Harleen Deol, on Friday evening, produced one of the greatest ever catches during the first T20I in Northampton of the ongoing series versus England. The hosts did win the match, by 18 runs as DLS came into play after the rain had intervened in India‘s innings while chasing the target of 178 set by the English batters.
But, it was the jaw-dropping catch by the 23-year-old from Chandigarh that will remain in the memories of fans and players alike for a long time.
On the fifth ball of the 19th over, bowled by Shikha Pandey, England batter Amy Jones, who had smashed 43 runs off 26 balls till then, despite the keeper up at the stumps, audaciously skipped down a couple of steps in order to launch Pandey over wide long-off where Harleen Deol was positioned.
The ball was seeming to sail over the fielder for a maximum – but it didn’t; it couldn’t go past the commitment of Harleen Deol. With a little jump in the air, the youngster first reverse-cupped the ball above her head. Realizing that her body was about to fall over the boundary line, she threw it back in the air.
The applause from the Indians on the bench began – they applauded her for saving the six initially. But little did they know that Harleen Deol was about to stun them even further.
A few steps behind the boundary line, Harleen Deol observed the airborne ball; then pulled her feet off the ground, diving inside the playing area to grab the ball again with her body almost horizontal in the wind.
The Indian players on the bench soon rushed towards her, so did the ones on the field with expressions and smiles of awe and unbelievability as the marvel Harleen Deol displayed. Even England opener Danielle Wyatt who was near the ropes, getting ready to come out to the field, applauded the effort.
It was a perfect display of presence of mind and athleticism from the 23-year-old. It gets even more compelling in slow motion. Easily, an all-time great catch.
Watch: Harleen Deol pulls off a blinder at the boundary line
— Lisa Sthalekar (@sthalekar93) July 9, 2021
Natalie Sciver was named the Player of the Match for her 27-ball 55 as England posted a big total of 177 on the board. India were 54/3 in 8.4 overs when rain halted the game and didn’t relent for the rest of the night. The hosts were awarded the game by 18 runs (DLS) and they take a 1-0 lead.