The Indian cricket team captain Mithali has made the nation proud once again by smashing a few records during her knock of 71-not out against England in the ICC Women’s World Cup opener on Saturday. The Indian skipper now holds the record for most half-centuries by any international woman cricketer. She scored her 47th fifty against England going past Charlotte Edwards, who had 46 fifties from 191 games. Also, this was Mithali’s seventh consecutive fifty which is most by any international women’s player. Before this knock, Mithali had scored 70*, 64, 73*, 51*, 54 and 62* in her last six innings.
Asked to bat first, the Indian team went on to score 281 runs for the loss of three wickets which was their best score batting first. Smriti Mandhana struck a sizzling 90 off 72 balls in a dominating batting display while Punam Raut (86 off 134) and skipper Mithali Raj (71 not out) also made some useful contributions. “The way both of them started the innings… with the conditions assisting the bowlers and that’s why they (England) elected to field, it didn’t feel like they were playing the World Cup or there was any kind of pressure or nerves on them, they just played on merit and kept going till 25 overs,” Mithali said at the post-match press conference.
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While defending the total, the India bowlers put up a disciplined performance to bowl out England for 246 runs with 15 balls to spare. “Half the overs being played by the openers I think that’s a great opening stand and we look forward to similar opening partnerships in coming games because if you have a solid opening stands your middle-order will come exactly when we are supposed to come and carry on from there, and that makes it much easier to post 250 and above, which is very good for the overall game of women’s cricket,” the Indian skipper added after the match.