Just three years ago, on 15 May 2017, Deepti Sharma and Poonam Raut set the record for the highest partnership in women’s ODIs when they posted 320 for the opening stand in an ODI against Ireland in Potchefstroom, South Africa.
Deepti Sharma produced a stunning 188-run knock, the highest by an Indian and now stand as the third-highest score in women’s one-day internationals, after New Zealand’s Amelia Kerr’s 232, and Australian Belinda Clarke’s 229. India posted 358 on the board before bowling Ireland out for 109.
Pradesh shared a record 320-run opening stand with Poonam Raut (109) as India rattled a commanding 358/2 after skipper Mithali Raj won the toss and decided to bat first.
In the absence of first-choice opener Smriti Mandhana who suffered an injury in the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) in 2017, Punam Raut and Deepti Sharma were tasked with the job of opening the batting for India in the quadrangular series, involving South Africa, Ireland and Zimbabwe.
Deepti Sharma and Punam Raut made merry by topping the batting charts in the series that India went on to win. While Deepti came up with an all-round effort in the series and topped the batting table with 347 runs, Punam finished with a tally of 283 runs.
Deepti’s 160-ball superb innings was studded with 27 boundaries and two sixes, while Poonam hit 11 fours in her 116-ball innings at the Senwes Park.
India bundled out Ireland for a paltry 109 in 40 overs to hand the rivals an embarrassing defeat. Ireland never looked in the chase as they scored the first fifty in 18.4 overs, losing the wicket of opener Leah Paul (13) in the 17th over.
From there on, Ireland kept losing wickets and lost half their side in the 30th over for 75 runs. Their downhill slide continued as they managed to bring up the team hundred in the 37th over before India quickly mopped up the tail.
Mary Waldron (35) was the top-scorer for Ireland, while Jennifer Gray contributed with a 46-ball 26 as only four batswomen could reach doubles scores.
Left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad (4/18) scalped four wickets, while Shikha Pandey (3/16), who had provided the late charge with a 14-ball 27 for India, took three wickets, while DB Sharma (1/15) took one.
It was a crucial win for India that came in the lead up to the Women’s World Cup in 2017. Under Mithali Raj, India reached the final of the quadrennial tournament. Notably, Smriti Mandhana had returned in time for the World Cup in 2017.