Following on from an increasingly uneven series of ODIs that resulted in a 3-0 win for New Zealand, the five match T20I series should be a more competitive affair.
New Zealand and the West Indies have two of the strongest T20I records in the post-WBBL era (2016- present).
West Indies have never won a T20I (or any other international match) in New Zealand, but the 2016 World T20 Champions begin the series on a run of nine consecutive wins, the 3rd longest such run in women’s T20Is. New Zealand have won their last six matches, their second longest T20I winning streak.
Neither team were troubled by their most recent T20I series, against the 7th & 8th ranked sides in the world, towards the end of last year:
The West Indies brushed aside Sri Lanka 3-0 in a series of T20Is at Coolidge in October. Legspinner Afy Fletcher took her career best figures (5-13) in the 2nd match of the series and Deandra Dottin’s 112 in the 3rd match made her the first woman to score two T20I centuries.
New Zealand whitewashed Pakistan 4-0 at Sharjah in November, having made heavy work of the preceding ODI series. Sophie Devine (158) and Suzie Bates (123) dominated the series run-scoring charts, while medium-pacer Hannah Rowe took the most wickets (6), despite only playing two games.
West Indies captain, Stafanie Taylor is the highest run scorer in T20Is since the start of 2016 (600 runs; ave 42.85; SR 104.52) and her opposite number, Suzie Bates is 3rd (534 runs; ave 35.60; SR 107.22).
Both Taylor (2,474) and Bates (2,337) are within touching distance of Charlotte Edwards’ T20I career runs record (2,605). Deandra Dottin needs 41 more to become the 5th woman to bring up 2,000 T20I runs.
Dottin and Sophie Devine remain among the most devastating six hitters in world cricket.
T20I balls faced per six since start of 2016 (5+ sixes hit):
10.64 Chloe Tryon SA (11 sixes)
18.27 Sophie Devine NZ (11)
20.50 Lizelle Lee SA (14)
23.68 Harmanpreet Kaur IND (19)
26.42 Deandra Dottin WI (12)
Average rate of balls faced per T20I six since the start of 2016: 74.58
While both teams have their share of powerful batters, they also stand out with the ball. New Zealand (14.02 at 5.56 rpo) and West Indies (16.62 at 5.86 rpo) are respectively 1st & 2nd in terms of both fewest runs conceded per wicket, and the best overall economy rate as bowling sides since the start of 2016.
New Zealand’s squad contains 3 of the 5 most economical bowlers in T20Is (100+ balls bowled) since the start of 2016, in legspinner Amelia Kerr (4.15 rpo) and pace bowlers Holly Huddlestone (4.42) and Lea Tahuhu (4.75). The average ER for the period is 6.11 rpo.
New Zealand’s Leigh Kasperek (12.27) and Sophie Devine (13.58) feature at 2nd & 3rd in the bowling averages (10+ wickets taken since the start of 2016), closely followed by West Indies’ Afy Fletcher (13.83), Hayley Matthews (14.35) and Deandra Dottin (14.56) in 4th, 5th & 6th.
West Indies ‘big three’ (Stafanie Taylor, Deandra Dottin and Hayley Matthews) dominate the ICC’s player rankings. Taylor and Matthews are ranked #1 in batting and bowling respectively, while Matthews, Taylor and Dottin together account for the top 3 spots in the T20I all-rounder rankings.
There may be some concern that none of those three had vintage years with the bat in the most recent WBBL season. Matthews, Taylor and Dottin didn’t make a half-century between them in WBBL03 and they all finished the season with batting strike rates below the season average (104.88).
Several New Zealand players involved in WBBL03 on the other hand, had great success. Suzie Bates (5th with 434 runs) Amy Satterthwaite (8th, 368) and Sophie Devine (9th, 355) all finished among the top 10 run-scorers, and all three had above average strike rates. Devine’s 17 sixes took her WBBL career tally to 40, the highest for any player. Bates’ 964 WBBL career runs are the most by an overseas player and 10th most overall.
New Zealanders have been among the most successful overseas batters in the WBBL. Satterthwaite has the 11th most career runs (929), former White Fern, Sara McGlashan is 12th (854), Devine 13th (849), Stafanie Taylor is the highest ranked West Indian in 14th (829), and Rachel Priest is 15th (776).
Wicketkeeper Priest can count herself unlucky that she has recently fallen out of favour for international selection. Priest finished WBBL03 with her best runs total for a WBBL season (264), and also had the highest batting strike rate of any New Zealand players involved in the tournament this season (118.92). Priest also topped the charts for runs, strike rate, boundaries and fifties in the KSL in England in 2017, and made the most keeping dismissals in New Zealand’s 2017/18 domestic T20 competition, despite only playing six matches.
Sophie Devine had a stellar season with the ball in WBBL03, finishing as Adelaide Strikers’ equal highest wicket taker. Devine’s 17 wickets were the 4th most taken in WBBL03. Lea Tahuhu was Melbourne Renegades’ top wicket taker (16) and 8th overall for the season. Her Renegades teammate, Hayley Jensen took 15 wickets, resulting in an international recall. Their captain, Amy Satterthwaite’s 11 wickets combined with her 368 runs earned her player of the tournament.
Stafanie Taylor had another good season with the ball for Sydney Thunder (15 wickets), mitigating for her disappointing run with the bat. Her 4-15 vs Hobart Hurricanes were the 3rd best bowling figures in WBBL03. Deandra Dottin was solid, if not particularly prolific with the ball for Brisbane Heat, while Hayley Matthews had a difficult season for last-placed Hobart Hurricanes, though she did improve as the season progressed.
Women’s T20I series – New Zealand vs West Indies
New Zealand wins: 8
West Indies wins: 4
Most recent results:
NZ won by 32 runs at Queen’s Park, Invercargill, 1 March 2014
NZ won by 24 runs at Queen’s Park, Invercargill, 5 March 2014
NZ won by 8 wickets at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui, 8 March 2014
NZ won by 34 runs at Bay Oval No 2, Mount Maunganui, 9 March 2014
NZ won by 7 wickets at Arnos Vale, Kingstown, 23 Sep 2014
WI won by 7 wickets at Arnos Vale, Kingstown, 25 Sep 2014
Match tied at Arnos Vale, Kingstown, 27 Sep 2014
WI won by 6 runs at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, 31 March 2016 (World T20)
14th March – 1st T20I at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui
16th March – 2nd T20I at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui
20th March – 3rd T20I at Pukekura Park, New Plymouth
22nd March – 4th T20I at Pukekura Park, New Plymouth
25th March – 5th T20I at Seddon Park, Hamilton
New Zealand: Suzie Bates (c), Amy Satterthwaite (vc), Sophie Devine, Natalie Dodd, Maddy Green, Kate Heffernan, Hayley Jensen, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Katey Martin, Anna Peterson, Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu
West Indies: Stafanie Taylor (c), Anisa Mohammed (vc), Merissa Aguilleira, Reniece Boyce, Shamilia Connell, Britney Cooper, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Kycia Knight, Kyshona Knight, Hayley Matthews, Chedean Nation, Akeira Peters, Tremayne Smart