only you have more chances to go to the semis, to the finals. I think it was unlucky but I don’t think it was a mistake by a schoolgirl because we are mature enough. We are playing international cricket and whatever he said, that’s his way of thinking. But I don’t think it was like that,” Harmanpreet answered at the post-match press conference in Cape Town.
India wilted under the pressure of a knock-out game yet again after skipper Harmanpreet Kaur’s freak run out as defending champions Australia entered their seventh successive Women’s T20 World Cup final with a five-run win here on Thursday. India’s shoddy fielding and catching allowed Australia to post a challenging 172 for four after Meg Lanning opted to bat in the semifinal.
At 28 for three, India were down and out but Harmanpreet (52 off 34) and Jemimah Rodrigues (43 off 24) produced a counter-attacking 69-run stand off just 41 balls to bring the team back in the game.
India needed a very gettable 39 off last 30 balls with five wickets in hand but as it has been the case in the past, the team came up short to finish at 167 for eight.
(With PTI inputs)
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