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Punam Raut Leads the Way as India Level Series Against West Indies

A fantastic half-century by Punam Raut (77) followed by a combined effort from the bowling unit helped the Indian women’s team fight back and level the three-match ODI series at 1-1 against the West Indies.
After failing to finish the job in the first ODI and conceding defeat by a narrow 1 run margin, India put in a ruthless display and beat the hosts by 53 runs at North Sound on Sunday (November 3).
Batting first, it was a terrible start for the visitors as openers Jemimah Rodrigues (0) and Priya Punia (5) were dismissed cheaply.
Raut, and skipper Mithali Raj (40) then came together and put on 66-run partnership in 19.5 overs to bring some sense of respectability to the innings.
Once Sheneta Grimmond had the captain dismissed, Harmanpreet Kaur joined Raut in further frustrating the hosts.
Together Raut and Harmanpreet put on 93 runs for the fourth wicket, but both had to work hard for their runs as the boundaries were hard to find. India hit a total of 12 boundaries in their innings.
Afy Fletcher cleaned by Harmanpreet just before she managed to complete her half century, and Aaliyah Alleyne eventually got the better of Raut soon after to leave India at 178/5 in the 48th over.
Between Deepti Sharma, Taniya Bhatia and Jhulan Goswami another 13 runs were added as the hosts were set a 192-run target to seal the series.
Shikha Pandey struck early and removed Stacy-Ann King for 6 and Natasha McLean (15) retired hurt, before Shemaine Campbelle and Stefanie Taylor came together for a cautious 68-run stand.
Poonam Yadav then provided India with the much need breakthrough of Taylor, before picking a quick second wicket to dismiss Chedean Nation for 6.
The hosts lost at 3/90, lost four more wickets for just 15 runs in the next phase of play as India went for the kill.
Jhulan Goswami wrapped up with contest with the wicket of Aaliyah Alleyne, as India won at a canter to level the series ahead of the third and final game on Wednesday.

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