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Harmanpreet 'Hurricane' Kaur – the gritty girl who swept the mighty Aussies away!
Watching Harmanpreet Kaur bat during the semi-final match against Australia in the ongoing ICC Women's World Cup 2017 on Thursday was sheer pleasure. Kaur with her unbeaten knock of 171 literally batted Australia out of the match. She was rightly adjudged player of the match for her brilliant innings.

She single-handedly tamed the Aussie bowling attack to take India to a mammoth total of 281 in their assigned 42 overs in a rain-affected match. Kaur has once again proved that she's not a 'one match wonder' but perhaps one of the finest women cricketers of the world.

Her knock ensured India's victory against Australia by 36 runs. India will now play against England at Lords in the final match of the ICC Women's World Cup 2017 on Sunday.

What also makes Kaur's achievement no mean feat is the fact that she has been nursing a wrist injury for quite some time now. She had suffered a ligament tear while playing in the Big Bash League in Australia some time back. Yes, she is the first Indian to play in the Big Bash League – Australia's T20 domestic cricket tournament. She plays for the Sydney Thunder team in the league.

Her score of 171* is now the second highest score by an Indian in women's ODIs. Coincidentally, her current teammate Deepti Sharma tops the list with a score of 188. Kaur's 171 came in 115 balls and included 20 fours and 7 sixes.

With her blazing knock, Kaur refreshed memories of Kapil Dev's unbeaten marathon innings of 175 which he had played against Zimbabwe at Tunbridge Wells, England during the 1983 Cricket World Cup.

Congratulatory messages have been pouring in for 28-year-old Kaur from all quarters including those from cricketing legends like Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag.

Harmanpreet Kaur was born in Moga, a small town of Punjab on March 8, 1989. Her story of becoming a cricketer is no different than the ones we hear about sportspersons coming from humble backgrounds and making it big, especially those from rural parts of the country where there is utter lack of facilities.

Growing up in Moga, Kaur had no other option but to play cricket with the boys of the neighbourhood as girls were never encouraged to take up sports.

But today, her father Harmandar Bhullar, who works as a clerk in the district court is proud of his daughter. While speaking to ToI, he said, "We have seen many hardships. I wanted her to be a sportsperson but could not because of financial constraints. My daughter is fulfilling my dreams now."

"She has brought our small city (Moga) on the national map with her outstanding performances. I hope she continues her good showing in the future too. She is better than any boy," he further added.

Kaur who considers Virender Sehwag and Ajinkya Rahane as her batting idols had made her ODI debut in a game against Pakistan in the ICC Women's World Cup 2009. However, she had to wait a few more years for her Test debut, which finally came during India's tour of England in 2014.

Harmanpreet Kaur is surely a star in the making. Her coach Yadvinder Sodhi believes that Kaur will achieve more laurels for the country in the coming years.

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