Mithali Raj @200: Five Best ODI knocks of the Legend
February 1st, 2019 will go on to be remembered as a day of great importance for India's very own legend, Mithali Raj. The third and final ODI of the series against New Zealand, will be her 200th game in the format, and at 19 years and 219 days of her cricketing career, it is a line which no other woman has ever crossed, till date.
The stalwart of international women's cricket has successfully managed to carve her own niche in the minds of a million fans, that too in a cricket-crazy country where her male counterparts share the status of being no less to Gods themselves. Apart from the longevity of her career, another factor that makes her a fan-favourite is her terrific batting skills, with Mithali also being the top-scorer in women's ODI cricket right now. The 6613 runs she has scored, includes 7 hundreds and a marvellous 52 fifties.
On this important occasion, let us take a look at some of her best ODI knocks, in chronological order.
#1 114* v Ireland Women (1999)
In the only ODI of the series, held at Milton Keynes on 26th June 1999, Mithali made her debut aged just 16 years and 205 days. Her talent and skill required not much time to unfurl, as she went on to open the innings, eventually becoming the youngest female cricketer to make a century.
Raj and Reshma Gandhi (104*) - another debutant, added 258 for the first wicket, and the partnership was unbeaten. The duo carried their bats at the end of 50 overs too. In reply, Ireland batted through the whole of 50 overs to score just 97 for the loss of 9 wickets, giving the visitors a sensational victory.
Raj's and Gandhi's 258-run stand was a national record for a long time. To this date, it also remains the 3rd best opening-wicket partnership of all time.
Fun fact: Mithali Raj while playing the game, did not realise then that the game would count as her debut. The team too thought that they were playing an unofficial game - it being an only ODI game after a Test series in England - and it was only later that they found out otherwise.