• Hunger for scoring runs never dies, says Mithali Raj

    She lauded the efforts of Kaur and Krishnamurthy and heaped praise on the bowlers.

    Mithali Raj of India
    Mithali Raj of India. (Photo by Dave Thompson-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

    The Indian Women’s team delivered a top drawer performance against New Zealand in the do-or-die clash earlier yesterday to qualify for the semi-finals. With England, Australia and South Africa already having qualified for the semis, the group stage match was practically a quarter-final.

    After being put into bat first, the Indians responded brilliantly to put up a competitive total of 265 on the board. Leading the charge was captain Mithali Raj, who scored her sixth ODI century. Harmanpreet Kaur and Veda Krishnamurthy also gave her able support as both completed their respective half-centuries.

    With the ball, as well, the Indian eves were clinical. Rajeshwari Gayakwad, who was playing her first match of the tournament, justified her inclusion over Ekta Bisht by picking up five wickets. Deepti Sharma, Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey were all impressive as the White Ferns were bundled out for a meagre 79, their lowest ever total in a World Cup game.

    The Indian team will now face the mighty Australians in the semi-finals at Derby on Thursday.

    Mithali ecstatic after the victory

    Speaking after the match, an elated Indian skipper reflected on the victory. “I’m extremely happy because, for a couple of us, this is going to be the last World Cup. So, our first aim was to qualify for the semis. I have always been happy to score runs for the country. I’ve always dreamed getting more and more runs because the hunger never dies,” she said

    The 35-year-old also lauded the efforts of Kaur and Krishnamurthy and heaped praise on the bowlers. “I think the bowlers did a great job. If you’re aiming to be in the top 4 teams in the world, it is very important that you come back strong after a couple of defeats. It was important for the girls to come back strong, all firing,” Raj added.