India v England, women's Test, New Delhi, 4th day November 24, 2005

England and India share honors

England 210 for 6 (Edwards 46, Brindle 46) and 154 (Brindle 37, Goswami 5-25) drew with India 175 for 4 dec (Jain 35) and 289 (Raj 78, Jain 40, Chopra 65)


If Michael Vaughan's England side was let off the hook by bad light in Faisalabad, then the faisala - or verdict - on the women's side against India on the final day at Delhi was slightly more heartening. Resolute batting from Charlotte Edwards (46), the captain, Arran Brindle (46), and Jenny Gunn (32) staved off defeat and thwarted India's bid for a maiden Test win against England, Edwards' side finishing the day on 210 for 6.

The Indian women gave nothing away though. The fielding was enthusiastic, the bowling tight, but in the end the resolve of the English batsmen shone over all else. Veteran spinner Neetu David consistently found turn from a slow pitch, and she beat the bat on numerous occasions. Nooshin Al Khader, however, was the pick of the bowlers, sending down 32 miserly overs for just 30 runs, picking up the wickets of Laura Newton, Clair Taylor and Lydia Greenway to stymie England's run chase.

Earlier, England's batsmen produced a good morning session by adding 109 to their overnight 3 for 0, with Edwards standing tall with a 94-ball 46. She was eventually out, leg before, to the persistent Jhulan Goswami, with England 73 for 3. Brindle and Gunn then added 73 for the fourth wicket before Brindle was run out for 46 as the scoring rate slowed. She hit four boundaries as well as the solitary six of the match, but was unlucky to be dismissed just four short of a deserved fifty. Her dismissal, on the stroke of tea, meant England were 146 for 4, still 165 runs adrift of their target.

At this stage, Mithali Raj, India's captain, used an attacking field to try and put pressure on England, and the efforts of her fielders would have pleased her. A hard punch down the ground just after lunch by Gunn was met by a diving mid-off fielder, saving a certain boundary. Al Khader struck again to have Greenway caught by Raj for a laborious 6 off 51 deliveries, and England looked in trouble at this stage.

Yet, as it became evident that a win was out of reach, Rosalie Birch and Laura Harper put their heads down and avoided any further checks to their progress. A loud appeal for a very close lbw against Harper was turned down by umpire RD Singh - to the clear frustration of Al Khader - but it was to be the last tense image on a day in which determination was the name of the game.

Goswami was eventually adjudged Man of the Match for her spirited showing with the bat and ball throughout the match.

Jamie Alter is editorial assistant of Cricinfo