By Hugh Lawson
LONDON (Reuters) – India’s Jhulan Goswami, the leading wicket-taker in women’s ODIs, bowed out of international cricket on Saturday at Lord’s after bowling her 10,000th ball in one-day matches, as her side completed a 3-0 series win over England with a controversial final wicket.
Goswami claimed her record-extending 254th and 255th ODI wickets – the last one with her 10,001st delivery in the format – before ending her 20-year international career, having debuted in 2002.
Her captain Harmanpreet Kaur said after the match: “I know it was her last game but we’ll always remember her, she’s always with us and she’s just a call away when we need her. I’m thankful we had the chance to play with her.”
But Goswami’s achievement was somewhat overshadowed at the end of the match when Indian all-rounder Deepti Sharma ran out England’s top-scorer Charlie Dean (47) for the final wicket with a “mankad” move, whipping off the bails of the non-facing batter, who had stepped out of her crease.
While the move is legal according to the laws of cricket, many players and pundits say it is not within the spirit of the game.
Boos rang out from England fans around the ground as the umpires reviewed their decision that Dean was out, and the player herself threw her bat and gloves to the ground, and eventually left the field in tears.
Dean later told the BBC: “The last dismissal divides opinion. I’m not a fan but it is how India feel about it. It is in the rules and hopefully it doesn’t take the shine off a good summer and good series.”
England had been hoping for some redemption after losing the first two matches in the three-game series, but they eventually lost by 16 runs.
Having announced her international retirement before the match, the 39-year-old Goswami was given a guard of honour by the England side when she came in to bat – only to be bowled out first ball – and again by her own side when they took the field.
India struggled with the bat and were eventually bowled out for 169.
Early in the day they had been reeling on 29 for four before making a gradual recovery. Opener Smriti Mandhana steadied the ship with a half-century off 79 balls, but was out in the next over when the ball deflected off the bottom of her bat and onto the stumps.
Sharma then underpinned the side with an unbeaten top score of 68 off 106 balls.
Kate Cross was England’s best bowler with 4-26, claiming the early wickets of India captain Harmanpreet Kaur (4) – who had smashed an unbeaten 143 in the second match of the series on Wednesday – as well as those of Shafali Verma and Yastika Bhatia for ducks, and finally that of Mandhana.
Despite being set a relatively low score, England soon found themselves in huge trouble as they crumbled to 53 for six, with India’s Renuka Singh Thakur taking four wickets for 29 runs.
Captain Amy Jones (28) took England past 100 runs before she fell to Thakur, and Dean then held the innings together as England drew steadily closer to their target of 170 – before Sharma’s unexpected move snatched the win for India.
(Reporting by Hugh Lawson; Editing by Christian Radnedge)