India captain Mithali Raj continued her sensational form in 2017 as she scored 109 against New Zealand at the women’s World Cup on Saturday in Derby.
Raj’s 123-ball knock contained 11 boundaries and was made at a much faster clip than her previous score of 69 from 114 balls against Australia.
The skipper helped boost India’s total to 265-7 with a 132-run stand with Harmanpreet Kaur, who scored a fine 60.
Raj was joined by Veda Krishnamurthy in the middle and the latter upped the ante towards the end of the innings, hitting a fifty off just 34 balls. The captain reached three figures in the 48th over when she turned Leigh Kasperek to mid-wicket for two. It was her sixth century in ODIs and her first since 2014, when she hit an unbeaten 104 against Sri Lanka at Vizag.
Raj was out for 109 while Krishnamurthy made 70 off 45 balls as India put up a challenging total in their final round-robin match.
It was the tenth fifty-plus score in a calendar year for Raj, which is the most by any woman cricketer. In the previous game against Australia, Raj became the leading run-scorer in one-dayers as she overtook England’s Charlotte Edwards’ tally of 5,992 runs.
Raj is one of the greatest women’s cricketers produced by India and on his part, former skipper Sunil Gavaskar had said it was improper to compare her to Sachin Tendulkar as Raj had carved a niche for herself.
“Mithali Raj is an inspiration and has carved a niche for herself. She is standing at the top of a mountain and we should celebrate that,” Gavaskar had said.
England fast bowler James Anderson on Friday became the first pace bowler to take 300 Test wickets at home. The 34-year-old reached the milestone when he took the wicket of Dean Elgar on the opening day of the second Test against South Africa at Trent Bridge.
Anderson has played 71 Tests in England and is fourth in the list of highest Test wicket-takers at home. Anderson is also England’s top Test wicket taker, with Elgar’s scalp his 471th in the format.
Anderson is back in the mix after an injury break following a poor tour of India late last year.
Meanwhile, England began to toil on the first afternoon of the second Test as Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock vindicated South Africa captain Faf du Plessis’ decision to bat first at Trent Bridge.
The hosts managed a solitary wicket in each session, Amla (65 not out) riding his luck a little and De Kock (68 not out) moving past a typically fluent and attractive 59-ball half-century as they took their stand to 113 in a teatime total of 179 for two.
England had an opportunity to make early inroads after Du Plessis took a calculated gamble on an initially cloudy and blustery morning.
It paid off as South Africa lost only Dean Elgar before lunch and his fellow opener Heino Kuhn soon after the break. Amla and De Kock then took over, kicking on especially in a four-over period against Mark Wood and Liam Dawson which brought 36 runs either side of mid-afternoon drinks.
India captain Mithali Raj broke the record for most runs in women’s ODIs after taking her tally to 6,028 during her knock of 69 in the World Cup match against Australia on Wednesday.
The 34-year-old – who made her debut back in 1999 and averages 51.52 after 183 ODI appearances for her country – surpassed retired England legend Charlotte Edwards’s total of 5,992.
“I don’t think Mitahli Raj gets the credit she deserves at times,” said Edwards.
“She is a quality player. The big hitters get the plaudits, but to average over 50 in ODI cricket is an outstanding achievement.”
A great moment for Indian Cricket, @M_Raj03 becomes the highest run scorer in Women's ODI Cricket History today. Champion Stuff! 👌👏— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) July 12, 2017
But the fact remains Raj is one of the greatest ever women’s cricketer to have represented India.
Here is a look at the highlights of Raj’s ODI career.
Debut: Against Ireland at Milton Keynes on June 26, 1999. She made an unbeaten 114 in that game, which remains her highest score in ODIs.
Record: For most half-centuries in women’s ODIs – 49.
2004: Mithali became the youngest captain of the Indian women’s team. She has led the team in 106 ODIs, averaging 57.12 and scoring three out of her five centuries.
Captained: The team to three Asia Cup victories between 2005 and 2008 and also led India to a runners-up finish at the 2005 World Cup.
2006: Was Raj’s best year, when she scored 684 runs in 23 matches at an average of 45.60 with one century and five fifties.
Seven: Consecutive scores of fifty or more in 2017, a record in women’s ODIs.
Eight: Wickets in her ODI career as a leg-spinner, with 3-4 against England in 2002 her best.