India beat England in the final ODI at Lord’s on Sunday by 16 runs but the match ended in controversial fashion after Deepti Sharma ran out Charlie Dean at the non-strikers end, leading to a chorus of boos from the crowd.
England had looked out for the count after collapsing to 53 for five before the first drinks break was even taken, but a remarkable rearguard effort from Dean (47) – who calmly added 35 runs with Freya Davies for the final wicket – looked like it might see them over the line until Sharma’s intervention in the 44th over.
Dean was in tears but determinedly shook hands with the opposition players before walking off, as India celebrated.
An unplayable five-over opening spell from Kate Cross had earlier reduced India to 17 for three, the seamer using late movement to have Shafali Verma and Yastika Bhatia bowled for ducks and trapping Harmanpreet Kaur lbw for just four, after her onslaught at Canterbury on Wednesday.
Cross returned in the 22nd over to remove a fluent-looking Smriti Mandhana (50), edging a bouncer on to her own stumps. But Sharma then swept her way to 68 not out, marshalling a recovery for her side in conjunction with an aggressive Pooja Vastrakar (22).
From India’s, this ODI was all about the 39-year-old Jhulan Goswami, who has been terrorising opposition attacks with her 5ft11 frame since 2002. Her swansong initially threatened anticlimax: she was bowled for a golden duck by Kemp, before sending down five wicketless overs as the whole of Lord’s – England and India fans alike – willed her on.
Finally, at the sixth attempt, she had Capsey caught at cover point – proving you are never too old to teach a young dog new tricks. Twenty-five overs later she wrapped up her last ever over in international cricket by bowling Cross, and was mobbed by her teammates and given a standing ovation by the crowd.
Earlier, Renuka Singh Thakur had wiped out three of England’s top four including Tammy Beaumont who, after celebrating receiving her 100th ODI cap before play, was bowled in single figures to an inducker.
India’s line of seam succession is secure, while Goswami signs off as one of the true greats of fast bowling – and with one final win to add to her collection.