Mithali Raj batted brilliantly as India won the third ODI

By Kersi Meher-Homji

Indian women cricketers must be reading The Indian Down Under. Their performances in the first two One Day Internationals (ODIs) against England was disappointing. They had lost both the ODIs convincingly.

But last night they looked a different team beating England by four wickets at Worcester. Did the write up in yesterday’s e-TIDU motivate them? Was Deepti Sharma inspired by my calling her “my favourite”?

Of course this is written tongue-in-cheek but Deepti did take three vital wickets and ran out two English girls brilliantly.

The final match in the series was delayed by rain and it became a 47-overs game. Winning the toss India’s captain Mithali Raj sent England in to bat. With Deepti Sharma snaring three wickets, England was all out for 219, Nat Sciver top-scoring with 49 runs.

Needing 220 runs for a win, Smriti Mandhana scored 49, Mithali Raj 75 not out and India won by four wickets. For her brilliant and unbeaten 75, Mithali was adjudged Player of the Match. Player of the Series was England’s Sophie Ecclestone as the home team won the series 2-1.

Mithali, aged 38, had another reason to celebrate. She became the highest run scorer in women’s international cricket (Tests, ODIs and T20 Internationals), totaling 10,337 runs. During yesterday’s match she eclipsed the record of former England captain Charlotte Edwards who had amassed 10,273 runs.

Here are Mithali Raj’s records at the three levels: 669 runs in 11 Tests at an average of 44.60, 7304 runs in 217 ODIs at 52.80 and 2364 runs in 89 T20Is at 37.52.

A happy Mithali told Sky Sports, “I never gave up in the middle. It’s being in the middle, because you can’t win the match sitting out in the dugout. I wanted to win the game for the team. I just needed to get the partnership to take it to the last. That’s something that kept me going through the innings. I knew in the middle overs I could manage the game. When you have young players in the side, you need to guide them along, that’s a responsibility.”

On becoming the highest run-scorer in women’s internationals, she said modestly, “I’m just happy, thank you.”

Now the Indian team will play three T20 Internationals against England at Northampton, Hove and Chelmsford on 10th, 11th and 16th July.

Keep reading e-TIDU, Indian girls!

Short URL: