England ran out India captain Harmanpreet Kaur in bizarre circumstances on the opening day of their one-off women’s Test – but they could not stop the hosts piling up 410 for seven in Mumbai.
It was India’s first Test match on home soil since 2014 but they settled in to their task after choosing to bat, with Satheeth Shubha (69), Jemima Rodrigues (68), Yastika Bhatia (66) and Deepti Sharma (60no) all making half-centuries.
Kaur thought she had also reached the landmark for the first time but was surprised to find herself given out for 49 after raising her bat to acknowledge the applause of her team-mates.
Day 1 of the Test done
India finish on 410/7.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) December 14, 2023
She had prodded a delivery to cover and scampered through for what she believed to be her fiftieth run after Danni Wyatt’s return throw hit the stumps and ricocheted away from wicketkeeper Amy Jones.
The TV umpire subsequently reviewed the replays and found Kaur, who had been in no pressure whatsoever to make her ground, had accidentally lodged her bat just in front of the crease line and was short by an inch as the bails were lifted.
It may not have been lost on England that the bowler at the time was Charlie Dean, victim of a controversial ‘Mankad’ run out at the non-striker’s end under Kaur’s captaincy at Lord’s in 2022.
England may already find victory a tough ask with India’s highest ever home total and healthy run rate of 4.36 carving out a strong position.
This summer’s women’s Ashes series included a five-day Test, allowing enough time for the game to reach its natural conclusion, but the reversion to the conventional, unloved four days means a draw may be the best realistic result for Heather Knight’s tourists.
England had started the day well, Lauren Bell bowling Smriti Mandhana via an inside edge and Kate Cross cleaning up Shafali Verma inside the first nine overs. Bell returned to dismiss Rodrigues’ impressive knock by attacking the stumps again and finished with figures of two for 64.
Sophie Ecclestone, the world’s number one white-ball spinner, struggled to assert herself as she mustered one for 85 in 22 overs and there was one wicket apiece for Dean and Nat Sciver-Brunt, who landed a late blow to remove Sneh Rana in the closing minutes.