Friday, September 30, 2022

ICC: England vs India – a game of milestones and respect

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While India will be wanting to forget their four-wicket loss to England in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022, it will be a game remembered for three milestones.

Jhulan Goswami became the first woman to take 250 ODI wickets when she dismissed Tammy Beaumont for one to leave England four for two in their chase.

Meanwhile earlier in the day, Anya Shrubsole’s first wicket saw her reach a century, she is now level with Isa Guha on 101 wickets, bringing up the milestone in one game more than her former teammate. 

The final achievement saw Charlie Dean take the best figures of her young career in a Player of the Match performance, her four for 23 ripping through India’s middle and lower order as they were bowled out for 134.

As Goswami said after the match, cricket is a game of ups and downs, but it is also one of respect which Shrubsole exhibited in her own interview. 

She said: “First and foremost, I just want to congratulate Jhulan on 250 ODI wickets. It is an incredible achievement and she’s a legend of the game. 

“I think it’s her 200th game the next time she plays, so I want to congratulate her first and foremost.” 

Goswami had already broken the record for the most wickets in one-day World Cups in India’s previous game against the West Indies and has now taken her tally to 41 with the dismissal of Beaumont.

For her, these milestones were something she had never imagined possible when she started her career 199 games and 20 years ago. 

The 39-year-old said: “When I started, I never thought about it, I just wanted to go there and express myself all the time and try to contribute more for my side. 

“But some days, things are going my way, some days it is very tough when you want to deliver and things don’t happen. 

“This is a never-ending learning process, you keep playing and keep going to learn each and every time, but I’m happy that I was able to take 250 wickets, it is not something I ever thought about in my life.” 

Shrubsole has become the sixth English woman to pass 100 ODI wickets doing so with the dismissal of Yastika Bhatia for eight in her second over of the game. 

She also went on to dismiss India captain Mithali Raj as Sophia Dunkley took a fine low catch to reduce India to 25 for two. 

It is perhaps fitting that Shrubsole’s milestone came up in the same game as Goswami’s after they were the two best bowlers the last time these sides met in the World Cup. 

Goswami took three for 23 to restrict England to 228 for seven in the 2017 World Cup final, before Shrubsole produced the best-ever figures in a final of six for 46 to hand England the trophy at the death. 

Dean has now overtaken Shrubsole as England’s best performing bowler at this World Cup with four wickets from her nine overs to add to the one she took against South Africa. 

And while Goswami and Shrubsole did not think their milestones would happen when they began their careers, Dean did not believe her performance was to come at the beginning of the match. 

She said: “I don’t think I was expecting this at the start of the game so I’m really happy. We’ve shown a lot of fight as a team to come back from a few disappointing games and show what we can do.    

“I was just trying to keep it simple, bowl as tight to the stumps as I could and bowl my best ball. I think that worked well for me.  

“When you’re bowling at the other end to Soph [Sophie Ecclestone], she makes it really easy. She always has decent words of wisdom, she always tells me to trust in my best ball and she’s an exceptional player on and off the pitch.” 

At a World Cup full of the best bowlers in the world, Dean will not be short of people to turn to for words of wisdom, Goswami and Shrubsole may now be top of her list. 

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