ICC Women’s Championship preview – England vs West Indies

ICC Women’s Championship standings

Team Mat Won Lost Tie NR Points Net RR
AUS 12 11 1 0 0 22 1.333
ENG 15 9 6 0 0 18 0.705
IND 15 8 7 0 0 16 0.441
SA 15 7 6 1 1 16 -0.637
PAK 15 7 7 1 0 15 -0.230
NZ 15 7 8 0 0 14 0.012
WI 12 5 6 0 1 11 0.008
SL 15 1 14 0 0 2 -1.387
Hosts (New Zealand) plus the four highest placed sides automatically qualify for the 2021 World Cup.

England vs West Indies head-to-head women’s ODI record
England 12 – 5 West Indies
2 no results, 2 abandoned

England v West Indies women’s ODI records
Highest total:
England 236/8, Drummoyne Oval, 17th March 2009
Highest score:
Sarah Taylor (ENG) 100 , Queen’s Park Oval, 3rd Nov 2013
Best bowling:
Isa Guha (ENG) 5-14 , Loughborough, 12th July 2008

Last five meetings
WI won by 38 runs at Trelawny Stadium, 10th Oct 2016
ENG won by 112 runs at Sabina Park, 14th Oct 2016
WI won by 42 runs at Sabina Park, 16th Oct 2016
ENG won by 5 wickets at Sabina Park, 19th Oct 2016
ENG won by 92 runs at Bristol,
15th July 2017 (World Cup)

England vs West Indies bilateral women’s ODI series results
ENG 1-1 WI in England, 1979 (1 match abandoned)
ENG 1-0 WI in England, 2008 (1 no result)
WI 2-1 ENG in West Indies, 2009
ENG 2-0 WI in West Indies, 2013 (1 no result)
ENG 3-2 WI in West Indies, 2016 (ENG 2-1 WI in the ICCWC fixtures)

Recent ODI form
England:  LLWWWW
West Indies:  LLWWLL


West Indies women return to England for the first time since their ignominious 2017 World Cup campaign, in which the 2013 finalists and 2016 World T20 champions were knocked out in the group stage.  A semi-final run at home in the 2018 World T20 , which included a group-stage win over England, showed the West Indies are still a force to be reckoned with in the shortest format, but they continue to struggle in ODIs.

West Indies began this edition of ICC Women’s Championship (ICCWC) with a comfortable whitewash of Sri Lanka, but that has so far been the high point of the campaign.  While some matches were closer than others in New Zealand last year, ultimately they were whitewashed by a side that currently sit sixth in the ICCWC table.  A drawn series with South Africa, due to weather, was followed by the West Indies’ first loss in a series against Pakistan.

They now face an uphill task to automatically qualify for the 2021 World Cup, given that their last three ICCWC series are against the three highest ranked sides in the world (Australia, England and India).

The problems for the West Indies largely lie in their batting (only Sri Lanka and Pakistan have lower run-rates in this edition of the ICCWC), and they begin at the top.  West Indies are the only side not to have made a single fifty opening stand in the current edition of the ICCWC.  Their last half-century opening partnership was on 8th Oct 2016 vs England in Jamaica, and they have failed to reach twenty in 16 out of 25 first wicket stands since then.

The West Indies’ average ODI opening partnership since the 2017 World Cup has been 14.36.  Only non-ICCWC sides, Ireland and Bangladesh average fewer runs for the 1st wicket in women’s ODIs during that time, and Bangladesh are the only team whose average opening stand progresses at a lower run-rate than the West Indies’ 3.37 rpo.  By contrast England’s average opening partnership (51.88 at 5.17 rpo) is second only to New Zealand in terms of both average and run rate.

Deandra Dottin partnered Hayley Matthews at the top of the order in the West Indies last ODI series.  Her shoulder injury means the West Indies will likely turn to either Kycia Knight, Matthews’ opening partner for Barbados, or possibly to Britney Cooper, who opened during the West Indies’ T20I whitewash of Ireland last month.  Cooper is undeniably talented (she and West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor are the only West Indian women to have recorded a 150+ score in List A cricket), but she has never opened in an ODI before.

This will be the West Indies’ first ODI series since the retirement of former captain and long-term wicketkeeper, Merissa Aguilliera.  Either Kycia Knght or Shemaine Campbelle will don the gloves in Aguilleira’s absence, and her retirement has provided an opportunity for her Trinidad & Tobago teammate Stacy-Ann King to return to the international fold.  King, whose last stint in the side ended in October 2016, top-scored with 34 and took 2-15 vs Ireland in her T20I comeback game in Dublin last month.

Dottin’s absence will be a major blow for the West Indies with both bat and ball.  Since the 2017 World Cup, Dottin has been the West Indies’ 2nd highest run-scorer and joint highest wicket-taker in ODIs, as well as their top run-scorer and 2nd highest wicket-taker in T20Is.  Dottin is also the West Indies highest ODI wicket taker against England.

Without Dottin, even more pressure for runs is put on Stafanie Taylor and Hayley Matthews.  Taylor continues to be the West Indies’ most reliable batter, but has yet make a century in 33 innings as captain in West Indies colours.  Matthews’ last ODI innings, vs South Africa in September, saw her make her maiden ODI century, becoming just the fourth woman to reach three figures in an ODI in the Caribbean.

An injury during the WBBL forced Matthews to miss both the ODI & T20I series vs Pakistan, but in the last match of her comeback series vs Ireland, she brought up her maiden T20 century.  Dottin is the only woman to have made a T20I century at a younger age.  In March and April, Matthews led Barbados to twin titles in both 50 over and T20 cricket.  In all, Matthews has made five scores of 80+ runs in her last nine List A innings, and also took her career best List A figures (7-27 vs Leeward Islands) on 17th March.

While their batting has tended to be over-reliant on their ‘big three’ all-rounders, the West Indies have more consistent options with the ball.  They have been the most economical bowling side (4.28 rpo) in the current edition of the ICCWC.

Matthews and Taylor’s offpsin will be complimented by legspinner Afy Fletcher, their highest wicket taker vs Irleand last month, and joint highest ODI wicket taker since the World Cup (with Taylor and Dottin).

After a wayward start to her international career, tall pace bowler Shamilia Connell has been increasingly impressive, while Shakera Selman’s accuracy and economy was recognised with a call-up to the Women’s IPL T20 Challenge last month.  Among  bowlers to have delivered 25+ overs in women’s ODIs since the 2017 World Cup, Selman is the third most economical (3.37 rpo), and the highest ranked pace bowler.


England made a faltering start to their winter tour of Asia (in India and Sri Lanka), losing their ODI series vs India with a game to spare, but begin the summer on a high after an impressive turnaround.  A win in the final ODI vs India saw England claim the remaining two ICCWC points from that series, and began a run of ten wins in a row, their longest all-format winning streak since 2012.

During their 3-0 whitewash of Sri Lanka, opener Amy Jones became the 2nd English woman (after Jan Brittin vs NZ in 1984) and tenth woman overall, to make 50+ scores in every match of a three-match ODI series.  Jones is the only keeper from any nation to achieve that feat in women’s ODIs.  If Jones can make fifty in her first innings of this series, she would join Charlotte Edwards (six in 2013 and five in 2004) and Jan Brittin (four in 1984-85) as the only English women to have made 50+ scores in four consecutive ODI innings.

Against Surrey on 27th May, Jones made her first List A century for five years, one of just two centuries made in Division 1 of the Women’s County Championship this season (the other was by Surrey’s Bryony Smith v Notts).

Jones and Tammy Beaumont have shared four century opening partnerships in their last nine ODI innings.  The only other English opening pair to make four 100+ stands in ODIs are Caroline Atkins and Sarah Taylor.

ENG opening partnerships Span Inns NO Runs High Ave 100 50
CMG Atkins, SJ Taylor 2008-09 19 1 1239 268 68.83 4 5
CM Edwards, LK Newton 2003-06 32 0 1127 142 35.22 2 5
TT Beaumont, L Winfield 2016-17 21 0 964 235 45.9 1 6
TT Beaumont, AE Jones 2016-19 13 0 738 127 56.77 4 2
CM Edwards, HC Knight 2010-15 19 0 560 110 29.47 1 4
E Bakewell, DL Thomas 1973-76 5 0 521 246 104.2 2 2
JA Brittin, HC Plimmer 1992-97 12 0 520 147 43.33 1 2

2018 Wisden Cricketer of the Year, Beaumont has been involved in nine of England women’s last ten century partnerships, and twelve of the sixteen century stands England have made overall in ODIs since she was recalled in June 2016.  Beaumont has been England’s highest run scorer in both ODIs and T20Is since her recall, and has been the top women’s international runscorer in England for the last three seasons, including breaking Jan Brittin’s record for most international runs in an English summer, with 628 in 2018.

Nat Sciver (229) just pipped Jones (226) for most ODI runs for England across the winter, while England’s win in the 3rd ODI in Mumbai was aided by Danni Wyatt making her maiden ODI fifty (in her 51st innings).

England’s Asian tour was marked by impressive performances from their pace bowlers.
After missing the 2018 World T20 through injury, the 3rd ODI in Mumbai also saw Katherine Brunt take her best ODI figures since 2011 (5-28).  Kate Cross demonstrated her abilities under pressure by successfully defending 2 runs in the final over to help England win the 3rd T20I vs India, while Anya Shrubsole took 9 wickets across England’s two ODI series at an astonishing ER of 3.17 rpo.

Left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone was the highest women’s ODI wicket taker (10) in England last summer, and among bowlers to deliver more than 10 overs, the most economical (3.53 rpo).  Ecclestone is England’s highest wicket taker in both ODIs (22) and T20Is (21) since the 2017 World Cup.

England (5.07 rpo) are second only to Australia (5.49 rpo) in terms of run-rate in this edition of the ICCWC, and are the second most economical bowling side (4.40 rpo), behind the West Indies.

After the daring selection of three debutants for the 2018 World T20, England’s squad for this series seems somewhat conservative.  Every member of the squad debuted in 2016 or earlier and Sophie Ecclesestone is the only player aged under 25.  Middlesex’s Sophia Dunkley can count herself the most unlucky to miss out, having topped the charts with 451 runs in the Women’s County Championship (albeit in Division 2), including a run of three fifties and two hundreds in five consecutive innings.

These selections could though be viewed as a last chance for some experienced players to prove their worth for Ashes selection.  England are strong favourites for this series.  If a player struggles in this series, they may well make way for new faces later in the summer.


England vs West Indies women’s ODI contests have not historically been particularly high scoring, featuring just one century (by Sarah Taylor in 2013) and a highest total of 236,  but that is likely to change.  The majority of recent matches between the sides have occurred in lower scoring conditions in the West Indies and Asia.  They’ve played just one ODI  against each other in England in the last decade (during the 2017 World Cup).  The average run rate in England’s home ODIs since the start of 2016 has been 5.02 rpo.

The scale of the task facing the West Indies is stark.  Their only ODI win against the hosts in England came at Shireoaks in 1979.  Since the start of 2016, they have won just five ODIs away from home, with just one away win (vs Pakistan) in the current World Cup cycle.  England on the other hand have lost just three home matches during the same period.

The West Indies best chance in this series may lie in England looking ahead to the Ashes, rather than at the task in hand.  West Indies aren’t at the peak of their powers but they shouldn’t be viewed as a warm-up.  England have lost the opening match of five of their last seven ODI series or tournaments, including the opening match of the summer in 2017 and 2018.


Landmarks to look out for

Sarah Taylor is 42 runs away from becoming the ninth woman to bring up 4,000 ODI career runs.  144 runs in the series would make Taylor England women’s 2nd highest ODI runscorer, surpassing Claire Taylor.

With the gloves, Taylor needs three dismissals to overtake New Zealand’s Rebecca Rolls (133) and move into 2nd place for women’s ODI career dismissals, and also needs two more victims to break the record for women’s ODI stumpings (52 by India’s Anju Jain).

Tammy Beaumont needs 14 runs to reach the 2,000 run mark in ODIs, and in terms of innings batted, would be the 6th fastest woman to do so, if she gets those 14 runs at any point during this series.

Shemaine Campbelle (991), Hayley Matthews (980), and Kycia Knight (940) are all fast approaching 1,000 ODI runs.  Matthews would be the 2nd fastest West Indian woman to four figures, behind captain Stafanie Taylor.

If Taylor makes a half-century during this series, it would be the 39th time she’s reached fifty during her ODI career, and would take her past New Zealand legend Debbie Hockley into outright 4th position for 50+ women’s ODI scores.

Katherine Brunt needs three wickets to overtake Lisa Sthalekar and Anisa Mohammed (146), and will then be engaged in a back-and-forth battle with Pakistan’s Sana Mir (currently on 147) for third most women’s ODI career wickets.

Laura Marsh needs two more caps to become the ninth English woman to play 100 ODIs.

England‘s next ODI win will be their 200th in the format.  Only Australia (249) have more.  Heather Knight needs three more wins to reach 50 wins in all formats as England captain.


ICC Women’s Championship ODI series
England vs West Indies

Fixtures
1st ODI, Grace Road, Leicester, 6th June
2nd ODI, New Road, Worcester, 9th June
3rd ODI, County Ground, Chelmsford, 13th June

SQUADS

England:  Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Sophie Ecclestone, Jenny Gunn, Alex Harltey, Amy Jones, Laura Marsh, Nat Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Sarah Taylor, Fran Wilson, Lauren Winfield, Danni Wyatt

West Indies:  Stafanie Taylor (c), Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Britney Cooper, Afy Fletcher, Chinelle Henry, Stacy-Ann King, Kycia Knight, Kyshona Knight, Hayley Matthews, Natasha McLean, Chedean Nation, Karishma Ramharack, Shakera Selman


ICC Women’s Championship statistics (ESPNcricinfo)

Highest total
2017-21  |  Overall
Highest successful chase
2017-21  |  Overall

Most runs
2017-21  |  Overall
High scores
2017-21  | Overall
Batting strike rate
2017-21  |  Overall

Most wickets
2017-21  |  Overall
Best bowling
2017-21  |  Overall
Economy rate
2017-21  |  Overall

Partnerships by wicket
2017-21  |  Overall

Complete index
2017-21  |  Overall


Stats derived from ESPNcricinfo statsguru and cricketarchive.

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2018 Women’s World T20 preview part 3 – Group B

Stats derived from ESPNcricinfo statsguru.

Since 2016 World T20P 14 W 8 L 6 (WL 1.333)Bat 1st_ W6, L3 _ Bat 2nd_ W2, L3Highest total_ 1596 vs SLHighest successful chase_ 151 vs INDRecent form_ LLWWLLAverage runs per wicket

Controlled aggression best describes watching Australia over the last year or so.  Their loss to the West Indies in the 2016 World T20 final was Australia’s first loss in an ICC tournament final since the 2000 World Cup, and their semi-final defeat at the hands of India during the 2017 World Cup was their only loss in a World Cup knock-out match since that 2000 final vs New Zealand.

Final and semi-final appearances in consecutive ICC tournaments would be a creditable effort for most teams, but prompted a pause for introspection from the perennial pace-setters of women’s cricket.  Since the World Cup, both in their play on-field and their interviews off-field, Australia have exuded an air of determination to reassert their position of dominance.

Between 2016-17 the three time World T20 champions had a mediocre 9-10 record in T20Is, but look clear favourites for the title this year, having won ten of their eleven T20I fixtures in 2018, including their last nine in a row (the equal fourth longest winning streak in women’s T20Is).  Against the other teams in Group B in 2018, Australia have played:

Three ODIs (3-0) & two T20Is (2-0) vs India
Three T20Is (3-0) vs New Zealand
Three ODIs (3-0) & three T20Is (3-0) vs Pakistan

Their last meeting with Ireland was a straightforward victory at the last World T20.

Australia’s only international loss in 2018 was in the their second match of the Indian tri-nation series in March – England restricted Australia to 149 and easily chased down their target with three overs to spare.  Australia atoned for that loss by setting a new record T20I total of 209/4 vs England to convincingly win the final (such is the rate of change in women’s cricket recently, that mark is now ‘only’ the 4th highest total in women’s T20Is).

Australia’s run rate of 8.66 rpo in 2018 is the highest by any women’s T20I side in a calendar year (2+ matches played).  What sets Australia apart from England (8.40 rpo in 2018), and New Zealand (8.10) is how much more they seem to have left in the tank.
As well, as their record run rate, Australia’s average of 40.30 runs per wicket in 2018 is also the highest by women’s T20I side in a calendar year.

Women’s T20I team batting in 2018:

Team Won Lost RpW BpW RR
Australia 10 1 40.30 27.90 8.66
England 6 4 27.80 19.84 8.40
New Zealand 7 6 26.11 19.32 8.10
India 10 6 27.44 21.88 7.52
South Africa 7 8 23.99 20.19 7.12
West Indies 2 6 25.02 22.76 6.59
Ireland 1 4 16.92 15.58 6.51
Sri Lanka 2 8 15.55 15.68 5.94
Bangladesh 6 8 15.47 16.83 5.51
Pakistan 6 6 15.60 17.56 5.32
2018 average     22.53 19.36 6.98
Statistics are for matches played between the top ten sides only.

The difference between England and New Zealand’s runs per wicket and balls per wicket compared with Australia, shows how hard they are having to push to try and keep pace.  Australia have lost just 40 wickets in eleven matches in 2018.

For a side with such a high run rate, it might be expected that Australia are blasting sixes left, right and centre, but their rate in 2018 (1 six every 53.48 BF) is only just better than the average (55.45 BF/6).  South Africa, New Zealand, India, West Indies, and England all hit sixes more often than Australia in 2018.  Australia run better (non-boundary SR 61.85) than all but England (67.71), and hit fours (5.13 BF/4) and overall boundary fours and sixes at the best rate (4.68 BF/boundary) in 2018.

In other words, Australia are the best side at finding the gaps, and are currently achieving the limited overs holy grail of high(est) run rate, low risk cricket.

The reason Australia have been able to achieve this is the unparalleled depth of their batting lineup.  Every member of Australia’s likely top eight has a SR above the average in women’s T20Is (105.19) since the last World T20.  No other side can boast as many potential match-winners with the bat.  In their ten wins in 2018, six different Australian batters (Lanning, Healy, Mooney, Perry, Haynes and Gardner) have finished with the highest score in the innings.

Rachael Haynes has Australia’s highest SR in this period (149.59).  Alyssa Healy has made four fifties in her last five innings, and needs 86 more runs to become 3rd woman to score 1,000 T20I runs as keeper.  Meg Lanning has made a seamless return since her injury lay-off.  Her 88* (45) vs England in the Indian tri-nation series final was the highest SR innings of her career.  In September, Lanning and Haynes broke the record for the highest 5th wicket stand in women’s T20Is, with 119* vs New Zealand at North Sydney Oval.

Since she returned from injury, Lanning, who had been Australia’s established #3 has generally been held back from batting in the powerplay.  Ashleigh Gardner, scorer of the fastest WBBL hundred, now takes the role of #3, as she does for Sydney Sixers.

Mooney & Healy, Australia’s most successful T20I opening pair in terms of runs scored (443), and run rate (7.86), and Gardner, who made her maiden ODI and T20I fifties in consecutive innings vs Pakistan last month, are given licence to attack in the powerplay. Lanning will on occasion come in at #5, depending on how many wickets Australia lose in the powerplay.  Lanning’s reliability and her ability to score at a high rate from the start of her innings, helps Australia outscore the rest in the middle overs, and subsequently at the death.

In the eleven matches since adopting this strategy in 2018, Australia score at 7.82 rpo in the powerplay, 8.94 rpo in overs 7-16, and 9.93 rpo in overs 17-20, for an overall run rate of 8.66 rpo.  In non-reduced overs matches from the start of the 2016 World T20 until the end of the 2017 Ashes series (twelve matches), Australia scored at 6.10 rpo in the powerplay, 7.06 rpo in the middle overs and 7.57 rpo at the death, for an overall run rate of 6.79 rpo.

In all, Australia’s squad contains eight of the nine highest run-scorers in the WBBL.  The only player missing from that nine is the retired Alex Blackwell.  The highest ranked non-Australian in the WBBL is New Zealand’s Suzie Bates in 10th.  Such is the strength of Australia’s lineup, the top WBBL run-scorer, Ellyse Perry is essentially an insurance policy in case of collapse, coming in at #7.

In T20Is at least, Perry has returned to primarily being in the team for her bowling (in ODIs she remains the 2nd best batter in the world, behind Lanning).  Perry was the leading wicket taker in Australia’s recent series vs New Zealand, and is now just nine wickets away from becoming the second bowler to take 100 T20I wickets.  It’s another Australian pace bowler however, who has been the best in the World since the World Cup.  Megan Schutt’s 24 wickets are the joint most taken in T20Is played between the top ten nations since the World Cup.  Among bowlers with 10+ wickets in those matches, Schutt has the best SR (12.8) and the 8th best ER (5.63 rpo, the best for a pace bowler).

As a team Australia have an ER of 6.98 since the World Cup, which is a fraction above the average for the period (6.98).  In real terms that’s a remarkable achievement, given Australia have played in three of the five highest run-rate series ever during that period.  The average RPO in matches Australia have played in since the World Cup has been 7.69.

Left-arm spinner, Sophie Molineux has stepped up in the absence of the injured Jess Jonassen.  Molineux had the best ER (5.08) in the series vs New Zealand (the series average was 7.39).  She then had a scarcely believable ODI series vs Pakistan (26.0-6-39-6), and she and Schutt were once again the two most economical bowlers in the T20I series that followed.  This time Schutt was 1st (3.04), and Molineux second (4.72), in a series with an average ER of 6.52.

Just as they’ve had a plethora of match-winners with the bat in their ten wins in 2018, six Australian bowlers have come away with the best innings figures in those matches as well (Molineux, Schutt, Perry, Gardner, Kimmince and Wareham).

There are no certainties in sport, especially not T20, but Australia will make the final and are overwhelming favourites to take their fourth World T20 crown.

SQUAD: Meg Lanning (captain), Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
Squad T20I stats


Since 2016 World T20P 14 W 8 L 6 (WL 1.333)Bat 1st_ W6, L3 _ Bat 2nd_ W2, L3Highest total_ 1596 vs SLHighest successful chase_ 151 vs INDRecent form_ LLWWLLAverage runs per wicket

New Zealand come into the tournament on the back of five consecutive T20I losses.  In June, New Zealand began their Northern tour in spectacular style.  In obliterating a middling run chase vs Ireland, New Zealand scored 142/0 (11.0), the highest innings run-rate (12.90 rpo) in a completed women’s international match.  They followed that with three consecutive 400+ ODI totals vs Ireland, including a new world record 491/4, and began the English tri-nation T20I series with another world record total of 216/1 vs South Africa.  After that however, the wheels came off in increasingly predictable fashion.

Swept aside by England in all three T20I of that series, and whitewashed in both ODI and T20I series in Australia in September, New Zealand have looked over-reliant on their opening partnership of Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine.

The highest career run-scorer (2,846) in T20 international cricket, Suzie Bates, who stepped down from the captaincy after the Northern tour, also has the most women’s T20I runs in 2018 (509 at an average of 56.55 and SR of 141).  Bates & Devine are one of three pairings to have scored over 1,000 runs together in women’s T20Is, and are the only partnership to have shared four century stands.  Their 182 opening stand vs South Africa in June was the highest partnership in women’s T20Is.

Only Charlotte Edwards & Laura Marsh (939) have made more runs as an opening partnership than Bates & Devine’s 877.  Their average of 41.76 is the highest for any women’s T20I opening pair with 300+ runs.  By the same criteria, Only England’s Beaumont and Wyatt (8.92 rpo) have a higher run rate than Bates & Devine’s 7.96 rpo.

Since the 2017 World Cup, New Zealand have been the fastest scoring side in the powerplay in women’s T20Is (7.94 rpo).

Team Powerplay Ovrs 7-16 Ovrs 17-20 Overall
Australia 7.80 8.63 9.84 8.49
England 7.81 8.42 8.81 8.28
New Zealand 7.94 7.94 7.77 7.91
India 7.22 7.27 8.59 7.46
South Africa 6.41 6.97 8.86 7.13
West Indies 5.82 6.96 8.33 6.86
Ireland 5.33 6.98 7.18 6.52
Bangladesh* 5.40 5.55 6.96 5.77
Sri Lanka* 5.88 5.57 6.00 5.74
Pakistan* 5.47 5.17 5.41 5.31
Average 6.69 7.03 7.76 7.04
Statistics are for matches played between the top ten sides only.
*Incomplete data for two BAN v PAK matches & one SL v PAK.

Among the six likely semi-final contenders (AUS, ENG, IND, NZ, SA, WI), New Zealand are unique however in slowing down as the innings progresses.  Once their opening partnership is broken, and especially after both Bates & Devine depart, New Zealand have struggled to maintain the rate, and frequently collapse altogether.  In matches played between the top ten since the World Cup, the only teams to lose wickets in the last ten overs more frequently than New Zealand (1 every 13.06 balls) are Pakistan (12.95) and Ireland (11.68).

That being said, New Zealand are still the third fastest scoring side overall, both since the World Cup and since the last World T20.  Australia and England are the only sides that have beaten New Zealand in T20Is since the 2016 tournament.

New Zealand are still one of the strongest teams in the competition, and far from being the two-player side that they’ve been characterised as.  With the bat, Katey Martin has been in career-best form in 2018.  Martin, who didn’t make a fifty in her first 40 T20I innings has made four fifties in twelve innings in 2018.  Captain Amy Satterthwaite was player of the season in the WBBL, an award which could just as easily have been awarded to Devine.

Devine’s bowling form has been just as good as her batting form recently.  She was 4th highest wicket taker in WBBL03 (17), 2nd highest in the 2018 KSL (16), and is New Zealand’s 2nd highest wicket taker in T20Is since the World Cup (15).  The only pace bowlers with more wickets in women’s T20Is in that period are Australia’s Schutt and Kimmince.

New Zealand’s star bowlers on the surface at Providence, Guyana could well be offspinner Leigh Kasperek and legspinner Amelia Kerr.  Kasperek is the 3rd highest wicket take in T20Is since the World Cup (21), with a SR (13.4) second only to Schutt (10+ wickets).  Kasperek, with 46 wicket in 27 innings, is on course to be the 2nd fastest woman to 50 T20I wickets.  Kerr, who turned 18 last month, has the most women’s international wickets (53.  39 in ODIs & 14 T20I) of any bowler by that age.

Despite recent setbacks, New Zealand are still one of the favourites to make the semi-finals.  A huge amount rests on the outcome of their first match, a virtual quarter final vs India.  The sides played each other with a semi-final spot on the line in the final group game of the 2017 World Cup.  On that occasion, India were convincing winners, but the sides haven’t played a T20I against each other since 2015, and last met at the World T20 in 2010.

SQUAD: Amy Satterthwaite (c) Suzie Bates, Bernadine Bezuidenhout, Sophie Devine, Kate Ebrahim, Maddy Green, Holly Huddleston, Hayley Jensen, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Katey Martin, Anna Peterson, Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu, Jessica Watkin
Squad T20I stats


Since 2016 World T20P 14 W 8 L 6 (WL 1.333)Bat 1st_ W6, L3 _ Bat 2nd_ W2, L3Highest total_ 1596 vs SLHighest successful chase_ 151 vs INDRecent form_ LLWWLLAverage runs per wicket

2017 World Cup finalists, India haven’t made the semi-finals of the World T20 since 2010, and put in a particularly poor showing as hosts in 2016, managing just a solitary win vs Bangladesh.  They begin this tournament in somewhat uncertain waters.  Their Asia Cup defeats to Bangladesh led to an acrimonious change of coach, but with the players at their disposal, this tournament represents their best chance of reaching the semi-finals in years.

With an average age of 24 years 210 days, India are the youngest squad in the tournament, even with the inclusion of Mithali Raj, whose international career now spans over 19 years.

During their home tri-series in March, India made their highest total (198/4 vs England), and have made seven of their eight highest T20I totals this year alone.  That highest total wasn’t enough to win the match however, as England achieved the record women’s T20I chase.  Like most of the top teams in the tournament, India have fared better chasing (W8, L6 batting 1st, and W8, L3 chasing since the 2016 World T20), and in 2018 have made four of the five highest successful chases in their history.

In terms of their win/loss record (1.555 to 1), and their run rate (7.07 rpo) vs the top ten sides, India are the 4th ranked side over the current World T20 cycle.  Unfortunately for India, the draw for the World T20 has placed three of those four (Australia, New Zealand and India) in the same group.

To reach the semi-finals, India will have to beat one of New Zealand or Australia, something they haven’t done in T20Is since before the previous World T20, though they did manage to beat both sides at the World Cup, with both matches also being elimination games.  Against non-Asian opposition India have four T20I wins since the last World T20 (three vs South Africa, and one vs England).  Three of those four wins were in run chases.  Their only win batting 1st vs a non-Asian side since the last tournament was in South Africa in February.

A significant positive step since the change of coaching regime after the Asia Cup, has been the re-introduction of Jemimah Rodrigues ot the XI.  Rodrigues mystifyingly didn’t play a single match at the tournament, despite having made a promising star to her career.  After showing flashes of promise in South Africa, Rodrigues’ 50 vs Australia in March made her the youngest Indian to make a T20I half-century.

In her comeback series in Sri Lanka Rodrigues was by the highest run scorer (191, 2nd place scored 107), and added two more fifties to her record.  Rodrigues has the highest SR  (137.14) among India’s batters since the World Cup, and the 9th highest by any woman to have scored 200+ runs in matches against the top ten sides in that period.

India’s next batter on that list is Smriti Mandhana (134.09).  Though India failed to make the final of their home tri-nation series with Australia and England in March, Mandhana was still a stand-out performer, with three fifties in four innings.

In July/August Mandhana had a breathtaking debut season in the KSL, propelling Western Storm to finals day.  Despite missing finals day herself, due to international duty,  Mandhana finished as the tournaments highest run scorer with an outstanding SR of 174.69.  During her stint Mandhana made the joint fastest recorded fifty (18 balls) in women’s T20 cricket and, what was at the time, the fastest KSL century (60 balls).  Having played just nine innings in the competition, Mandhana has the third most KSL career sixes (21).

In the international cricket she’s played around that KSL season however, Mandhana has been in something of  a slump.  In T20Is since the home tri-nation series, a period encompassing the Asia Cup and India’s tour of Sri Lanka, Mandhana has now gone ten innings without making a fifty, and has been out for single figure scores in each of her last five innings.

India’s other big names in the batting department have had mixed fortunes recently.  Mithali Raj began the year by becoming the only woman to make four consecutive 50+ scores in T20Is, and in 2018 has equalled Elyse Villani’s record for most 50+ scores in year (five, which Suzie Bates has also achieved in 2018).  There are growing calls however, that Raj’s SR (100.00 in matches vs the top since the World Cup) is too low, and that Rodrigues should be opening with Mandhana to best take advantage of the powerplay.  Raj has made her highest T20I career score (97*) this year, but that was against the part-timers of Malaysia.  In the ten other innings since she made 53 vs England during the India tri-nation series, Raj has a HS of 23.

After India’s pre-tournament series against West Indies fell through in October, the full squad were substituted into a series against Australia A.  During that series, Raj made her second career century, and the highest score T20 by an Indian woman (105* off 61).

Harmanpreet Kaur has perhaps suffered more from excessive expectations generated by her semi-final winning 171* vs Australia at the World Cup. rather than being in particularly poor form.  In matches vs the top ten sides in that time, Kaur is India’s highest scorer and the 6th highest in T20Is overall (421). Her SR (113.47) is above average for the period (109.50).  While she only has two fifties in 2018, Kaur has made at least 20 in thirteen of her last fifteen T20I innings, and made her highest score of the year in her most recent T20I innings (63 off 38 vs Sri Lanka).

Taniya Bhatia has recently begun to make significant international contributions.  Bhatia made a match winning 46 (35) vs Sri Lanka, and her 68 in the ODI series vs Sri Lanka was the first fifty by an India keeper for five years.

With Group B taking place in Providence Guyana there will be pressure on India’s spinners to make telling contributions.  Legspinner Poonam Yadav could well be India’s star turn at the World T20, maybe even outshining their vaunted batters.  Poonam has 27 T20I wickets in 2018, the women’s T20I record for a calendar year, and 61 in 43 innings overall.  Only Anisa Mohammed (64) & Anya Shrubsole (63) have had more women’s T20I wickets at the same stage of their careers.

India have played in some exceptionally high run rate series in the last year, but Poonam has still managed to maintain an excellent ER.  The average ER in matches Poonam has played in 2018 is 7.00 rpo, but  her own ER in those matches has been 5.65.

Offspinners Anuja Patil (17) and Deepti Sharma (13) are India’s next highest wicket takers since the World Cup.  Left-armer Ekta Bisht has the best ER (4.58) among bowlers too have delivered 25+ overs against the top ten sides since the last World T20, though has been in and out of contention recently, generally vying for the same spot as Radha Yadav.

For the first time, India will play the World T20 without fast bowler Jhulan Goswami, who retired from T20 internationals earlier this year.  Pooja Vastrakar and Mansi Joshi are the leading contenders to take on the role of India’s #1 seamer, after Shikha Pandey was surprisingly left out.

India can perhaps count themselves unlucky to have been drawn in the ‘group of death’, but they have beaten both Australia and New Zealand at the last ICC tournament, and the conditions in Guyana are not unlike those in Asia.  While they have a host of exciting cricketers, it’s not yet clear they’ve settled upon a game-plan in T20Is that makes the most of their talents.  If Mandhana and Rodrigues are on form, India will be a force to be reckoned with, but this might be a tournament too soon for some of the other young players in the squad.

SQUAD: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Tanya Bhatia, Ekta Bisht, Dayalan Hemalatha, Mansi Joshi, Veda Krishnamurthy, Smriti Mandhana, Anuja Patil, Mithali Raj, Arundathi Reddy, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Pooja Vastrakar, Radha Yadav, Poonam Yadav
Squad T20I stats


Since 2016 World T20P 14 W 8 L 6 (WL 1.333)Bat 1st_ W6, L3 _ Bat 2nd_ W2, L3Highest total_ 1596 vs SLHighest successful chase_ 151 vs INDRecent form_ LLWWLLAverage runs per wicket

Once upon a time, Javeria Khan was an offspinner whose international career was in jeopardy due to a reported bowling action.  In 2018, she stands as one of Pakistan’s longest established top order batters, and will lead her country at the World T20.

Since the 2017 World Cup, from which they came away with a last place finish and no wins, Pakistan have made significant progress (it would admittedly be hard to regress from that position).  A first ODI win vs New Zealand at Sharjah last Novemeber was a significant breakthrough, and showed the value of the ICC Women’s Championship.

Against Asia Cup champions Bangladesh last month, Pakistan achieved their first whitewash in a T20I series of three or more matches.  Much of Pakistan’s recent progress has been down to their bowling.  Since the World Cup, Pakistan are the most economical bowling side (5.94 rpo), and average the fewest runs per wicket (18.26).

Among women to have bowled 20+ overs since the World Cup, Pakistan have the three most economical bowlers in T20Is, Anam Amin (4.60 rpo), Nida Dar (4.89 and Nashra Sandhu (5.06).  Diana Baig is in 10th (5.66).

Sana Mir, who recently rose to the top of the women’s ODI bowling rankings, fares less well in T20Is recently, but has the 5th most career wickets (77).  Fellow offspinner Nida Dar has the 4th most (80), and in 2018 has taken 20 T20I wickets, the most for Pakistan women in a calendar year.  Among women with 50+ career wickets, Dar has the 2nd best career ER in women’s T20Is (4.89).

Though they can be a threat with the ball, especially on slow surfaces such as those in Guyana, Pakistan often don’t make the most of this because of their travails with the bat.  It’s also fair to say that Pakistan’s good ER is in part due to the fact that their opposition are often not faced with having to score particularly quickly to surpass their totals.  Their run rate of 5.34 rpo since the last World T20 is the second lowest in the tournament, and represents little progress since the last cycle (5.23 rpo).  Given the significant increase in overall run-rates between those two cycles, in real terms Pakistan have gone backwards.  The average in 2016-18 is 6.66 rpo, compared with 5.97 for 2014-16.

Pakistan are hugely reliant on three key batters.  Captain Javeria Khan, opener Nahida Khan, and Bismah Maroof, who has just returned to international duty after an extended lay-off due to surgery.  Bismah is Pakistan’s most talented batter and their leading run-scorer in T20Is.  Javeria is the only other Pakistan batter with over 1,000 T20I runs and one of just three Pakistan batters with a SR over 100 since the last World T20.

Nahida, while less free-flowing than Bismah or Javeria, is one of the few reliable scorers in the side.  Her 43 on 25 October was Pakistan’s highest T20I score vs Australia.  A few other batters chip in from time to time, most notably Ayesha Zafar, and mercurial all-rounder Aliya Riaz.  On the whole, especially against the stronger sides, Pakistan’s innings are characterised by an inability to effectively change gears, and tend to consist of one or two solid partnerships followed by a collapse.

Omaima Sohail, with just three caps, has shown enough promise to already be considered among Pakistan’s four most important batters.  Against Australia in Kuala Lumpur last month, Omaima made 25, the 2nd highest score for Pakistan women on debut, and the highest score by a debutant for Pakistan since Sajjida Shah made 27* in their first T20I.

In the second T20I, Omaima made 43, equalling the highest score for Pakistan women vs Australia, which Nahida Khan had made in the previous match.  Omaima and Javeria were the only Pakistan batters to make double figures in that innings.  Omaima is the only other Pakistan batter apart from Bismah Maroof and Javeria Khan to have a SR in excess of 100 in the current World T20 cycle.

Progress of sorts was made in that series vs Australia, in that Pakistan did manage their highest total against the Australians, albeit in a match in which they’d already conceded 195/3.  Nahida & Omaima’s 55 partnership off 44 balls was Pakistan’s highest run rate 50+ partnership (9.70 rpo) against a full member, and the 8th highest run rate 50+ partnership by any side vs Australia.  Pakistan made their highest T20I total against any side with 177/5 Malaysia, at the Asia Cup in June, and also made their highest successful chase (130) vs Sri Lanka earlier in the year.

Pakistan have shown flashes of promise and achieved significant milestones recently.  If they put all the pieces together on the same day, they can cause an upset, but would probably have stood a better chance of doing so vs the sides in Group A.

SQUAD: Javeria Khan (c), Aiman Anwar, Aliya Riaz, Anam Amin, Ayesha Zafar, Bismah Maroof, Diana Baig, Muneeba Ali Siddiqui, Nahida Khan, Nashra Sundhu, Natalia Parvaiz, Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Sana Mir, Sidra Nawaz
Squad T20I stats


Since 2016 World T20P 14 W 8 L 6 (WL 1.333)Bat 1st_ W6, L3 _ Bat 2nd_ W2, L3Highest total_ 1596 vs SLHighest successful chase_ 151 vs INDRecent form_ LLWWLLAverage runs per wicket

Ireland have played the fewest fixtures (12) since the the last World T20, only eight of which were against sides playing at the tournament.  They have the fewest overall T20I caps of the ten 2018 World T20 sides, and have played the fewest total professional/semi-professional T20 fixtures since the last tournament.  Their squad includes both the oldest player at the tournament (Ciara Metcalfe), and the youngest (Gaby Lewis).  Metcalfe, who made her debut in 1999, and Clare Shillington (who debuted in 1997) have already announced that this will be their last international outing.  They still have at least one first ahead of them.  Ireland’s third match of the tournament will their first T20I meeting vs India.

While the odds are stacked against them, Ireland have recorded wins against higher ranked sides since the last tournament.  In August 2016, they beat South Africa, who would go on to make the World Cup semi-final less than a year later.  In July of this year, they were the side that ended Asia Cup champions Bangladesh’s wining streak.  Ireland’s total of 152 in that match was their highest successful chase and the 9th highest by any side in women’s T20Is.

Another notable milestone was Gaby Lewis’ 61 in defeat vs New Zealand in June of this year, which was Ireland’s 2nd highest T20I score, and their highest vs a full member.  Lewis has the most women’s T20I runs (366) by a player before their 18th birthday, and is the youngest player to have made two women’s T20I half-centuries.  In their loss to Bangladesh in the World T20 Qualifier final, Lucy O’Reilly became just the second Irish woman to take a T20I 4-fer.

All women’s sport still involves an element of activism, and that’s particularly true of largely amateur teams such as Ireland.  With the whole tournament being televised for the first time, Ireland have a chance for unprecedented worldwide exposure.  A win or even a hard fought loss on such a stage could do wonders for Ireland women, in a similar manner to Ireland men’s win vs Pakistan at the 2007 World Cup, and their famous victory vs England in 2011.

Now that the ICC have confirmed both Ireland and Bangladesh will be a part of the ICC Women’s Championship following the 2021 World Cup, youngsters like Lewis can look forward to regular fixtures against the world’s best, which will be crucial in improving Ireland’s competitiveness.  That’s still three years away though, so Ireland’s performance at this tournament could still be key to forcing positive change in the interim.

While they are under-resourced compared with the other sides at the tournament, Ireland boast three players with experience of playing in the WBBL, which is more than Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh combined.

Isobel Joyce has played in the WBBL for Hobart Hurricanes, alongside Australian born Celeste Raack, who will make her debut during the tournament.  Kim Garth was so successful in two championship winning seasons with the Sydney Sixers that she prompted a change of the rules for international ‘rookies’.

Perhaps the Irish player with the most notable T20 achievement is Clare Shillington, who is one of just four women to have made three or more T20 career centuries:

5 Danni Wyatt (151 innings)
4 Suzie Bates (251)
3 Clare Shillington (90); Rachel Priest (200)

No Irish woman has made a half-century at the World T20.  Shillington or Lewis are Ireland’s best hope of changing that record.

In 2018, Ireland have been on the receiving end of world records in ODIs and T20Is.  A win against Pakistan is not out of the question.  The first fully televised Women’s World T20 is an opportunity for Ireland to make the headlines for their own achievements, rather than the opposition’s.

SQUAD: Laura Delany (c), Kim Garth, Cecelia Joyce, Isobel Joyce, Shauna Kavanagh, Amy Kenealy, Gaby Lewis, Lara Maritz, Ciara Metcalfe, Lucy O’Reilly, Celeste Raack, Eimear Richardson, Clare Shillington, Rebecca Stokell, Mary Waldron
Squad T20I stats


WT20I win loss since 2016


 

2018 Women’s World T20 preview part 1
2018 Women’s World T20 preview part 2 – Group A