Left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad grabbed her maiden fiver to wrap up New Zealand for 79 runs 


Nw Delhi,July17: Indian skipper Mithali Raj notched up yet another ravishing century before left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad grabbed her maiden fiver to wrap up New Zealand for mere 79 runs thereby taking India into the semi-final round of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017, on Saturday.

It all seemed to be going the Kiwi way after skipper Suzie Bates rightfully opted to bowl first under the overcast sky. The bowlers were doing a good job keeping the two batswomen quite. The pacers sent back the two openers Punam Raut (4) and Smriti Mandhana (13) well within ten overs thereby adding to the concern of the Indian team.

Skipper Mithali Raj stepped in next with the task to rebuild Indian hope. She wove two century stands along side Harmanpreet Kaur (60) and then Veda Krishnamurthy (70) to fire up India’s total to 265 runs. Mithali Raj (109) herself notched up her sixth ODI century and also became the first Indian cricketer to amass 1000 runs in Women’s World Cup.

Despite the above-par total put forth by the Indian eves, it took a stellar bowling performance to wrap up the White Ferns and register a massive 186-run victory in what was termed as the virtual quarter-final. The experienced Ekta Bisht was rested to bring in young Rajeshwari Gayakwad into the playing XI and she rightfully filled in the space to bag her maiden fi-fer.

Her first wicket came when she spun the ball past Amy Satterthwaite to outfox the Kiwi batswoman in the 18th over. Few overs later, she dismissed in-form Sophie Devine for just 7 runs and then Hannah Rowe (4) to reduce the White Ferns to 62/7 in 21.5 overs.

She continued troubling the New Zealand side finally removing Lea Tahuhu (5) and then Leigh Kasperek for a duck to complete her five-wicket haul.