Mithali Raj Backs Tail-enders Despite Low Score
By CricShots - Feb 6, 2018 7:23 am
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Similar to the India’s men’s team, India’s women’s team under the leadership of Mithali Raj they outplayed the South Africa women’s team in their tour opener by winning the first ODI by 88 runs.

Mithali Raj

Smriti Mandhana’s 84 and Mithali (45) laid the platform at Diamond Oval, Kimberley with their 99-run stand. The left-right combination became difficult to handle for the South African, but they posted a comeback to restrict India for 213 for 7. Nonetheless, Mithali stated that 200-plus total was sufficient to register a win on a slow wicket. Team India was reduced from 154 for 1 to 168 for 5, and later managing just above 200.

Talking about the low score, Raj said, “I think we do have our game plan in place for South Africa bowlers. A left-right combination always works, whether you’re batting. It troubles you with the fieldset and the bowlers’ rhythm when you have a left-right combination. And it was important for us not to lose another wicket after the loss of Punam Raut (19) because we had to again build a base where the next batters who come in can take the momentum.”

She further added, “Though we lost two wickets in the powerplay and we couldn’t put up the total that we were expecting with the kind of start we got, I still think the 200-plus on this wicket was good enough for our bowlers to come back and pick wickets.”

Also read: Sachin Tendulkar's interaction with Indian women's team

Jhulan Goswami, Poonam Yadav, and Shikha Pandey ran through the South African batters. As the hosts were never in the hunt and collapsed to 125 in 42.3 overs. Jhulan, with 4 for 24, currently has 199 ODI wickets, and would become the first woman cricketer to claim 200 scalps.

Though India once again failed to register a good total with their finishers, Mithali backed her tail-enders to hang in there and push the total above 200. She said, “We definitely were aiming around 230 to 250, but [after] losing those back-to-back wickets, we had two new batters during the powerplay. Very rarely batters can take that momentum in the powerplay. Usually, when you have two new batters at the crease, it gets a little difficult. They’ve to start afresh, build a partnership. But we were almost into the 40th over by then, and we lost two batters in the form of run outs. Overall, in the end, even the tail has contributed quick runs in the last five overs to get us to that total.”

Courtesy a thumping win, India also earned two vital points towards ICC Women’s Championship.