Mithali Raj scores a fighting knock of 72 for India RED, Twitterati laud her lone battle

Mithali Raj missed out on a century as she went for a slog to increase the scoring rate of India Red in the first innings

The first match of Challenger Trophy 2018 between India Red and India Blue saw a gritty knock from skipper Mithali Raj. It was a typical Mithali Raj innings which saw her pace initially and then tried to attack the bowlers towards the end. Mithali scored 72 runs from 92 balls with the help of 8 fours at a strike rate of 78.76.

She came to bat in the 12th over after Priya Punia’s wicket. As Mithali tried to pick up singles and rebuild the innings, she kept losing partners from the other end. Opener Deepti Sharma departed early on, followed by single digit scores from BS Fulmali and Neha Tanwar.

Mithali could not rake in a good strike as India Blue skipper Smriti Mandhana brought as many as eight fielders inside the circle to halt the easy singles. The 35-year-old shared a decent 61-run partnership for the fifth wicket with wicketkeeper-batswoman Sushma Verma, who scored 30 runs from 54 balls with the help of 5 boundaries.

After Sushma’s wicket, Mithali was under extra pressure to increase the frequency of runs. Mithali went for a big shot dancing down the wicket but was deceived by the length of the ball from left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad. She got out in the 42nd over and missed out on a century in the opening match of the series.

Here’s how Twitterati reacted to Mithali’s knock –

Among these was a complaint as well. The match is streamed on HotStar and not telecasted on Star Sports.

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The India Red innings could not pick up after Mithali’s wicket as they struggled to take singles, let alone score boundaries. A few runouts added to the pressure and as a result, they were bundled out for 199 in the first innings with 1 ball to spare.