Indian women’s team registered a come-from-behind victory against England in the second T20I in Hove on Sunday to level the three-match leg. While the women in blue delivered an emphatic bowling performance to defend a modest 148, Heather Knight’s dismissal captured the limelight. Heather Knight, the England skipper, departed for 30 in a bizarre way, became the turning point of the game.
Heather Knight’s dismissal occurred in the 14th over when Amy Jones struck the ball down the ground. Bowler Deepti Sharma went to her right and the ball deflected off her right leg and tumbled. Knight turned around to make her way back, but Sharma came in her way unintenionally, with the ball hitting the stumps. As a result, the hosts lost their fourth wicket and collapsed from there to end eight runs short.
The decision immediately went upstairs to the third umpire to determine if Heather reached the crease in time and whether Deepti Sharma caused any obstruction. After plenty of deliberation, the third umpire sent the England skipper to the pavilion. While cricketer-turned-commentator Alex Hartley opined it was an obstruction, but Mark Butcher had the opposite view.
According to Law 41.5, regarding obstruction of batters, states, “It is indeed unfair for any fielder to willfully come in the way of batters, either by word or action, either by deceiving, or obstructing, after the striker has received the ball. The umpires then have to decide whether such acts from the bowlers and fiddlers are done willfully, or by distracting the batter,”
Below is how Heather Knight’s dismissal panned out:
Meanwhile, opener Shafali Verma top-scored for India for 48 after England chose to field first. Harmanpreet Kaur and Deepti Sharma came up with 31 and 24 as the tourists managed 148 in 20 overs. Nat Sciver was the pick of the bowlers for England, finishing with figures of 4-0-20-1.
In contrast, Tammy Beaumont’s half-century kept England on track for the most part of the chase. Beaumont departed for 59 in the 14th over as India began plotting their way back. Poonam Yadav was India’s best bowler on the night, bagging figures of 4-0-18-2. But Deepti Sharma got the player of the match award for her all-round performance.