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General News Mithali Raj breaks record for most runs in Women ODIs
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Mithali Raj, the bedrock of India's batting line-up, broke the record for most runs in Women One-Day Internationals during the World Cup game against Australia, surpassing England's Charlotte Edwards (5992), on Wednesday (July 12). Raj reached the glittering landmark when she punched an Ellyse Perry delivery to sweeper cover for a single in the 29th over. The veteran batter also became the first player in Women's cricket to compile 6,000 ODI runs when she nudged one around the corner off Kristen Beams in the very next over.

Raj, who made her international debut at the age of just 17, against Ireland in 1999, immediately made an impact by scoring a hundred in her first game in national colours. Despite being one of the brightest prospects in the Indian ranks, she couldn't make her mark in the Women's World Cup in 2000-01 as she was hit by a bout of typhoid.

The elegant batter's ability to notch up big scores then came to the fore when she crunched an unbeaten 214 against England in Taunton in August 2002. During the course of her memorable innings, she also broke the record for the highest individual score in Women's Test cricket. Since then, Kiran Baluch (242 against Windies) of Pakistan has surpassed her achievement.

By 2004, Raj had become the fulcrum of the batting line-up and she showed her class and quality by amassing 199 runs at an average of close to 50 in the Women's World Cup 2004-05. The highlight of her campaign was the unbeaten 91 she accumulated against New Zealand in the semi-final. During India's next World Cup campaign in Australia in 2008-09, she shored up the line-up time and again, compiling 247 runs at an impressive average of 61.75.

It was a tournament where England proved to be too strong for others and hoisted the trophy. However, even against the formidable England line-up consisting Katherine Brunt and Isa Guha, she composed a redoubtable fifty. When India toured England in 2012, she was at the forefront of the visitors' creditable show, scoring 251 runs at an average of 83.66. In the first ODI played played at the hallowed turf of Lord's, Raj held India's innings together and piloted the visitors past England's total of 229 with a stellar hand of 94 not out.

Before the commencement of 2013 Women's World Cup in India, Raj was ranked the No.1 batter in the ICC rankings. However, under her leadership, the hosts crashed out of the tournament in the group phase.

Two years later, when India played their first ever Test in eight years (against England), Raj shone brightly by crunching a half-century to guide the tourists to their maiden victory against England in Women Tests. In the ongoing Women's World Cup held in England, the India captain has again been in fine touch, notching up three fifties.

In the domestic circuit, she plays for Railways. In 2015, Raj was awarded with the fourth highest civilian award in India - the Padma Shri. She is also a trained Bharatanatyam dancer.

As an eight-year-old, Raj reportedly loved to sleep. In an attempt to inculcate good habits, Dorai Raj, her father, is believed to have taken her to a coaching clinic in Secunderabad. The coach of the academy - Jyothi Prasad - noted her potential and from the maidans of Secunderabad emerged India's greatest female batter.

Source:
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Airtel Digital HD Recorder / Kerala Vision Digital TV
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