Harmanpreet Kaur's mother delivered a powerful message after her daughter's heroics for India in the semi-final against Australia in the ICC Women's World Cup on Thursday. "Girls must be empowered, shouldn't be killed in womb. The way my daughter made the country proud, other girls should also be encouraged," she told ANI after Harmanpreet powered India to a 36-run win over defending champions Australia in Derby. Harmanpreet's 171 not out was the highest score by an Indian player, male or female, in a World Cup knockout match. Amid the celebrations at Harmanpreet's home in Moga, her father Harminder Singh said, "We want her to further excel, win the World Cup and make the nation proud."
"From her childhood, she has been playing cricket with boys. Her hunger for runs never dies and this is reflected in her strike rate," her sister said.
"Harman is always positive. She always behaves like Virat Kohli on field and is aggressive like him. However, off-field, she is quite calm and composed. Her early days, she treated as her batting idol for Virender Sehwag and even bats like him," she said.
Harmanpreet, the Indian vice-captain, smashed a career-best 171 off 115 balls, leaving the Australian bowlers in a daze and helping India post an imposing total of 281/4 in a match reduced to 42 overs a side due to inclement weather.
The innings could well be termed as the best ever played by an Indian woman in the limited-overs cricket. This is also the second highest individual score in ODIs for India behind Deepti Sharma's 188 not out against South Africa earlier this year.
In 26 balls the milestone from 51 to 100 was reached while she raced to 150 from 101 in mere 17 balls. The sixes flew from her bat with regularity as the Aussie bowlers had no clue as to what hit them.