Lucknow, March 14 (IANS) Punam Raut scored her third ODI century as India women scored 266/4 against South Africa on Sunday. Harmanpreet Kaur smashed 54 off 35 balls to give India the stimulus in the final stages of their innings during the fourth ODI.
Punam and captain Mithali Raj (45) earlier put up 103 runs for the third wicket. This is the third time on the trot that Punam has scored more than 50 runs in the series as she ended the innings unbeaten on 104 off 123 balls.
India lost opener Smriti Mandhana in the fifth over to pacer Shabnim Ismail. Punam and Priya Punia then put up 44 for the second wicket before the latter fell to Nondumiso Shangase in the 16th over.
Mithali then stood strong with Punam and the pair pegged back the visitors with a century stand. Mithali’s 45 came off 71 balls in which she hit four fours. In the process, she also became the first female cricketer to cross 7,000 runs in ODIs.
Tumi Sekhukhune gave South Africa the breakthrough in the 38th over in the form of Mithali, who was dropped in the previous over.
However, Harmanpreet came with the intention of taking the attack to the opposition and accelerated India’s run rate. She smashed seven fours and one six and took her 12th ODI half century before falling to Sekhukhune.
Brief scores: India 266/4 in 50 overs (Punam Raut 104 not out, Harmanpreet Kaur 54, Mithali Raj 45; Tumi Sekhukhune 2/63) vs South Africa