Fairytale finish for Goswami as Indian complete clean sweep
Thakur, Sharma help India farewell Jhualn Goswami with the series sweep © Getty Images
Renuka Singh Thakur and Deepti Sharma’s excellent performance helped India clean sweep the three-match ODI series at Lord’s on Saturday (September 24). In her final international match for India, Jhulan Goswami bagged two wickets as India registered their first series sweep against England after 20 years by 16 runs.
In the first international fixture at the iconic venue since the final of the ODI World Cup, England captain Amy Jones won the toss and opted to bowl first. India fielded the unchanged playing XI from the previous fixture of the series, while Freya Davies replaced Lauren Bell for England.
Kate Cross shared a new ball with Davies and provided the home side with an early breakthrough. Shafali Verma had to trudge back to the pavilion as Cross dislodged her stumps for a duck. That wicket did not affect Verma’s opening partner Smriti Mandhana as she continued to attack England’s relatively less experienced pace bowlers all over the park. She smashed Davies for two fours to keep India going.
Cross, on the other hand, continued to make her mark with her crafty bowling. She dismissed Yastika Bhatia for a duck, followed by the centurion from the previous match, captain Harmanpreet Kaur for four to leave India 22 for three at the end of the eighth over. Davies joined the party with the wicket of Harleen Deol. England opted to review the LBW decision, and India were in deep trouble at 29 for four.
Deepti Sharma joined Mandhana in the penultimate over of the powerplay with a huge task ahead of them. The left-handed duo took a cautious approach at the beginning of the partnership. Both players were watchful against the spin of Sophie Ecclestone and Charlie Dean and added the partnership of 50 runs in the 20th over.
Mandhana crossed her fifty, second in three ODIs, but could not continue as she became Cross’ fourth wicket of the day. Sharma continued to pile on runs at the one end but did not get much help from the other end, other than Pooja Vastrakar, who scored 22 off 38 balls. Sharma scored her century off 78 balls and kept India in the hunt for the competitive total.
India lost the last three wickets in 20 runs to finish with 169 as Sharma remained unbeaten on 68. For England, Cross took four wickets in her quota of 10 overs as Freya Kemp and Ecclestone chipped in with two wickets each.
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In reply, Goswami started the proceedings with a maiden over against England’s opening duo, Emma Lamb and Tammy Beaumont. Lamb was the aggressor among the two as she hit Renuka Singh Thakur for two boundaries in her second over. Thakur had the last laugh in the battle courtesy of lightning-quick stumping from Bhatia. Thakur tempted Lamb to come out of her crease, and Bhatia did the rest to give India an early breakthrough.
India opted for a review against Beaumont, playing her 100th ODI for England, in the next Thakur over, but the ball stayed outside off stump to give the batter life. That relief lasted for seconds as Thakur hit the top of off stump the very next ball of the over, leaving England 35 for two at the end of the powerplay.
Goswami struck gold immediately after the end of the powerplay with the wicket of Alice Capsey. Deol pouched an easy catch at cover point to leave England in tatters. Captain Kaur continued to put pressure on England’s batters, and it led to Thakur’s wobble seam ending Sophia Dunkley’s stay at the crease. After her first spell, Thakur’s figures read 7-1-22-3.
After reducing England to 45 for four, Kaur handed the ball to the slow left-arm spin of Rajeshwari Gayakwad. Danielle Wyatt, batting at five, clobbered Gayakwad through covers for two back-to-back fours. Bowling smarts from the bowler turned the tables as Gayakwad uprooted Wyatt’s middle stump in the same over. Kaur added Goswami in the first slip for Gayakwad’s next over, and it provided immediate result with the wicket of Ecclestone for a duck.
After dominating with the bat in the first innings, Kaur tossed the ball to Sharma in the 17th over. With a flighted final delivery of her first over, Sharma sent left-handed Kemp packing as Deol took her second catch of the day. Captain Jones watched helplessly from the other end as England were reduced to 65 for seven in the 17th over.
Charlie Dean joined her captain when England needed 105 runs to avoid the series sweep. The duo kept the scoreboard ticking with their running between the wickets and taking on the bad deliveries. Kaur kept changing her bowlers and did not allow the English bowlers to settle down. Dean survived a close stumped appeal against Sharma and took England to three figures in the 28th over.
With the partnership ticking along nicely, Jones decided to up the ante against Thakur and ended up giving a simple catch to Deol in deep for 28 off 50 balls. Dean showed resilience with the knock of 47 even after Jones was dismissed. She added 35 runs with Davies to keep England in the hunt, but Sharma's quick thinking led to Dean's run-out at the non-striker's end and India bagged the series by 16 runs.
India: 169 all out in 45.4 overs (Deepti Sharma 68*, Smriti Mandhana 50; Kate Cross 4/26) beat England 153 all out in 43.3 overs (Charlie Dean 47, Amy Jones 28; Renuka Singh Thakur 4/29) by 16 runs