India skipper Mithali Raj was all praise for her team’s performance after their stunning 186-run victory over New Zealand in their final league match of the ongoing ICC Women’s World Cup on Saturday.
Raj said the team’s aim from the get-go was to reach the semi-finals. The skipper was thrilled at the team’s fighting spirit, considering the win followed two back to back defeats.
“I’m extremely happy because for a couple of us, this is going to be the last World Cup,” Raj said. “The girls realised it was a must-win game for us to qualify for the semis, she added.”
“If you’re aiming to be in the top four teams in the world, it is very important that you come back strong after a couple of defeats. It was important for the girls to come back strong, all firing.”
“In the earlier editions, we’ve seen one bad day and then we’ve never made a comeback into the tournament. I’m extremely happy that the girls made a comeback. I think this is a new India team,” Raj said.
It was Raj, who once again led from the front. She notched up another century (109) to hand India a solid base.
“I have always been happy to score runs for the country. I’ve always dreamed of getting more and more runs because the hunger never dies,” said Raj who completed 6000 ODI runs in the previous match.
Raj was part of two century-run stands and helped India post a competitive total of 265/7. Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur (60) added 132 runs for the second wicket and later put up 108 runs in just 78 balls stand along with Veda Krishamurthy (70) for the fifth.
In their chase, New Zealand were never really in the contest as Rajeshwari Gayakwad picked up a five-wicket haul in what was here first game of the tournament.
India will face Australia in the semifinals.