Smriti Mandhana, who needed 39 runs to reach 2500 ODI runs ahead of the World Cup opener against Pakistan, reached the landmark during her 52-run knock at the Bay Oval on Sunday. The opener hit three boundaries and one maximum before getting dismissed caught and bowled by Anam Amin.
India were 169-6 after 40 overs with Sneh Rana and Pooja Vastrakar batting at 18 and 34 respectively.
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Stepping on the field against arch-rivals Pakistan on Sunday, India captain Mithali Raj became the first woman and the second Indian cricketer after Sachin Tendulkar to play six World Cups. The 39-year-old made her maiden World Cup appearance in 2000. She then featured in the 2005, 2009, 2013 and 2017 editions of the marquee tournament before travelling to New Zealand this year.
Raj surpassed former New Zealand cricketer Debbie Hockley and Charlotte Edwards of England, who have featured in five World Cups. India’s lead pacer Jhulan Goswami has also made five World Cup tournament appearances.
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Mithali Raj joined India batting legend Sachin Tendulkar in the elite list. He is the only other Indian to feature in as many World Cup matches. The former batsman played in 1992, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2011 men’s ODI World Cup. Overall, three cricketers have achieved this feat with Pakistan great Javed Miandad being the other.
Raj won the toss and chose to bat first.
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“It’s a good wicket to bat. put up a big total and put pressure on them. We’re going with three seamers and three spinners. We want to go into the tournament with a clean slate, take some momentum from the last game which we won against New Zealand. The hunger to do well in World Cups has kept me going,” she said.
“We wanted to bowl first, we now need to restrict them. We are going into the match with five bowlers. We have had a good warm-up, so we need to continue playing like that. I’m blessed to be back doing what I love, and getting some real support from the entire team,” Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof said at the toss.