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IN PHOTOS: India's stunning win over Australia in World Cup semis

July 21, 2017 09:34 IST

IMAGE: Fast bowler Shikha Pandey, right, celebrates with wicketkeeper Sushma Verma after taking the wicket of Australia's Beth Mooney. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

India are through to take on England in the ICC Women's World Cup final after defending champions Australia fell 36 runs short of their victory target in a dramatic semi-final at Derby on Thursday.

Harmanpreet Kaur's remarkable knock of 171 not out off 115 balls helped India to a huge total of 281-4, and Australia were always struggling after slumping to 21-3 in their reply.

Harmanpreet Kaur

IMAGE: Harmanpreet Kaur walks off at the end of India's innings after scoring 171 not out. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Reuters

Alex Blackwell's valiant knock of 90 kept alive hopes of an unlikely comeback, building on good work from Elyse Villani (75) and Ellyse Perry (38), but six players being dismissed for single figures in their total of 245 all out proved Australia's undoing.

Team India

IMAGE: India's players celebrate after winning the semi-final. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

India won the toss and chose to bat, and with early rain having reduced the game to 42 overs each, made a faltering start. Kaur and captain Mithali Raj (36) took control with a stand of 66 for the third wicket, and then Kaur teamed up with Deepti Sharma (25) for the ultimately decisive partnership of 137 for the fourth wicket.

Harmanpreet Kaur

IMAGE: Harmanpreet Kaur hits out. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

In reply, Australia were 4-1 when Beth Mooney was bowled out for 1 by Shikha Pandey, which became 9-2 when captain Meg Lanning was also bowled out for a duck by Jhulan Goswami.

Villani and Perry's fourth wicket stand of 105 gave Australia hope, and at the tail, Blackwell battled bravely, but victory proved beyond them.

Harmanpreet Kaur

IMAGE: Harmanpreet Kaur hits a six. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

The only blight on a thrilling day for India fans was Harmanpreet limping towards the end of her mammoth batting effort, raising questions over her fitness for Sunday's final at Lord's.

Harmanpreet's knock is the second highest individual score in ODIs for India behind Deepti Sharma's unbeaten 188 against South Africa earlier this year.

Deepti Sharma

IMAGE: Deepti Sharma celebrates after catching Nicole Bolton off her own bowling. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

It is only the second time that India have made it to the final of the World Cup, having lost to Australia in the final in 2005.

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