Mithali Raj has allayed suggestions of a drop in form and question marks over her place in the batting lineup with back-to-back fifties at the ICC Women’s World T20 in the West Indies. In so doing, she has become the highest scorer for India in T20 internationals going ahead of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli respectively. Other Indian cricketers part of this illustrious list are women’s captain Harmanpreet Kaur, Suresh Raina, and MS Dhoni.
Mithali Raj has enjoyed a fantastic run at the ongoing Women’s World T20, scoring 56 runs against Pakistan in India’s second Group B clash, and followed it up with a 51-run knock against Ireland which ensured India’s passage into the semi-finals of the tournament with a comfortable 52-run win.
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The former India skipper now has 2283 runs for India in T20Is from 85 matches at an average of 37.42 and strike rate of 96.57. She has 17 fifties to her record while picking up a best of 97 runs. Behind her in India’s highest run scorers list is Rohit who has 2207 runs from 87 matches at an average of 33.43 and strike rate of 138.36. Kohli is third with 2102 runs, Raina fourth with 1605 runs and Dhoni on 1487 runs. Among the women, Harmanpreet is the next Indian with 1827 runs and Smriti Mandhana on 929 runs in a young career.
Mithali, who top-scored for India against Ireland with a 56-ball 51, laced with 4 fours and a six, failed to find a stable partner at the other end due to some casual shot making from the India women’s team. Put in to bat, India got off to a steady 67-run start from Mithali and Smriti Mandhana (33 off 29 balls; 4X4, 6X1). The middle order couldn’t replicate their start or add pace to a slow show in the powerplay overs. Jemimah Rodrigues (18 off 11; 4X3) started brightly and added 40 runs with Mithali before being stumped. Mithali’s run in the middle was stopped when she was caught behind off Kim Garth. In the end, India finished with 145 runs on the board for a less than comfortable total but the bowling held things through for the win.