Deepti's run-out overshadows Jhulan's last waltz

India's Jhulan Goswami, the leading wicket-taker in women's one-day internationals (ODIs), bowed out of international cricket last Saturday at Lord's in London after bowling her 10,000th ball.

The 39-year-old helped her side complete a 3-0 series win over England. But it did not come without a controversial final wicket.

Jhulan claimed her record-extending 254th and 255th ODI wickets - the last one with her 10,001st delivery - before ending her 20-year international career.

Her career haul across the three formats of international cricket is 355 wickets - the most by a woman.

Captain Harmanpreet Kaur said after the match: "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 Jhulan's achievement was 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", whipping off the bails of the non-facing batter, who had stepped out of her crease.

The move, named after India's Vinoo Mankad who ran out Australia batsman Bill Brown backing up in a 1948 Test in Sydney, is legal according to the laws of cricket but running out a non-striker backing up has long been regarded as unsporting.

But it was only last week that the International Cricket Council reiterated the dismissal was legitimate.

Boos rang out from England fans as the umpires reviewed their decision that Dean was out. She threw her bat and gloves to the ground and eventually left the field in tears.

This was both teams' first match at Lord's since England beat India in the 2017 Women's World Cup final.

England were eyeing a remarkable win and Dean's 47, batting at No 9, had given England, who were 53-6, hope of chasing down a target of 170.

Instead they were bowled out for 153 as India won by 16 runs to complete a 3-0 series sweep.

Dean later told 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.

Harmanpreet was adamant Deepti had done nothing to overshadow either the victory or India pace great Jhulan's last match.

"Today whatever we have done, I don't think it was any crime. It is part of the game and it is an ICC rule and I think we just need to back our player," said the India captain.

England seamer Kate Cross said she would never take a wicket in this way but added: "I think it's a dismissal that's always going to divide opinion. That's all that's ever going to get said about it: some people are going to like it, some people aren't.

"Deepti chose to dismiss Charlie that way. I'm more disappointed for Charlie that she couldn't get a 50 at Lord's today because she looked set to do that.

"If we're looking at the real positives, then maybe that's the only way they could have got Dean out today."

The run-out prompted heated debate across the cricket world and Marylebone Cricket Club, custodians of the game rules, said the onus is on batters not to leave the crease at the non-striker's end too soon.

The dismissal is legal but classed as Unfair Play in the rule book, though that is to change from Oct 1 when it will be categorised simply as a run-out.

"While yesterday was indeed an unusual end to an exciting match, it was properly officiated and should not be considered as anything more," the MCC said in a statement on Sunday.

Deepti said they had warned Dean before effecting the dismissal.

"We had warned her, she left the crease early on several occasions," said the spinner.

"We even told the umpire. We were well within the rules."

England regular captain Heather Knight, who is recovering from a hip surgery, contradicted Deepti's claims.

"The game is over, Charlie was dismissed legitimately," she tweeted.

"India were deserved winners of the match and the series. But no warnings were given.

"If they're comfortable with the decision, India shouldn't feel the need to justify it by lying about warnings."

Harmanpreet praised Deepti for showing match "awareness".

"I don't think we have done anything new. It is an ICC rule and you always take those chances," said the India captain.

"I will back my player because she has not done anything that is not part of the rule."

Having announced her international retirement before the match, Jhulan was given a guard-of-honour by the England side when she came in to bat - only to be bowled out first ball. She also received a guard-of-honour from her own side when they took the field.

"I am fortunate enough to have been able to serve the Indian team for 20 years, contributed a little bit from my side however I could, with a lot of honesty and dedication," she said.

AFP, Reuters

"We had warned her, she left the crease early on several occasions. We even told the umpire. We were well within the rules."

- Deepti Sharma

 
 
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