Accolades poured in from all quarters for Indian women's cricket team with acting BCCI president C K Khanna hailing the performance of Mithali Raj and Co.as they entered the semifinals of the ICC World Cup today. At 7 for 2, Katey Martin (12) joined Amy Satterthwaite but the former was dismissed by spinner Deepti Sharma in her first over as New Zealand were reduced to 27/3 in 11th over. "I've always dreamed getting more and more runs because the hunger never dies", Mithali said at the post-match presentation ceremony. Mithali had gone past Englishwoman Charlotte Edwards' record of 5992 runs and also became the first woman cricketer to touch the 6000-run mark.
Indian captain Mithali Raj spearheaded her side's innings, making 109 while Harmanpreet Kaur and Veda Krishnamurthy pitched in with 60 and 70 respectively.
Victory for either team will see it through, while a tie or a washout would be enough for India to pip the White Ferns, as India is now one point better off. To turn the tide, India will have shrug off the defeats and approach the match with a clear head and an even clearer gameplan against the strong White Ferns. She held the Indian innings together after Smriti Mandhana (13) and Punam Raut (four) had fallen early.
A brilliant quick-fire 70 off just 45 balls from Krishnamurthy, studded with seven fours and two sixes, then took India past 260. New Zealand, on the other hand, made two changes - Hannah Rowe and Maddy Green come in for Holly Huddleston and Erin Bermingham. More than 18 years have passed since that unbeaten 114 against Ireland on her debut and the record stands rock solid, as does Mithali who remains India's most trusted batswoman. In the end, win or lose, it is this resilient fight that will make the difference to the team and women's cricket in India.
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