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It is the women who know how to enthral. After two riveting World Cup semi?finals elsewhere here was a final that had a capacity crowd nervously glued to their seats one moment, then leaping out of them in delight yet still never knowing which side would Jets Authentic Jersey prevail until the final ball was bowled. Somehow the men’s games this summer have been disappointingly one-sided by comparison.
This was not the decorous Lord’s of seasons past. The fans were chanting and gasping at every twist and turn. In the final overs each ball provoked raucous cheers from one set of fans or the other. Brilliant run-outs, scrambled singles, desperate dropped catches and then at the end – just as in the semi-final at Bristol – Anya Shrubsole was engulfed by team?mates, exhausted not so much by the demands of the game but by the tension of a magnificent http://www.newyorkjetsauthorizedstore.com/ final. One-day cricket is a wonderful game when the outcome seems all-important.
At Bristol against South Africa Shrubsole faced one ball and hit it for four just when England appeared to be making a mess of a straightforward run chase – except that there is no such thing in a semi-final. Here England were struggling in the field with India bang on target. In their 42nd over they were 191 for three, needing only 38 more for victory.
Then the ball was tossed to Shrubsole of Somerset, known as the quickest bowler born in the north of the county – especially when Peter Trego is in earshot – and somehow she tinkered with fate. The dismissal of Poonam Raut, who had batted with such polish and poise for her 86, prompted the first signs of panic among the chasers.
Then there was a certain magic about every Shrubsole delivery, partly because just about all of them had that special quality; they were straight. She yorked the vastly experienced Jhulan Goswami first ball but perhaps her best delivery was her last. Her opponent was not the most formidable – Rajeshwar Gayakwad is not the best of batters. But consider the previous delivery: a gentle catch to mid-off from the A.Q. Shipley Womens Jersey bat of Poonam Yadav would surely seal it for England but Jenny Gunn, renowned for her reliability, dropped it.
How easy to despair and lose concentration after such an error. But Shrubsole remained icily cool – at least on the outside. The next delivery had that deadly quality again; it was on target. The bails lit up and the celebrations could commence. Shrubsole with six for 46 was the player of a breathtaking match.
This was one of the great Lord’s finals and there was a buzz around St John’s Wood before a ball was bowled. On the Wellington Road the ticket touts were out in force and they seemed more eager to buy than sell. Not even Rachel Heyhoe Flint, one of the http://www.arizonacardinalsauthorizedstore.com/ world’s great optimists and the captain of England in the first World Cup final in 1973 – they were two years ahead of the men – would have dared to envisage this.
Heyhoe Flint, a wonderful pioneer who died in January, was honoured before the start of a match that already felt like a celebration and a major landmark of the women’s game. Clare Connor, the head of women’s cricket at the England and Wales Cricket Board, joked as she looked out at the stands filling up, that “my work is done”. In fact she never rests.