Punam Raut became the star of the match as she helped the Indian women’s team set up a comfortable 53-run win over West Indies in the second ICC Women’s Championship ODI. The team levelled up the three-match ODI series at 1-1 against the West Indies. A brilliant half-century by Punam Raut (77) and a powerful bowling unit of spinners helped India avenge the loss of the first ODI. They were defeated by just one run, and have now surely put in a ruthless display of power and beat the hosts by 53 runs at North Sound on Sunday (November 3). Raut and skipper Mithali Raj (40) kept a strong batting form to put on 66-run partnership in 19.5 overs to defend a logical 191 by bowling out West Indies for 138 in 47.2 overs. Vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur (46) steadied. Both the teams are now ready to fight it out again in the third ODI on Wednesday.

Key Takeaways:

  • Punam Raut (77) and Mithali Raj (40) kept a strong batting form for India to win over West Indies in the second ICC Women’s Championship ODI. 
  • The Indian team was backed by a powerful bowling unit of Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Deepti Sharma and Poonam who all picked two-two wickets each
  • With the series level at 1-1, the two teams will now face off again in the third ODI on Wednesday.

While the spotlight shines brightly on Punam Raut, who hails from Mumbai, the batswoman has been an instrumental player who also played a crucial role in India’s superb show in the ICC Women’s World Cup. They finished runners-up with 381 runs, but the second best skipper after Mithali Raj, Raut is slowly getting all the attention she deserves.

In 2017, Raut along with Deepti Sharma had scripted history by becoming the first pair to collect a 300-run stand in ODIs.

READ: Mithali Raj To Write Her Memoir

The Borivali girl, Raut is the daughter of Ganesh Raut, a car driver with a private firm. She fought the odds and coped with the demolition of a chawl in Prabhadevi she grew up in. Her cricketing dream was born in that chawl and then due to financial crisis at home, her father struggled to get her a proper kit, this was when her coach Sanjay Gaitonde, took care of her training. Gaitonde coached her while training the U-14 boys. She played and trained with the boys in the Payyade Sports Complex in Gorai where her cricketing journey actually started from. She debuted for India in 2009 which brought her a job in the Railways.

Making it to the Indian team, she was overall an ordinary player in the 2009 and 2013 edition of the World Cup, but her true talent came out during her third World Cup. The top batter from Mumbai was out of the team twice, but with sheer grit and determination she found way back into the team, each time stronger than ever.

A brilliant half-century by Punam Raut (77) and a powerful bowling unit of spinners helped India avenge the loss of the first ODI.

In 2017, Raut along with Deepti Sharma had scripted history by becoming the first pair to collect a 300-run stand in ODIs. They hit centuries to score the highest partnership in women’s ODIs and made 320 against Ireland Women at Potchefstroom in South Africa. India women’s smashed a score of 358/3 in the 50 overs.

With that achievement in fore, the first 300-run stand by any pair in women’s ODIs, was long overdue. We all are well aware of the fact that in India, usually men cricketers get the spotlight more than women. And, amidst that, Deepti, all of 19 — scored 188 and Raut 109 – surely were a pair of new hope to bring those hidden talents out in the front.

Playing a World Cup for the first time, Raut considers her fighting knock of 86 against England at Lord’s as one of her most memorable innings.

Feature Image Credit: The Hindu

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