Riding on a brilliant century from captain Mithali Raj (109) and left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad's five-wicket haul, Indian women's cricket team put on a scintillating show on Saturday, steamrolling New Zealand by 186 runs to enter the semi-finals of the ICC Women's World Cup 2017. Accolades poured in from all quarters for Mithali Raj and Co. after they thrashed New Zealand in the do-or-die final group match. But, there was one congratulatory message that won billion of hearts. India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh took to micro-blogging site Twitter to wish the Indian women's team on its victory, saying "Really well done @M_Raj03 and @BCCIWomen for entering the semi finals of #WWC17. Inspirational performances!".
India will now face Australia in the semi-final clash of the mega tournament on July 20 at the County Ground in Derby.
Chasing a challenging score of 266, New Zealand crumbled under pressure and failed to offer any kind of resistance as Rajeshwari, playing her first match of the tournament, spun a web to skittle them out for a meagre 79.
Rajeshwari was well assisted by off-spinner Deepti Sharma (2/26) while veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey and Poonam Yadav took one wicket apiece.
Batting first, the foundation was well laid by skipper Mithali (109 off 123 balls, 11x4) who helped resurrect India's innings with two century stands -- first a 132-run third wicket partnership with Harmanpreet Kaur (60 off 90) and then joined forces with Veda Krishnamurthy (70 off 45) to add 108 runs for the fifth wicket.