It's been an incredible time scoring each and every run, says record-breaking Mithali Raj
India women's team captain Mithali Raj on Wednesday created a world record by becoming the first player to cross 6,000 runs in the history of women's ODI cricket. Mithali surpassed former England captain Charlotte Edwards's record of 5,992 runs during the ICC World Cup match against Australia in Bristol.
The 6000-run milestone was achieved with a huge six off leg-break bowler Kirsten Beams as she received a standing ovation from the Indian bench. She was finally out for a sedate 69 off 114 balls. Mithali now has 6028 runs from 183 games.
Set to turn 35, Mithali achieved the landmark in her 183rd game. She is by far the greatest ever woman cricketer to have emerged from India. The Indian team now have two current world record holders with pacer Jhulan Goswami being the leading wicket-taker in 50-over cricket.
Mithali took to Twitter to express her joy.
Into her 15th year in international cricket, Mithali has been an inspiration for a generation of women cricketers, who have taken up the game solely inspired by her heady achievements. The Hyderabad girl and Goswami are the only two surviving players in the squad of 15, who have made their debut before the 2003 World Cup.
Mithali first shot into prominence when she scored 214 -- still the highest score by an Indian in women's Test match against England at Taunton back in 2002. In terms of achievements, Mithali is miles ahead of past greats such as Diana Edulji, Shanta Rangaswami and Anjum Chopra.
However, Mithali's incredible feat could not prevent the Indian women's team from suffering a huge loss against Australia. India's semifinal hopes suffered a major jolt after Australia notched up a comfortable eight- wicket win, riding on a superb show by their top-order batswomen.
Put into bat, opener Punam Raut's fighting century and a 69 from Mithali enabled India to post a decent 226 for seven in their sixth group league encounter. However, Australia overhauled the target with 29 balls to spare, scoring 227 for two, courtesy some fantastic batting display by skipper Meg Lanning (76 not out) and Ellyse Perry (60 not out).
Speaking after the match, Mithali said she was not happy with her record as her team ended up on the losing side.
"Since I have had a long career it is a part of it, I have not considered breaking the record. I am not very happy with the record as we did not win today," she said.
After this loss, India are now placed at the fourth spot with eight points. Mithali's team will have to win its next and final league match against New Zealand to make the knockout stage.