*ESPNcricinfo and other sources don’t have complete scorecards for two T20Is in 2012.
After a two year wait, women’s T20I cricket returns to England
South Africa’s match vs New Zealand at Taunton on Wednesday afternoon will be the first women’s T20I played in England since 7th July 2016.
In the years since England’s 3-0 whitewash of Pakistan, women’s T20 cricket has transformed out of all recognition. Increased international contracts, the WBBL (which began in 2015-16) and KSL (2016) all mean that women’s cricket is now a professional sport at the top level.
The T20I run rate in 2018 (6.88 rpo) is currently the highest for a calendar year in which more than 10 matches have been played.
Every major women’s T20I series played since last years ODI World Cup has been among the fastest scoring in history. The five series with highest run rates in women’s T20I history have each included one or more of the teams taking part in this tri-series.
Highest run rate for a women’s T20I series/tournament:
8.19 rpo IND/AUS/ENG tri-nation series, March 2018
7.87 rpo Ashes T20I series, Nov 2017
7.68 rpo South Africa v India, Feb 2018
7.48 rpo South Africa v England, Feb 2016
7.28 rpo New Zealand v West Indies, March 2018
The number of sixes hit in some recent series have been so great that they exceed totals for previous editions of the World T20, let alone two or three teams series.
In just 5 matches, The South Africa vs India series in February racked up 42 sixes. By far the highest total for a bilateral series, and the 4th most for any women’s T20I series or tournament, regardless of length or the number of participants.
Most sixes in a women’s T20I series/tournament:
57 – 2014 World T20 in Bangladesh (27 matches)
53 – 2010 World T20 in West Indies (15 matches)
43 – 2016 World T20 in India (23 matches)
42 – South Africa v India, 2018 (5 matches)
30 – IND/AUS/ENG tri-series, 2018 (7 matches)
30 – 2012 World T20 in Sri Lanka (15 matches)
27 – 2009 World T20 in England (15 matches)
The average rate at which sixes have been hit in the history of women’s T20Is is one six for every 108 balls faced. Since the 2017 World Cup, the rate is now once every 61.56 balls, comparable to the most recent WBBL season (65.39). During the record-breaking South Africa vs India series in February, batters were hitting sixes once every 24 balls.
The Guardian recently published a list of the world’s top 20 women’s cricketers. Ten of the names on that list will be taking part in this series, and that doesn’t even include players such as England’s Tammy Beaumont, South Africa’s Chloe Tryon or New Zealand’s Amelia Kerr.
The players taking part in this series have made over a third (15 of 42) of all domestic & international women’s T20 centuries.
Even in light of the spectacular 2017 World Cup, the British public won’t have witnessed a women’s cricket tournament like this before.
A number that might be a counter to all this excitement is the 20.07 balls bowled per wicket in 2018. i.e. despite the massively increased run rate and six hitting, the risk of wickets falling has decreased.
This isn’t the case in women’s ODIs, where the run rate and runs scored per wicket have markedly increased in recent yearsrecent years, but wickets are still falling at the same rate they always have in the 50-over era (roughly once every six overs).
Last 8 results:
England – LWWWWLLL
New Zealand – WWWWWWWW
South Africa – LLLWLWWW
T20I head-to-head record:
England vs New Zealand
ENG wins 14
NZ wins 5
England vs South Africa
ENG wins 13
SA wins 1
No result 1
New Zealand vs South Africa
NZ wins 4
SA wins 1
While the historic head-to-head record (heavily) favours England, this series is likely to be much closer. New Zealand are the form team in world cricket, and come into this series on the back of an unprecedented run of three consecutive 400+ ODI totals vs Ireland. South Africa are the outsiders but the ODI series vs England showed the bowling quality and power-hitting they bring to this series.
New Zealand flying high as Bates nears record
Since their 2016 World T20 semi-final loss to the West Indies, New Zealand have only lost one T20 international, vs Australia at the MCG on 17th February 2017. The White Ferns are currently on an 11 match wining streak, the 3rd longest such run in women’s T20Is. Included in that run is a 4-0 whitewash of the West Indies in New Zealand.
Before their ODI demolition of Ireland, New Zealand also played the Irish in a T20I. In that game at Dublin on 6th June, the hosts set the White Ferns a target of 137.
Suzie Bates and Jess Watkin blitzed their way 142/0 in 11 overs. Watkin’s 77* was the 3rd highest score by a T20I debutant, their partnership was New Zealand’s highest in T20Is and their run rate (12.90 rpo), was the highest ever for a completed women’s international innings.
As well as youngsters like Watkin and Kerr, braking new ground, several experienced batters are at the peak of their powers for New Zealand.
Suzie Bates (2,515) is now just 91 runs away from breaking Charlotte Edwards’ (2,605) T20I career runs record. Bates is the highest run scorer in the KSL (492) and the highest scoring overseas player (964) in the WBBL. She is the only player to have made centureis in both the WBBL & KSL.
Amy Satterthwaite claimed the player of the season award in WBBL03, an honour which could just as easily have been given to Sophie Devine.
Having supplanted Rachel Priest at the top of the order, Devine has a new-found consistency since the World Cup (3 centuries & 3 fifties in 7 ODIs). In T20Is Devine’s SR is the 4th highest of any woman to have faced 100+ balls since the start of 2016 (152.17). If she stays in for any length of time today, Devine will likely hit her 50th T20I six, making her just the 2nd woman to that mark.
Priest’s replacement with the gloves, 33 year old Katey Martin made her maiden T20I fifty against the West Indies in March. An innings later she made her 2nd, and two innings after that, her 3rd.
No-one has taken more T20I wickets since the start of 2016 than Leigh Kasperek (31). Holly Huddlestone and Lea Tahuhu will be important, but expect Kasperek and Amelia Kerr (whose economy of 4.58 rpo is exceptional, given current run rates) to be New Zealand’s main threats with the ball in this series.
New Zealand (5.78 rpo) are the only side with a collective economy rate below six runs an over since the start of 2016.
As in ODIs, England are unrecognisable since Mark Robinson took charge at the start of 2016. Only New Zealand have a better T20I win/loos record in that time, and England’s run rate (7.46 rpo) is the highest of any team. It’s needed to be though, as their economy rate is the second worst (6.89 rpo), behind only Ireland.
A large part of that ER is down to England conceding 7.46 rpo when fielding first. Despite this, England have the best win/loss ratio among chasing sides since the start of 2016.
Danni Wyatt’s maiden hundred, at Manuka Oval in November was the first ever in a women’s T20I chase. She followed that with 124 vs India at Mumbai in March as England completed a women’s T20I record chase of 199.
Wyatt and Tammy Beaumont now have 10 T20I sixes each. Nothing compared with the likes of Devine, Dottin, Lee or Tryon but still something of a significant milestone. Those 10 sixes mean they’re currently level with Charlotte Edwards on the most T20I career sixes for England. This series is sure to see them break that symbolic barrier.
After taking an inexperienced squad to India, England will be fielding their full-strength T20I XI for the first time since the Ashes, which should make up for some of the deficiencies experienced in that series. After their record chase, England went on to lose their remaining three fixtures.
England’s top three batters in that series (Wyatt, Beaumont and Natalie Sciver) were as strong as their Australian counterparts but the rest of batting order fell well short:
England’s top 3 run-scorers (Wyatt, Sciver & Beaumont):
488 off 321 (SR 152.02 or 9.12 rpo)
Rest of England squad:
188 off 233 (SR 80.69 or 4.84 rpo)
Australia’s top 3 run-scorers (Lanning, Villani & Mooney):
452 off 313 (SR 144.41 or 8.66 rpo)
Rest of Australia squad:
323 off 228 (SR 141.66 or 8.50 rpo)
The return of Sarah Taylor and Katherine Brunt with the bat should go some way to improving those figures. Likewise, Brunt and Shrubsole’s return with the ball will be welcome after some fairly toothless bowling displays in the Indian series.
South Africa are the wildcard. Their historic and recent record suggests an England/New Zealand final, but they have some of the most exciting individual players in world cricket, who could take games away on their own.
Shanbim Ismail is the world’s fastest bowler, and in Marizanne Kapp and Dane van Niekerk they have two key members of the all-conquering Sydney Sixers WBBL squads. Among bowlers to have delivered 10+ overs, Kapp has the best career economy rate (4.66 rpo) in the WBBL (Brunt incidentally is 2nd, with 5.15 rpo) and has been going at 5.48 rpo in T20Is since the start of 2016.
Van Niekerk was the 3rd highest wicket taker in WBBL03 (20 wickets), despite not playing the whole season due to international commitments.
Not even Sophie Devine can match the rate at which Chloe Tryon currently hits sixes (11.58 balls per six since the start of 2016). By that measure, Lizelle Lee is in 4th place (22.27) and captain Van Niekerk is in 9th (37.08).
Tryon’s innings strike rate of 457.14 for her 32* (7) vs India at Senwes Park in February is the highest ever SR for a 25+ run score in women’s or men’s T20 international cricket.
While their boundary hitting is spectacular, South Africa’s running leaves a lot to be desired, and they haven’t settled on a best XI or consistent batting order.
All of Lee’s hitting power amounts to a career T20I SR of 97.15 (rising to a decent, but not spectacular 110.77 since the start of 2016). Despite the presence of Lee & Tryon in their ranks, South Africa have only posted 150+ totals three times since the start of 2016 and have a high total of 169 in that period.
Teenage batting sensation, Laura Wolvaardt has yet to shine in T20 cricket at domestic or international level.
New Zealand: Suzie Bates (c), Bernadine Bezuidenhout (wk), Sophie Devine, Kate Ebrahim, Maddy Green, Holly Huddleston, Hayley Jensen, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Katey Martin, Anna Peterson, Hannah Rowe, Amy Satterthwaite, Lea Tahuhu, Jess Watkin
South Africa: Dane van Niekerk (c), Lizelle Lee (wk), Chloe Tryon, Mignon du Preez, Marizanne Kapp, Shabnim Ismail, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Raisibe Ntozakhe, Suné Luus, Laura Wolvaardt, Andrie Steyn, Zintle Mali, Tazmin Brits, Stacey Lackay.
England: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Tash Farrant, Jenny Gunn, Danielle Hazell, Amy Jones (wk), Laura Marsh, Anya Shrubsole, Nat Sciver, Sarah Taylor (wk), Danni Wyatt.
To join the squad for the June 24 match: Katie George, Lauren Winfield.