On This Day In 1999: A 16-Year-Old Mithali Raj Becomes The Catalyst For Women's Cricket

On This Day In 1999: A 16-Year-Old Mithali Raj Becomes The Catalyst For Women’s Cricket

Biopic, Mithali Raj, Taapse Pannu
Mithali Raj (Credits - BCCI)

If any match significantly propelled the women’s cricket or Indian women’s cricket, it was when as a teen, Mithali Raj clobbered a ton in 1999 on her ODI debut as a 16-year-old. The witness to the auspicious debuts of Mithali Raj and Reshma Gandhi was the Campbell Park in Milton Keynes in a victorious attempt by 161 runs. While Raj went on to have a highly successful career, Reshma featured in only one ODI thereafter.

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Electing to field first, Ireland could hardly see what was in store for them. In an entirely dominating inning by openers Mithali Raj and Reshma Gandhi, India amassed 258 in their stipulated 50 overs. Both the opening batters smashed unbeaten centuries. Reshma made 104 while Mithali mustered 114 with 40 runs accounting for extras.

Mithali Raj
Mithali Raj. (Credits: Getty)

Off-spinner Miriam Grealey was the most economical of the lot, having ended with figures of 10-0-38-0. Nevertheless, none of the bowlers could find a way to breach through the openers. In response, the Irish women finished with 97/9 in their allotted 50 overs. Clare Shillington top-scored with 21 while captain Miriam Grealey and Clare O’Leary were the only other two to reach double-figures in a dismal overall performance.

Mithali Raj is the highest run-getters in Women’s ODIs:

Mithali Raj, Annisha Gupta, Harmanpreet Kaur
Mithali Raj (Credits – AFP)

At present, the 37-year-old is the highest run-getter in women’s ODI cricket. In 209 fixtures, Raj boasts of 6888 runs at an average of 50.64 alongside seven centuries. Her best score of unbeaten 125 arrived against Sri Lanka in September 2018 in Katunayake.

In 10 Tests, she has 663 runs while 89 T20Is have produced 2364 of them. In the 2017 World Cup final against England at Lord’s, Mithali Raj went on to become the highest run-scorer in international 50-over cricket. Nevertheless, India went on to lose the match by a narrow margin of five runs.

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