Not all that easy!

On a cloudy Wednesday at St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury, India captain Harmanpreet Kaur lit up the match with some magnificent shots to finish unbeaten on a monumental 143 off just 111 balls, taking India to 333-5 and set the base for an 88-run victory over England.

With the massive win here, India also secured the three-match series ODI after the tourists had won the opening match at Hove on Sunday. The score was India’s second 300-plus total after making 317-8 against West Indies in an ODI World Cup match earlier this year in New Zealand, where co-incidentally Harmanpreet had slammed a century.

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‘Got all the support’

“When we came here, that was the goal [to win the series]. I am really happy, today was a very important game for us and everybody [who got] a chance was utilising it. I always enjoy [captaining] and I am getting all the support,” said Harmanpreet in the post-match presentation ceremony.

Harmanpreet arrived at the crease when India were 99-3 in 19 overs. With youngster Harleen Deol for company, Harmanpreet went about the rebuilding job and got her fifty in 64 balls, sharing a 113-run stand for the fourth wicket with her.

After that, Harmanpreet accelerated brilliantly, getting her next 50 runs in 36 balls. She went on to score her last 43 runs off just 11 balls as India took a whopping 62 off the last three overs. Harmanpreet also shared an unbeaten 71-run stand off just 24 balls with Deepti Sharma to bat England completely out of the match.

“When I was batting before I [got to the half-century], it was not easy to bat. You have to really stay there. They were bowling really well. I took my time, and when Harleen came, that partnership was important. After that I gave freedom to myself because I was well-settled at that time. I just wanted to back myself and look for all the shots,” added Harmanpreet.

In defence of 333-5, Harmanpreet struck again as she ran out England opener Tammy Beaumont in the second over. Young pacer Renuka Thakur was the pick of the bowlers for India, finishing with 4-57 runs in her 10 overs as England were all out for 245 in 44.2 overs.

Pacer Renuka praised

“She’s [Renuka] always giving us breakthroughs. Our team really depends on her and I’m very happy with the way she’s bowling.  Today, whoever got the chance was giving us breakthroughs and that’s what you need from your players—whenever they get the opportunity the utilise that,” concluded Harmanpreet.

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