Saturday, 16 August 2014

Day Four at the Test

India wrapped up an historic and well-deserved victory by six wickets on the final morning of the only Test, with skipper Mithali Raj finishing on 50 not out, and Shikha Pandey (28), the nighwatchman, hitting the winning runs, after a great innings.

The day had started with India needing 62 runs to win, having finished the day on 119/4. England threw Shrubsole and Cross at India first up, but Raj and Pandey looked solid. Gunn and Sciver then took over, but all the bowlers came alike to the Indians, who were patient and careful as they accumulated the runs they needed without too many alarms, apart from the odd lbw shout.

After 80 overs England took the new ball with Shrubsole and Cross coming back into the action, but it made no odds to the Indians at all. They continued to dab and nudge and the scoreboard continued to tick over. England finally managed to fashion a chance when Raj hit a horrible slap off Gunn straight to Charlotte Edwards at mid-off, but she contrived to drop it, and with it went any slim chance of putting pressure on the Indians.

The only question was whether Raj could get to her 50 before India got the runs they needed to win. It looked doubtful with only nine needed to win, but Raj smashed Sciver over extra cover to move to 49 and then in the next over struck a ball firmly to extra cover and a misfield by Cross allowed her to go through for her 50 (off 157 balls). Next over Pandey finished the game off when she stroked Sciver through extra cover for four to take India to 183/4.

The rest of the Indian team invaded the pitch before the ball was even halfway to the boundary with whoops and squeals of delight. There is no doubt this is a big win for them and may be the kick up the backside the BCCI need to get behind women's cricket in India.

It will also be a kick up the backside to "professional" England. Much has been made of their new status, but actually it is a bit of a nonsense. As Jenny Gunn said after Day One, the girls have been training like professionals for several years. The only difference now is that they get some money.

England's batting on Day One cost them the game. As Charlotte Edwards said after the game, not many sides can win a Test if they only score 92 in their first innings. That they got close was almost entirely down to Jenny Gunn with ball and bat, and Sarah Taylor who kept beautifully, and scored well in both knocks, but again without going on beyond 40. Gunn was named Player of the Match, but it will have been little consolation after a poor game by England.

The two sides now move on to three ODIs, but they are not part of a series - the Indians declined to play a multi-format series including T20s (hence the South African series). The ODIs are the first to be played in the new ICC Women's Championship (the Aussies also have a series starting next week against Pakistan). England will need to get their collective fingers out.

Full scorecard here



  1. I have been advocating management of U15 & U19 girls to have some games organised with Indian women since last couple of years. But it seems that Holland is more competitive than India in their eyes. I hoe this victory by Indians will improve their ratings in England as well as in India esp. BCCI

  2. Congratulations India - a thoroughly deserved victory.