India claimed the final wicket in the series in dramatic and controversial fashion, with a run at the end of the non-striker, something English player Kate Cross insisted she wouldn’t do.
England looked to be closing in on victory on the final international day of the series and the summer at Lord’s when Deepti Sharma pulled the strings.
The player had already gotten into her delivery rhythm when she returned to the stumps to run out of Charlie Dean for the final wicket of the Women’s International Summer.
Dean looked comfortable in goal and hit 47 with no chance at number nine, while England looked to be closing in on an unlikely win ahead of the run with the hosts 17 runs short of their 170 goal after recovering from 53 to six.
It’s a rare form of dismissal, but it’s been used before, including by Indian bowlers Vinoo Mankad – with whom it’s traditionally known – and Ravichandran Ashwin.
Previously, there was an unwritten convention to give the batsman a warning, although the relevant law was recently moved by the International Cricket Council from the ‘Unfair Play’ section and filed under ‘End’ – but for Cross it’s not a method of dismissal that she would use.
“No, I wouldn’t,” she said after the game.
“Ultimately, it’s Deepti’s choice how she goes about it.”
“What we said in the dressing room is that we didn’t miss that cricket game because of that last wicket. It was with many of the previous partnerships that could not be extended.
“Actually, I don’t know the laws. I know they’ve changed recently, but I don’t really know what they’ve changed to and from.
“I think it’s a dismissal that will always divide opinions. That’s all there is to be said for it: some people will like it, some people won’t.
“Deepti chose to fire Charlie Dean this way. I’m more disappointed for Charlie Dean that she couldn’t pull off a fifty at Lord’s today because she looked ready to do it.
“If we’re looking at the true positives, maybe it’s the only way they could have taken Deano out today.”
Immediately after the third referee confirmed the decision, Dean threw the bat to the ground in tears as boos echoed from the crowd in the manner of India’s victory, before moving on to shake hands with the opposition.
Dean’s reaction, just 21 years old and about to complete half a century at Lord’s, earned his teammate praise.
“I think this is professional sport. Everyone is human before being a cricketer, (or) any sport they play,” Cross said.
“Emotion is always what you get first, and it’s how you react to it. I thought Deano was absolutely brilliant – the way she walked over and shook hands immediately. If you’re talking about the spirit of cricket, I thought Deano was fantastic.”
India captain Harmanpreet Kaur insisted her team had not committed any “crimes”, despite the controversial nature of the dismissal and the boos that echoed after Sharma’s action.
“Today, whatever we did, I don’t think it was a crime, it’s part of the game and it’s an ICC rule and I think we just need to support our player,” Kaur said.
“I’m actually really glad she was aware of it, and I think the scout is taking too long.
“I don’t think (Sharma) has done anything wrong and we just need to support her.”