Punam Raut’s brilliant half-century followed a spin attack by the Indian bowlers helped India Women level the ongoing ODI series against West Indies Women.
Electing to bat, India had a terrible start as they lost both their openers Priya Punia and Jemimah Rodrigues with just 17 runs on the board. Then Punam Raut along with Mithali Raj brought back stability. Both stitched together 66 runs before the skipper Mithali (40) was caught by Afy Fletcher off the bowling of Sheneta Grimmond. But that did not stop Raut at all. She kept her calm and found a new ally in Harmanpreet Kaur. Harman ended with 46 and Raut took her score to 77 runs off 128 balls. In search of quick runs at the death, Raut lost her wicket but did help India post a decent 191/6 in their stipulated quota of 50 overs. Aaliyah Alleyne and Fletcher both picked up two wickets each while Shabika Gajnabi and Grimmond scalped one apiece.
The Indian eves who had lost the first ODI by just one run had to defend the score at any cost at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Sunday. And Indians were on the mission from the beginning. The Windies chase also had a poor start and they lost Stacy-Ann King in the fourth over. Shemaine Campbelle walked in next to share a 68-run stand with Natasha McLean before the latter retired hurt at her individual score of 15. Skipper Stafanie Taylor did try to take the Windies home but she could score only 20 runs.
After that none of West Indies batters could hold the innings for long enough and wickets kept falling at regular intervals. Campbelle was still there in the middle holding but it was not enough. She hardly got any partner and once she fell with the team’s score of 100 in the 34th over, the game was almost over. Afy Fletcher (14) and Aaliyah Alleyne (16) did try at the end but it was already too late. The Windies were finally wrapped up for 138 runs in the 48th over.
Indian spin trio Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Deepti Sharma, and Poonam Yadav picked two wickets each. The veteran Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey also picked one wicket each and most importantly, Indian bowlers always kept check on the scoring rate.
With the series level at 1-1, the two teams will now hunt for the final glory in the third ODI on Wednesday.
Brief Score: India women 191 for 6 (Raut 77, Kaur 46, Raj 40, Fletcher 2-32, Alleyne 2-38) beat West Indies women 138 (Campbelle 39, Sharma 2-25, Yadav 2-26, Gayakwad 2-27) by 53 runs