Mithali Raj recently made her 6th ODI century in Women's World Cup match against New Zealand. Let's know more about all of her ODI centuries made over a period of 18 years of her glorious career.
● ODI match number - 1 ( ODI debut )
● Opponent team - Ireland
● Venue - Campbell Park, Milton Keynes, England
● Year - 1999
● Records - Highest score by an Indian on debut, Youngest to score century in Women's ODI, Raj’s personal highest score as a player
India Women played only one ODI series with Ireland Women in England on 26th June 1999. The young Mithali Raj made her debut in this match.
Representing her country for the first time on an international platform, 17 years old Raj opened with Reshma Gandhi, as India batted first. Least would have anybody thought that both of them would bat the entire 50 overs of Indian innings. Raj struck her ODI career’s 1st century and remained not out along with Gandhi.
Result - Relying on two brilliant centuries by its openers, India won to win that game by 161 runs
● ODI match number - 66
● Opponent team - Sri Lanka
● Venue - National Stadium, Karachi, Pakistan
● Year - 2006
It was the occasion of Women's Asia Cup Final on 4th January 2006, India Vs Sri Lanka. India batted first and Mithali Raj was the captain of Indian team.
She opened up India’s innings with Jaya Sharma and added 94 runs before the fall of 1st wicket. Then, did a 100plus partnership with Anjum Chopra before the later got run out.
Raj went on unbeaten at the end of 50 overs with 108 runs off 121 balls including 7 fours in her innings.
Result - Skipper Raj with her sparkling century led India Women to win that edition of Asia Cup by an overwhelming 97 runs
● ODI match number - 114
● Opponent team - West Indies
● Venue - MSC Ground, Rajkot, India
● Year - 2011
Once again, India was batting first and Mithali Raj came to bat at No 3. Along with half centurion Poonam Raut, Raj put up another 100 plus runs partnership as India made 216/4 in 50 overs.
During her innings, Mithali played a brisk knock of 109 runs off just 106 balls with the help of twelve 4s in it.
Result - India managed to win a thriller by 10 runs
● ODI match number - 145
● Opponent team - Pakistan
● Venue - Barabati Stadium, Cuttack, India
● Year - 2013
That was 7th place playoff between India Women and Pakistan Women. Mithali Raj's unbeaten 103 runs helped India to chase the highest total on Barabati in that tournament.
At one time, India was reduced to 108/4 but once India crossed 150 mark, Raj raced up to complete her century and eventually reached the team’s target.
Result - What had been the worst World Cup outing for India Women, India finished it's campaign with a compensatory win over Pakistan Women by 6 wickets.
● ODI match number - 148
● Opponent team - Sri Lanka
● Venue - Visakhapatnam, India
● Year - 2014
Sri Lanka Women visited India to play 3 match ODI series in January 2014. India had already won two matches. In the 3rd match, India made 229/5 batting first in 50 overs. Indian captain Mithali Raj scored her 5th century with an unbeaten 104 runs. In her 109 balls innings, Raj hit two 6s and eight 4s. This when, people started comparing her with Virat Kohli.
Result - Riding on skippers hundred, India clean sweeped the series by 3-0.
● ODI match number - 184
● Opponent team - New Zealand
● Venue - County Ground, Derby, England
● Year - 2017
The most recent and much needed century by Mithali Raj came on 15th July 2017 when India Women were playing a virtual quarter final match against New Zealand.
Being targeted for her low strike rate in 2017 edition of Women's World Cup, Raj clicked in just when it was required the most. Played her best under pressure and made 109 runs off 129 balls before getting out in last over of Indian innings.
Result - India beat NZ by 186 runs to enter semi finals of ICC Women's World Cup 2017
In conclusion, it can be said, that even after 18 years of her career, Mithali Raj has the same thrust and same energy to score runs and win matches for India.
We would surely like her to hit another century in her next match, as her past record shows, India wins whenever she reaches the 100 run mark.