The Bengal tigress roars at Lord's
For the uninitiated, a noted sports goods supplier in Kolkata had recently introduced 'Bengal Tigress' — a red ball — as a mark of respect to Jhulan Goswami for her immense contribution to Indian cricket.
As she galloped through the lush green hallowed turf of the Lord's cricket ground, the coinage seemed to be apt. She was a tigress on the prowl trying to hunt down the English batswomen with her testing line and length deliveries.
For a battle-hardened veteran, figures of 3 for 23 in 10 overs in a World Cup final is as good as it gets but then the 'Mecca of Cricket' has always been a happy hunting ground for Bengal cricketers.
It was in summer of 1996 that the 'Royal Bengal Tiger' Sourav Ganguly announced his arrival with a big roar. His 131 at Lord's was one of the most elegant Test hundreds by a debutant on foreign soil. Bengal cricket's renaissance happened at the Lord's.
However, the ever-lasting memory for the sports loving Bengalis is certainly Ganguly's famous shirt waving at the Lord's balcony after the victory in the Natwest Trophy final in 2002. After 15 years, it was the turn of Jhulan, who chose the grandest stage and the biggest occasion to showcase why she is India's finest ever medium pacer.
Economy rate has never been an issue with Jhulan but over the past few years, the wickets had dried up with a dip in pace also contributing to her woes. But like Ganguly used to be the proverbial phoenix rising from the ashes, Jhulan has been no different showing why she is a big occasion player -- testimony being the semi-final as well as the final.
"What an incredible spell by Jhulan! Proud of your effort! Plenty of cricket to be played. Keep pushing hard.." tweeted Sachin Tendulkar.