The Indian Women’s cricket team skipper Mithali Raj has successfully established herself as one of the greatest women batters of all time. Raj showed signs of brilliance early in her cricket career. The skipper played a historic knock of 214 runs in a Test match against England in 2002.
At that time, 214 was the highest individual score ever recorded in Women’s cricket. However, Pakistan’s Kiran Baluch leapfrogged Raj to name the record of the highest individual score by slamming 242 runs in 2004. What makes Raj’s innings of 214 runs more special and remarkable is the fact that she was only 19 years old at that time and was playing her third Test innings.
India Women and England Women were up against each other in the second Test match in Tauton when Raj achieved the illustrious feat. The iconic Test saw England Women batting first. The hosts were spectacular with the willow as they added 329 runs to the scoreboard. Laura Newton was the top scorer for her team with a knock of 98 runs.
For India, Neetu David was the pick of the bowler as she scalped four wickets. Neetu was aptly supported by Jhulan Goswami who took a three-wicket haul.In reply to England’s 329, India Women succumbed to a torrid start as they lost their opening batters Sunetra Paranjpe and Mamatha Maben at scores of 2 and 20, respectively. In the time of crisis, a 19-year-old Raj stepped in and single-handedly bailed her team out of the crunch situation.
She smashed 214 runs in 407 deliveries. Her knock was laced with 19 boundaries at a strike rate of 52.57. Raj’s scintillating batting performance gave India an upper hand and steered them towards a massive score of 467.
England declared their third innings at a score of 198 for six. However, the Test match ended in a draw as India didn’t get a chance to bat in the last innings.