Australia’s Ellyse Perry scored a magnificent 213 not out in the first Test match of the Ashes series against England in Sydney last month to rescue her side from 95/4 in reply to the visitors’ 280 in the first innings.
Perry’s 213 is the highest score by an Australian woman in Test cricket and the third highest in the history. The record currently belongs to Kiran Baluch of Pakistan, who hit 242 against West Indies in Karachi in March 2004.
But for a couple of years before that, the record belonged to India’s very own Mithali Raj.
Not 20 yet, and playing her first ever Test on English shores, Raj announced her arrival to the world as a star of the future with a majestic double hundred in the second Test against England in Taunton. It was an innings that foretold what a prolific career she would go on to have for India, with the bat in her hand and as the captain.
Coming into bat at No 4, Raj played 407 deliveries and hit 19 boundaries. She stayed in the middle for 598 minutes, just two minutes short of 10 hours – an incredible feat in alien conditions.
“This is my first Test in England,” Raj was quoted as saying back then. “I was nervous in the 90s. Once I completed my first century, I started to play shots with confidence. Then I returned to the nervous 190s, before creating a world record in the last ball bowled in the day.
“I was not aware of the world record. A player sent with a water bottle alerted me about the record. It was great feeling when I got past the record,” she added.
Here’s the story of that famous innings: