New Zealand win toss, elect to field against India

New Zealand women's cricket captain Suzie Bates is backing her spin bowlers to fire under pressure in their must-win World Cup match.

Rao, who sent a congratulatory message to Raj, said she made the country proud with her achievement, a release from his office said.

Preview: The Indian women face a do-or-die situation to seal the last semi-final spot at the ongoing ICC Women's World Cup when they face a formidable New Zealand in their final group tie at The County Ground here on Saturday.

India might boast of the world's leading ODI wicket-taker and run-scorer in their ranks, but as a unit they are struggling to function collectively.

Raj with almost 8,400 runs in the worldwide cricket has become India's highest female run scorer in all the three formats.

Australia assured itself of advancing along with England and South Africa, who won their respective matches against New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

The final over, however, witnessed a quick fall of wickets with Mithali, Veda and Shikha Pandey (0) going one after the other as India finished at 265/7. In their last match at Bristol, Australia defeated them by eight wickets, despite a gritty century by Punam Raut and a record-breaking 69 from skipper Mithali Raj. The 34-year old captain is now the first woman cricketer to have crossed the milestone of 6,000 runs in the 50-over format. Earlier she achieved the feat of scoring seven consecutive fifties in ODIs after she played a terrific knock against England in the World Cup. Even as a majority of those wins have come against the minnows, it's also the venue where India did the unthinkable and stunned the now table-toppers England.

The top-10 is dominated by women from England (3), Australia (3) and New Zealand.

Mithali holds the record of the youngest centurion and she did so on her ODI debut in 1999.

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