Jhulan Goswami’s iconic 5-33 and 5-45 at Taunton in 2006 is Wisden’s women’s spell of the 2000s. Manoj Narayan looks back at a historic performance that had it all.
England v India, 2nd Test
The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton
Aug 29-1 Sep
In 2006, with women’s cricket in India far from its current optimistic outlook, Jhulan Goswami gave it a very important fillip. Her 5-33 and 5-45 in the two innings at Taunton in 2006 gave India their first ever overseas Test series victory against England, and is one of the most iconic moments in the women’s game in India.
After the first match was drawn, India and England found themselves with a pitch with not much in it in Taunton. Jenny Gunn and Isa Guha combined to bowl more than 75 overs on it – that’s how much of a toil it was – as India, led by Anjum Chopra’s 98, posted a fine 307.
However, England boasted in their ranks players in form – Claire Taylor had a century to her name in the first Test in Leicester, and Caroline Atkins had scored a dogged half-century – and India needed something special to break the home side.
Goswami delivered. The top three, comprising Taylor and Atkins, were sent back in a jiffy, with none of them allowed to reach double figures. Then, when captain Charlotte Edwards, coming in at No.8 due to illness, resisted, Goswami delivered again, trapping her leg-before for a 54-ball 26. Laura Marsh was then dismissed first ball, and England were soon bundled out for a paltry 99.
India made England follow on – in itself a fine achievement – and the home side’s fortunes didn’t get any better in the second innings. They were reduced to 34-2, with Goswami seeing off Laura Newton early. However, once again Edwards resisted. This time, she defiantly hung around to score 105 by the last over the third day, taking England’s total past the 200 mark.
Once again, it was up to Goswami to see off the England batter, and she did. Edwards could only add five to her overnight total before Goswami had her sent back. India went all out after the breakthrough, and England were bowled out for 305, with Goswami completing her second five-for with the lower order wickets of Marsh and Guha.
India still needed 98 to win, and despite plenty of nerves, they reached their target to create history.