Harmanpreet Kaur’s unbeaten knock of 171 runs from 115 balls powered India to 281/4 against Australia, with her side going on to post a 36-run win in the rain-curtailed semi-final of the ICC Women’s World Cup at Derby on Thursday.
Experts including Harsha Bhogle, Alan Wilkins, Ayaz Memon were among the many to compare Kaur’s whirlwind innings to Kapil Dev’s imperious knock of 175 against Zimbabwe in the 1983 World Cup at Tunbridge-Wells.
Even India's men's coach and member of 1983 World Cup-winning team, Ravi Shastri, shared images of Kapil Dev and Harmanpreet Kaur on his Twitter handle with the caption of “@imharmanpreet_kaur 171. Kapil Dev 175. A @homeofcricket final on Sunday. Deja vu. Go for it India #WWC17 .”
“If Harman’s innings is being compared with the legendary Kapil Dev, then it is a great honour for her,” said Hemjit Kaur, Harmanpreet's sister.
— Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) July 21, 2017
Both innings' proved crucial in their respective World Cups. Dev's innings came in a group match when India were reeling at 17/5 and further to 78/7 his 175 propelled India to 266/8 at the end of 60 overs. While Kaur's innings came in a semi-final clash against six-time world champions Australia.
India did lift their first World Cup at Lord's 34 years ago, and the World Cup win is considered as one of the most significant moments in the country's cricketing history. Mithali Raj and Co too are set to play the final at the 'Mecca of Cricket' on Sunday against hosts England, and it remains to be seen if they can hold the trophy high at the Lord's balcony.