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Sunday, July 4, 2021

India wins at Worcester .... Mithali Raj on top !

A Nation collapsing would have serious repercussions in International arena but this was on a Cricket field !

At Worcester, Indians salvaged some pride winning the 3rd ODI.    The scorecard reads : India Women 220 for 6 (Mithali Raj 75*, Mandhana 49, Ecclestone 2-36) beat England Women 219 (Sciver 49, Knight 46, Deepti 3-47) by four wickets.  India clinched a four-wicket win in the final over of the rain-curtailed third ODI of the multi-format series against England in Worcester courtesy Mithali Raj's unbeaten 75, Smriti Mandhana's 49 and Sneh Rana's cameo, after Deepti Sharma's three-for helped bowl the hosts out for 219. Needing six of the final over, Mithali  hit the winning four after she and No. 8 Jhulan Goswami scored two off the first two deliveries. Piercing the off side with a square drive off Katherine Brunt, Raj helped overhaul the 220 target with three balls to spare, becoming the most successful captain in women's ODIs with an 84th win in the format leading the side.

Elsewhere, a strange incident happened during the second T20I between West Indies Women’s team and Pakistan women’s team, as the hosts’ two cricketers Chinelle Henry and Chedean Nation suddenly fell on the ground while fielding in Antigua and after that, they were immediately taken to the hospital. Henry and Nation fell on the ground in separate incidents on Friday (June 2) almost 10 minutes apart from each other while fielding in the second T20I against Pakistan at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua and both cricketers had to be stretchered off the field.

Chedean Natasha Nation, born in 1986 is a batswoman.  In 2016 - West Indies women have recalled Jamaican Chedean Nation after a gap of nearly seven years, for the ODIs and T20s in India.  West Indies also recalled wicketkeeper-batsman Kycia Knight and medium-pacer Shakera Selman, both of whom were dropped for the home series against England. Nation, 29 at that time had  last played international cricket in November 2009, against England at home, in both ODIs and T20Is.  

Both the incidents took place during Pakistan's chase, which was also beset by weather interruptions. "Chinelle Henry and Chedean Nation were taken to hospital for medical attention," CWI said in a statement. "Both Henry and Nation are conscious and stable at hospital and are being assessed." West Indies Women brought on two substitutes and the game continued, with the home side eventually declared winners by seven runs on Duckworth-Lewis-Stern after another interruption. "It isn't very easy in those conditions and situations. I'm just happy that the team was able to go over the line for those two ladies who weren't with us, and we're just waiting on all the information that we can get," Courtney Walsh, the West Indies head coach, said. "They have our full support and we'll be riding with them as well."    

Mithali Raj has identified Sneh Rana as a key allrounder for India's future after Rana completed a memorable comeback to the longer formats with a stunning Test debut last month and impressive returns in India's thrilling win in the third ODI on Saturday. Rana's cameo of 24 from 22 balls at No. 7 in Worcester was pivotal to her 50-run sixth-wicket stand with Raj as the duo helped India seal a four-wicket win in the final match of the three-game ODI leg of the multi-format series. Earlier in the day, Rana had also made an imprint with the ball, returning figures of 7-0-31-1, having opener Lauren Winfield-Hill caught for 36 to break a 67-run second-wicket partnership. She had picked up 1 for 43 in the second ODI.

Mithali Raj, the India Test and ODI captain, surpassed former England captain Charlotte Edwards as the leading run-scorer in women's international cricket on Saturday 3rd July 2021. Raj, 38, bettered Edwards' tally of 10,273 in the 24th over of the Indian innings in the third ODI in Worcester. She reached the milestone with a four down the ground off quick bowler Nat Sciver. New Zealand's Suzie Bates is third on the list with 7849 runs.  Raj and Edwards are the only players to scale the 10,000-run mark in women's international cricket.

7304 Runs aggregated by Raj in ODI cricket. No other player has managed to breach the 6,000-run milestone in women's ODIs. Raj is the only player with a batting average over 50 among the top ten run-getters in the format. On July 12, 2017, during the league stage of the 11th edition of the ODI World Cup, Raj went past Edwards to become the highest run-getter in women's ODIs. In the same match, against Australia, she became the first batter to cross 6000 runs in the format.  Raj quit T20I cricket in September 2019, and is placed at No. 7 on the list of the leading run-scorers, with 2364 runs at an average of 37.52 and strike rate of of 96.33. Harmanpreet Kaur, who succeeded Raj to T20I captaincy, is the only other Indian in the top ten of that chart.

In Tests, her 669 runs from 11 matches at an average of 44.60 are the fourth-most among India Women players and highest among Indians still active in the women's international cricket. Raj, completed 22 years as an India cricketer last month.  

Hearty congratulations to Mithali Raj !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
4th July 2021. 

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