Opener Punam Raut’s fighting century and a record-breaking 69 from skipper Mithali Raj enabled India post a decent 226 for 7 against the formidable Australia in their sixth group league encounter of the ICC Women’s World Cup, here on Wednesday.
Raut (106, 136 balls) and Mithali (69, 114 balls) added 157 runs for the second wicket but they consumed more than 37 overs in the process.
Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli joined the chorus of top Indian cricketers in congratulating Mithali Raj on becoming the highest run-getter in the history of women’s ODIs.
“Congratulations, @M_Raj03! Becoming the highest run scorer in Women’s ODIs is a huge achievement. Also, superb knock today!,” Tendulkar tweeted.
Congratulations, @M_Raj03! Becoming the highest run scorer in Women's ODIs is a huge achievement. Also, superb knock today!
— sachin tendulkar (@sachin_rt) July 12, 2017
The highlight of the Indian innings was Mithali surpassing former England captain Charlotte Edwards’ aggregate of 5992 runs to become the highest run-getter in the history of women’s ODI.
En route her 49th ODI half-century, she also became the first batswoman to reach the individual milestone of 6000 runs.
Pint-sized Punam, who hit 11 boundaries, played confidently against the spinners — off-spinner Ashleigh Gardner (1/48 in 10 overs) and leg-spinner Kirsten Beans (0/43 in 9 overs).
Mithali, however, was very slow off the blocks even though her innings had four boundaries and a six.
She simply couldn’t find the gaps as the dot balls kept on piling. The only time she tried chancing her arms was when she lofted Beans for a six to complete 6000 runs.
Once Mithali was out, Harmanpreet Kaur (23, 22 balls) tried to get to move on but after she was dismissed, the Indians couldn’t accelerate in the final overs.