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.