India women team captain Mithali Raj continued with her purple patch on Tuesday when she scored her fifth consecutive fifty in ODIs as she scored a 107-ball 61 against Australia women in the first of the three-match series in Mackay. Earlier in her last four international innings, the 38-year-old batter scored 75*, 59 and 72 against England while a 79* came against South Africa.
Her effort set the tone for India in the match as the Women in Blue posted 225/8 at the end of 50 overs with Richa Ghosh (32* off 29) and Jhulan Goswami (20 off 24) added valuable runs down the order after Mithali fell in the 38th over with 155 runs on the board.
It was also a double milestone day for Mithali as she also reached 20000 career runs (international and domestic cricket) before scoring her half-century in 94 deliveries.
Batting at No. 4, Mithali had to come to bat as early as the sixth over after openers Shafali Verma (8 off 10) Smriti Mandhana (16 off 18) departed cheaply.
The most experienced member of the team then had a crucial third-wicket stand of 77 runs with Yastika Bhatia (35 off 51) to help India go past the 100-run mark. However, once Yastika was dismissed by Darcie Brown, who also took the previous two wickets, in the 27th over, the lower middle-order couldn't consolidate on the innings revival with Deepti Sharma (9 off 19), Pooja Vastrakar (17 off 29) and Mithali fell in regular intervals, leaving Richa and Goswami do all the scoring in the slog overs.