India Women captain Mithali Raj on Tuesday completed 20,000 career runs as she hit her fifth consecutive half-century in the first ODI against Australia in Macay on Tuesday. Mithali had earlier scored 75*, 59 and 72 against England while a 79* came against South Africa in her last four innings.
India lost the toss and were put in to bat first by Australia skipper Meg Lanning in the first ODI in Mackay. Openers Shafali Verma (8) and Smriti Mandhana (16) departed cheaply, both falling to Darcia Brown in the fourth and sixth over respectively. Coming into bat at 38/2, Mithali Raj scored 63 runs off 107 balls with three fours. She also stitched a 77-run partnership with Yastika Bhatia for the third wicket.
Overall, this was Mithali’s 59th half-century. Notably, 38-year-old is the all-time highest run-scorer in Women's ODI.
The other notable contributions came from debutants, Yastika Bhatia and wicketkeeper-batter Richa Ghosh. While Bhatia scored 35 runs off 51 balls, Ghosh helped India post 225/8 with her 29-ball 32. Veteran Jhulan Goswami chipped in with 20 runs off 24 balls.
India would not have crossed the 220-run mark if it wasn't for the eight-wicket stand of 45 runs between senior pacer Jhulan Goswami and Richa Ghosh. Ghosh was picked ahead of Taniya Bhatia to add the much-needed firepower to the batting line-up. Senior batter Harmanpreet Kaur did not play the game due to a thumb injury.
Pacer Darcie Brown (4/33) picked up four wickets for Australia while debutant Hannah Darlington (2/29) and Sophie Molineux (2/39) took two wickets each.