Mithali Raj’s finest ODI performance vs England


India won the thriller by chasing down the mark in the last over with three balls to spare, thanks to a superb knock by skipper Mithali Raj (75*) against England. The bowlers had already built a decent foundation for the hitters by limiting England to 219 in the first innings.

Mithali Raj was helped in the chase by Smriti Mandhana (49) and Sneh Rana (24), who also played aggressive knocks. Finally, the Indian captain, accompanied by Jhulan Goswami, guided her side to victory by striking a boundary off Katherine Brunt’s delivery.

Mithali Raj already had a strong record against England, and she boosted it even more with another match-winning innings. She has scored 2004 runs at an average of 50.10 in 58 One-Day Internationals against England, including 20 fifties. Mithali has four 90+ scores in ODIs against the English squad.

On that topic, let’s take a look back at Mithali Raj’s best ODI performance against England.

Mithali Raj’s 98-run performance was in vain as England beat India by one run in the World Series of Women’s Cricket’s 12th match in 2003.

Mithali Raj in action

Lincoln All of the matches in the four-team World Series of Women’s Cricket in 2003 were played at New Zealand’s No 3 ground. The multi-team tournament featured India, Australia, England, and the hosts, New Zealand. After overcoming the Kiwis in the finals, Australia went on to win the trophy.

The English team, captained by Clare Connor, met India in the 12th game of the series at Lincoln. Anjum Chopra, the Indian captain, won the toss and requested the opponents to bat first.

England got off to a good start with openers Sarah Collyer (33) and Kathryn Leng (22) putting on 66 runs for the first wicket in 18 overs. On that foundation, Charlotte Edwards (79*) and Arran Brindle (38*) built England’s innings to 208/4 in 50 overs. Indian bowlers bowled tight lines and were cost-effective. Neetu David (1/20) was the best Indian bowler on the day, conceding only 20 runs in her 10-over quota, including four maidens.

In response, India continued to lose wickets at regular intervals, but Mithali Raj (98 in 126 balls) kept one end alive and offered India a chance to win the match. She had useful partnerships with Anjum Chopra (26) and Hemlata Kala (38), but none of them were able to convert their early beginnings into significant scores.

Mithali Raj virtually single-handedly led her side to victory, as the squad only required 8 runs from 14 balls to win in the end. Unfortunately, the talismanic batter was hit by the next pitch. She had no choice but to leave frustrated, stranded on 98 and having missed the opportunity to see the quest for India come to an end.

The next three wickets fell to England, and India was bowled out for 207 in 50 overs. In the death overs, Clare Connor (2/39) and Sarah Collyer (2/35) shone with the ball, preventing India from pursuing the score.

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