Cricket is a funny game, they say. It is not over until it’s over, they say. And yet when matches go down to the wire, it is difficult to keep one’s emotions in check. Forget the fans, even the players are humans and tend to react on the pitch especially when a record win is on the cards. In a dramatic finish to what was a superb game of cricket at Mackay, it was absolute heartbreak for the Indian team as well as the Indian fans.
While Jhulan Goswami, the veteran pacer, had almost sealed it for India as she seemingly picked up the wicket of Nicola Carey when she was caught at deep midwicket, the umpires decided to check the height of the full toss. Notably, Aussies needed 3 runs from the final ball of the match. While Carey’s hit on the full toss was caught by the fielder, the TV umpire Phillip Gillespie adjudged it a no-ball. However, replays showed that it was a marginal call and could have gone either way.
A no-ball meant an extra ‘free-hit’ ball was awarded to the Aussies with two runs needed to win and this time around they did not mess it up but completed the two runs to register a win and continue their remarkable winning streak. The result is going to hurt India as they were in with a chance to end Australia’s record winning streak of 25 ODIs at a stretch and some of their players had even started celebrating once the final ball was caught at midwicket.
However, as it turned out, it wasn’t meant to be for the Mithali Raj-led side on Friday.
Check out the video of the incident here:
Talking about the match, after being invited to bat first, India Women posted a strong 274/7, thanks to contributions from Smriti Mandhana (86), Richa Ghosh (44) and lower down the order from Pooja Vastrakar (29) and Jhulan Goswami (28*) who scored with the highest strike rate.
Tahlia McGrath was the pick of the bowlers for Australia. In response, India had reduced the Aussies to 52/4 inside 16 overs and it looked like they were going to taste a record win. However, an outstanding effort from Beth Mooney (125*) and McGrath (74) and a great finish from Carey snatched a win from the jaws of defeat for Australia. The hosts have taken an unassailable lead in the series by winning the first two matches of the three-match arrangement.