Ton-up Mithali Raj says 'hunger never dies' after India reach semi-finals

Mithali Raj’s classy 109 – her first century in more than three years and also the first-ever against a top-three nation – was a perfect lesson on batting

Ton-up Mithali Raj says 'hunger never dies' after India reach semi-finals

In the end, New Zealand were bowled out for a meager 79, handing India a 186-run victory. Gayakwad returned career-best haul of 5 for 15, also the best bowling figures of this World Cup, to vindicate the captain's call for change at the expense of in-form Ekta Bisht. The Indian team now has two world record-holders with pacer Jhulan Goswami being the leading wicket-taker.

New Zealand Women - Suzie Bates (c), Rachel Priest (w), Amy Satterthwaite, Katey Martin, Sophie Devine, Katie Perkins, Maddy Green, Amelia Kerr, Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu, Leigh Kasperek. Mithali had gone past Englishwoman Charlotte Edwards' record of 5992 runs and also became the first woman cricketer to touch the 6000-run mark.

After losing the toss, Mithali led the batting from the front, with her sixth ODI century, supported by Veda Krishnamurthy and Harmanpreet Kaur. A loss against White Ferns will shatter India's semi-final hopes at the ICC Women's World Cup 2017.

With so much riding on the match, it will be a test of India's character, one where they will have to show the fight they have been lacking in the last two games.

Her own dismissal off the seventh ball started a slide which they couldn't stop. She held the Indian innings together after Smriti Mandhana (13) and Punam Raut (four) had fallen early.

CoA chairman Vinod Rai said, "I want to extend my heartiest congratulations to Team India's on staging a remarkable comeback in the ICC World Cup". Another big stage and the batters let New Zealand down. We are sure that you all are going to love this because nobody expected that Indian women team is going to enter on semi final of this world cup. The spin trio of Gayakwad, Deepti and Poonam Yadav shared the remaining eight wickets between themselves, and rather quickly, to wrap up New Zealand for a measly total.

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