Millennium Post

Harmanpreet’s ton goes in vain as Eng down India

Harmanpreet Kaur’s brilliant unbeaten century went in vain as India suffered a 32-run defeat against defending champions England in their group A match of the ICC Women’s World Cup on Sunday.

Kaur blasted 107 runs in 109 balls, laced with eight fours and two sixes, to become the second cricketer from India to slam a ton in the World Cup.

But the 23-year-old from Punjab didn’t get much support at the other end as India made 240 for nine in reply to England’s 272 in their stipulated 50 overs. Fast bowler Katherine Helen Brunt was the top wicket-taker for England as she returned with a four-wicket haul in nine overs, while spinner Danielle Wyatt chipped in with a couple of wickets.

Chasing a target of 273, India had a dismal start as they lost their top three batters, last match centurion Thirushkamini Murugesan, Punam Raut and skipper Mithali Raj, in a span of 34 minutes and by the eighth over. They managed to recover from 29 for 3 as vice-captain Kaur and wicket-keeper batter Karuna Jain steadied the innings with a partnership of 106 for the fourth wicket in 157 balls.

Jain scored 56 in 92 balls and her knock was laced with five fours, though she couldn’t capitalise on the ‘life’ she got, when the English skipper dropped her on 55. The bowler Arran Brindle struck three balls later in the same over to dismiss Jain when Laura Marsh took her catch at backward point. Jhulan Goswami made a quick fire 19 in 20 balls, with three fours before Heather Knight took a brilliant flying catch at mid-off to send her back.

Earlier, skipper Charlotte Edwards led from the front with a hundred to help defending champions England overcome a poor start and post a challenging 272 for 8.
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