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Series Editorial

‘Sensational’ Harmanpreet Kaur puts England to the sword with record-breaking innings

'Sensational' Harmanpreet Kaur Puts England To The Sword With Record-Breaking Innings
by Wisden Staff 4 minute read

Harmanpreet Kaur put England to the sword with her fifth ODI hundred, smashing the home attack to all parts as she and India broke records at Canterbury.

While she received support from Smriti Mandhana (40), Yastik Bhatia (26) and Harleen Deol (58), India’s captain was the star, bringing up a brisk hundred at exactly a run a ball, and then accelerating in extraordinary fashion, smashing 43 off her last 11 deliveries.

She displayed her full range of strokes, smashing four sixes. These included two carved beautifully over the off-side off Freya Kemp, and a slog-swept maximum off Sophie Ecclestone as Kaur toyed with England in the closing overs.


Kaur’s innings was her second highest in ODIs, behind her 171* against Australia in the 2017 Women’s World Cup semi-final, a knock rated by many as the finest in women’s cricket history. While this performance didn’t quite compare to that one, it was still special on its own merits.

Several records fell by the wayside as Kaur smote England around Kent. The innings was the highest by a non-Australian against England in an ODI, with India’s 333-5 their second-highest total in the format, behind their 358-2 against Ireland in 2017. It was also the second-highest score against England, with Australia’s 356-5 in the 2022 World Cup final in top spot. Already 1-0 up, India put themselves in pole position for a series win with their excellent batting effort.

It was a chastening day for several of England’s bowlers. After eight overs, Freya Kemp was enjoying a successful ODI debut, with figures of 1-37. Then Kaur took over, and the 17-year-old conceded 45 runs from her last two overs, finishing with the second most expensive figures by a women’s ODI debutant, and the most expensive by any England women’s bowler.

Lauren Bell, a relative veteran of two ODIs before today, conceded 1-79 from her 10 overs, second to Kemp on the list of most expensive spells by an England women’s bowler. Charlie Dean (1-39) was the only bowler to escape significant punishment, with the rest of her teammates each conceding more than a run a ball.

Kaur’s innings was the continuation of a stellar run of form – in 2022, she has an ODI average of 62.50 and a strike-rate of 90.24. She now has seven scores above 50 this year. Only six batters have hit more in a calendar year in women’s ODIs. In T20Is Kaur has averaged 36.87 this year, including two half-centuries, both against Australia. The first allowed India to beat Meg Lanning’s side in the Commonwealth Games opener, with the second, a 43-ball 65, falling just short of securing India the gold medal in that competition.

This year has marked a return to form for Kaur, who had failed to reach 60 in ODIs since that 171* against Australia in 2017. Similarly, in T20Is, she was without a half-century since her hundred in the 2018 World T20.

Plaudits poured in for Kaur from pundits and her fellow professionals after the innings.

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