As the Indian women’s team was playing in the 2nd ODI of their three-match series against New Zealand on January 29, India’s one-day international captain Mithali Raj added another feather to her cap as she became the first woman to play 200 matches in the format.

India clinched a 2-0 series lead and veteran Mithali Raj set a new record, edging past MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli on the chart for best ODI average in successful run-chases

The women in blue bowled out NZ for a paltry 161 in 44.2 overs. The Kiwi captain, Amy Satterthwaite, top scored with 71 runs while Jhulan Goswami finished with 3/23, wrapping up a brilliant bowling performance. Even though India lost opener Jemimah Rodrigues in the game early, the dynamic duo of Smriti Mandhana and Mithali Raj hit an unbeaten 151-run partnership to give India an overwhelming 2-0 lead in the series.

While Mandhana scored 90 off just 83 balls, Mithali played the role of an experienced player with 63 off 111 balls. Her unbeaten knock took her average in successful run-chases up to a 111.29 in ODIs.

A third win against New Zealand in the final ODI on February 1 would mean a 3-0 series clinch. This will further power the Indian team which is looking forward to the three-match T20I series against New Zealand from February 6.

READ: Mithali Raj To Write Her Memoir

Key Points:

  • Mithali now holds the record for the highest average – men or women — in successful run-chases across in ODI cricket (Dhoni’s average in successful run-chases went up to 103.07 going past Virat Kohli who boasts of an average of 97.98).
  • She is also the first Indian woman to play 200 ODI matches.
  • She already held the record for being the most capped woman in one-day internationals. She earned her 192nd cap to beat the record of Charlotte Edward’s, former England captain,when she led India out to play England in the first match of their ICC Women’s Championship ODI series in April last year.
  • She is the leading run-scorer in ODIs. Currently, she has 6622 runs against her name.
  • She has led a country in ODIs most number of times: 123* (Charlotte Edwards second at 117).
  • Raj has the highest batting average among players with 100-plus appearances; second highest among players with 50-plus appearances behind only Australia’s Meg Lanning.
  • With seven centuries and 52 half centuries, Raj also holds the record for most 50-plus scores in ODIs (59).
  • Raj records highest score by an Indian woman in T20s.
  • The 35-year-old right-handed batswoman became the first Indian cricketer to score 2000 runs in Twenty20 Internationals (T20I)

Mithali Raj is a powerful sporting icon who has become a household name, particularly after the team’s performance during 2017 Women’s World Cup in England.

She has been the backbone of Indian women’s cricket, and has led the team to two World Cup finals.

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