Guwahati: India’s ODI skipper Mithali Raj on Saturday broke the record for most matches captained in the ICC Women’s World Cup, surpassing former Australian counterpart Belinda Clark.
Mithali, 39, led the country in 24 World Cup games, claiming 14 victories, 8 losses and one no result. Clark had captained her side in 23 matches.
The India skipper achieved the feat when she stepped out to lead the country against the West Indies in a crucial match in the ongoing showpiece event here.
Interestingly, Mithali and Clark are the only two cricketers to have led their country at more than two World Cups.
Last Sunday, Mithali became only the third cricketer and the first woman to appear in six World Cups, joining the iconic Sachin Tendulkar and Pakistani great Javed Miandad.
Meanwhile, brilliant centuries from opener Smriti Mandhana and vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur powered India to their highest total in the history of the showpiece event, 317 for eight against the West Indies in a crucial match of the ICC Women’s ODI World Cup here on Saturday.
While Mandhana smashed her fifth ODI hundred, a sensational 119 off 123 balls studded with 13 fours and two sixes, Kaur had 10 hits to the fence and two maximums in her 107-ball 109, which was her fourth ton and the first since hitting 171 not out against Australia in the 2017 World Cup.
The duo forged a 184-run partnership for the fourth wicket to take India across the 200-mark after skipper Mithali Raj won the toss and elected to bat. This was also India’s highest partnership for any wicket at the Women’s World Cup.
For WI, Anisa Mohammed was the most successful bowler, taking two for 59, while Hayley Matthews (1/65), Shakera Selman (1/41), Deandra Dottin (1/32) and Aaliyah Alleyne (1/26) also accounted for one wicket each.
Yastika Bhatia scored a quick 31 off 21 balls as India were off to a good start, putting on 49 runs for the opening stand in 6.3 overs but once she departed, Mithali Raj (5) and Deepti Sharma (15) also followed suit, leaving India tottering at 78 for three.
But then Mandhana and Kaur joined hands and steadied the innings as India scored 100 runs in 20 overs, before crossing the 200-mark in 35.4 overs.
India: 317 for 8 in 50 overs (Smriti Mandhana 123, Harmanpreet Kaur 109; Anisa Mohammed 2/59).