India skipper Mithali Raj scored her sixth ODI century to steer her side into the semi-finals of the Women’s World Cup at New Zealand’s expense.
Raj – who topped former England skipper Charlotte Edwards as the leading run scorer in Women’s ODIs while making 69 against Australia on Wednesday – guided India to 265-7 in their winner-takes-all encounter with the White Ferns, in Derby, before New Zealand were bundled out for 79 to lose by 186 runs.
Raj (109) shared century stands with Veda Krishnamurthy (70) and Harmanpreet Kaur (70) and fell just five runs short of her career-best ODI total, the 114 not out she posted on debut against Ireland in Milton Keynes in 1999.
The 34-year-old’s exit in the final over, holing out to deep midwicket off the bowling of Leigh Kasperek (3-45), ensured she was dismissed for the first time in the hundreds in ODIs, having remained not out the previous five times she had passed three figures.
New Zealand’s reply started terribly with captain Suzie Bates (1) and opening partner Rachel Priest (5) dismissed in the first three overs and their innings lasted just 25.3 overs – slow left-armer Rajeshwari Gayakwad taking 5-15 from her 7.3 overs.
Amy Satterthwaite (26), Katey Martin (12) and Amelia Kerr (12no) were the only New Zealanders to reach double figures as the World Cup champions from 2000 suffered their earliest exit in the competition.