Mithali pleased with India’s resilience

The Indian captain called her team ‘new India’ after it bucked the trend to defeat New Zealand in the must-win Women’s World Cup game on Saturday.

Mithali Raj scored 109 to lead India to a solid total against New Zealand.   -  PTI


A ‘new India team’ is how skipper Mithali Raj described her side after it coped admirably with the high-pressure environment of a do-or-die match against New Zealand to reach the semifinals of the ICC Women’s World Cup.

India outplayed New Zealand on Saturday, posting an imposing total of 265 for 7 before ripping through the opponent line-up for a 186-run triumph. In a match where the loser knew it would be going home, India got important contributions across the board.

Captain Mithali scored her sixth One-Day International (ODI) century, but just as vital were contributions from Harmanpreet Kaur (60) and Veda Krishnamurthy (70).

Report: India seals semifinal berth with 186-run win

Left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad, replacing Ekta Bisht to play her first game of the competition, then took five for 15 to skittle New Zealand for 79, leaving the captain ecstatic at the way it bounced back from the eight-wicket loss to Australia in the previous round of matches. “The girls realised it was a must-win game for us to qualify for the semis,” said Mithali, whose team plays Australia on Thursday.

“We came back to the ground where we’ve played four games, so we know how the wicket and the outfield plays. The girls wanted to do well [on Saturday], give their best and they knew it was one game that could get us into the semis. I’m extremely happy that the girls made a comeback. I think this is a new India team. In the earlier editions, we’ve seen one bad day and then we’ve never made a comeback into the tournament. This is a very good win for the girls and it will give them a real boost and a lot of confidence,” she said.

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