UNITED KINGDOM: The Indian women’s cricket team rebounded impressively after losing the T20I series to hold off England and win the opening game of the three-match ODI series by seven wickets.
For the Indian side, the ODI series is particularly significant because it is the renowned pacer Jhulan Goswami’s final match in international cricket.
Smriti Mandhana dedicated her Player of the Match trophy to Goswami, adding that every win will be dedicated to the 39-year-old pacer. Mandhana resumed her amazing form with the bat in 2022, leading India to a comfortable win in the ODI series opener.
“I would want to emphasise that this series is for Jhulu di (Jhulan Goswami); this is dedicated to her. The manner she bowled was incredible. Whatever the Indian team is going to perform in this series will be for Jhulu di,” Mandhana said during the post-match presentation.
Goswami didn’t appear to have taken a break from the game as she didn’t let the England batters get away with the powerplay, despite playing a competitive game for the first time in six months and since the Women’s World Cup 2022 in March. Goswami bowled two maidens out of five in her opening spell, got the crucial wicket of opener Tammy Beaumont, and was still ticking over 110 km/h.
Goswami’s final performance of 1/20 significantly contributed to India’s success in limiting England to 227/7. The best bowler overall was the all-arounder Deepti Sharma, who finished with 2/33 in her 10-over spell.
Mandhana, who appeared to be batting on an entirely different surface, was back in action as she started scoring immediately and didn’t stop.
Despite missing out on a well-deserved century by nine runs, this 91, coupled with Yastika Bhatia’s 50 (47) and captain Harmanpreet Kaur’s unbeaten 74, helped India win.
The Women in Blue will want to keep up the momentum. Meanwhile, Goswami will play her final ODI at Lord’s on Saturday, September 24.