It’s the kind of knock which happens once in a lifetime—many are calling it the best in women’s cricket. Harmanpreet Kaur precious knock of 171in the semi-final of the World Cup against defending champions Australia was an epoch making effort. Harmanpreet’s seven towering sixes and 20 boundaries which lit up the Derbyshire skyline on Thursday was proof that the Moga based played had ensured her place in sporting folklore.

 In the end, it was her tsunami knock of 171 which not only knocked Australia out but also ensured that India made it to the final against England at the historic Lords on Sunday. Little wonder that the Harmanpreet is the toast of the country with a host of celebs ranging from Shak Rukh to Amitabh Bachan, Virat Kohli to Virender Sehwag lauding her epic knock.

On her part, Harmanpreet was on top of the moon. “This knock has yet to sink in. From the very first ball I was timing it well and knew that I was in for a good score. But I never knew that I would remain unbeaten on 171 and that too against the defending champions Australia,” she said.

She was also happy that India won and entered the final. “No doubt I am happy that I could contribute with my bat. What gave me more pleasure was the fact that we won the semi-final against the defending champions (Australia). Now I am looking forward to the final against England at Lords on Sunday,” she added.

There is no denying the fact that Harmanpreet has come of age. From her childhood days in Punjab’s Monga district where she used to play cricket with boys and not girls. What was the reason for this?

As her father Harmandar Singh Bhullar said her daughter’s love for cricket ensured that she used to play with boys of her age. “As there was no girl of her age who used to play cricket, she started playing with the boys. It was quite a sight—a single girl playing cricket with boys. But I knew that she was very determined and  was kept on playing the game despite knowing fully well that she was being watched and envied by all her friends and well wishers,” said Harmandar.  

Harmandar said he was very proud of his daughter. “I am so proud of my daughter. She has put Moga on the international map. She is better than boys,” he added

Despite the family’s limited financial means and the bigger challenge that girls in the area did not opt to play cricket in the first place, did not deter Harmandar Singh in helping his daughter realise her cricketing dream.

Often referred to as the “female version of (Indian’s men’s cricket team captain) Virat Kohli, Harmanpreet shows a lot of aggression on the field. Some of her temper was clearly visible on the ground on Thursday when her fellow player almost got her run out when she was on 98. The cameras caught Harmanpreet yelling at the other player for the mistake. On her part, Harmanpreet’s mother Satinder Kaur said: “She has done proud to the country and to us. People should give their daughters a chance to excel. 

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