Indian women’s cricket team’s vice-captain in the ongoing ICC Women’s World Cup in New Zealand, Harmanpreet Kaur, is celebrating her 33rd birthday today. The Indian middle-order batter is currently preparing for India’s second match in the campaign, which will be played against hosts New Zealand on Thursday. India opened its campaign with a thumping win over arch-rivals Pakistan on Sunday.
Ahead of the match, former India captain and commentator Anjum Chopra caught up with Harmanpreet after a training session. In a video posted by the ICC, Anjum was seen asking Harmanpreet for a birthday cake.
Harmanpreet continued the banter as she asked Anjum for a gift. To the India batter’s surprise, Anjum was actually carrying a chocolate as “gift” for her. While Harmanpreet was excited on getting the chocolate, Anjum wished her loads of “runs and victories.
ICC posted the video on Instagram with the caption, “Runs, #CWC22 victories and an extra little treat for Harmanpreet Kaur’s birthday.”
India beat arch-rivals Pakistan by 107 runs in their opening game of the 2022 ICC Women’s World Cup in Mount Maunganui on Sunday to start their campaign in the best way possible. Batting first, India looked stable at 96/1, with opener Smriti Mandhana scoring 52, before wickets in quick succession reduced them to 114/6. However, Sneh Rana’s unbeaten 53 and Pooja Vastrakar’s 67 helped India post a total of 244/7 from their 50 overs. In response, Rajeshwari Gayakwad had figures of 4/31 as India bowled Pakistan out for 137 to seal a comfortable win.
It wasn’t a good outing for skipper Mithali Raj with the willow but, by turning out in the India jersey on Sunday, the veteran 39-year-old became only the third cricketer after Sachin Tendulkar and Javed Miandad to appear in six World Cups and the first woman to achieve the feat.
Raj, though, would take her cheap dismissal in her stride as her team achieved the result it sought.
“I am happy we won the first game but a lot of things to work on. When you lose wickets in the middle order, it does put a lot of pressure. The top-order has to score runs in a big tournament like this,” Raj said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
“When you have all-rounders like Sneh (Rana), Deepti (Sharma) and Pooja (Vastrakar), we extend our batting line up. Hope Pooja would be fine before the next game.”
From the Pakistan point of view, the stand between Rana and Vastrakar hit them hard as they were hoping to restrict India after reducing them to 114 for six.
For Pakistan, spinners Nida Dar (2/45) and Nashra Sandhu (2/36) snared two wickets each.
Topics mentioned in this article