Jhulan Goswami ‘happy’ over 200-wicket feat in India’s victory

Kimberley [South Africa], Feb 8: Indian fast bowler Jhulan Goswami, who added yet another feather in her cap by recently becoming the first female cricketer to take 200 ODI wickets, has said that while the achievement has brought her joy, the fact that it came in her side's victory brings her most happiness. The 35-year-old achieved the feat in her 166th ODI when she dismissed South Africawomen opener Laura Wolvaardt for nine runs in the final ball of her third over as Indiaclinched a massive 178-run victory in the second ODI to take an unassailable 2-0 lead at Kimberley. Reflecting on her state of mind during the match, Goswami said, "Honestly speaking, when I was only three wickets away from being the highest wicket-taker in the world, I was keeping a count. I took a long time to cross that milestone, but this time I was not counting. I was concentrating only on my processes. If my process is right, then wickets will follow." India had clinched the first match by 88 runs and they now have four points from two games and are currently second on the table. While Goswami was happy with her personal achievement, she said that the focus was on winning the games as they were looking to qualify for the ICC Women's World Cup 2021. "Whatever milestone you have achieved, it feels good (only) when you are on the winning side. It was important for us to win. The points are important as it is the ICC Women's Championship, a qualifying event for the ICC Women's World Cup 2021. So, more than the 200 wickets, it was important to take the two points from each and every match," the International Cricket Council (ICC) website quoted Goswami as saying. When asked about her most favourite wicket, the fast bowler said that she remembered each and every wicket of her career before stressing that any wicket she scalps at a crucial time becomes special for her. "I remember each of my 200 wickets, right from the beginning of my international career in 2002. I still remember I got (Caroline) Atkins (the then England opener) out, caught in the slips. Mithali (Raj) was in the slip and she caught that catch. Whenever I bowl at a crucial time in the match and end a partnership, it becomes special for me. I cannot pick one. All the wickets are planned. Every wicket is important," Goswami said. Goswami, an ICC Women Cricketer of the Year in 2007, had earlier broken Australian Cathryn Fitzpatrick's record of highest wickets in women ODIs. It was also the 250th ODI of the Women's team and India posted 302/3 on the board; their second total in excess of 300 in ODIs. Smriti Mandhana, who was adjudged Player of the Match in the first game, hit a sparkling century and now became the first Indian woman opener to score three ODI hundreds. The India women will now play the inconsequential ODI of the three-match series against South Africa on February 10 at the Senwes Park, Potchefstroom.
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