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

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

England’s performance in the 2016 World T20 semi-final was the catalyst for changes under the stewardship of coach Mark Robinson that ultimately led to World Cup glory less than 18 months later.  On that day in Delhi in March 2016, England restricted Australia to 132/6 but a dismal run chase saw them come up 5 runs short, only managing to progress at 6.00 rpo in the final 10 overs.

In the two and a half years since the last World T20, England have had the highest run rate of the ten teams contesting this years tournament (8.27 rpo), a dramatic improvement compared with the previous World T20 cycle.

England T20I batting comparison:

ENG batting comparison

Statistics are for matches played between the top ten sides only.

Comparison of all teams batting during the last two World T20 cycles.

During the 2014-16 cycle, the average batting SR was 93.84.  England’s batters were collectively ranked third during that period, with a SR of 102.55.  During the current cycle, the average SR has risen to 105.19, and England have not just surpassed that mark, but surged away to a collective SR of 132.64.

While England were a relatively strong batting side overall in 2014-16, they were below average when it came to hitting sixes (134 balls faced per six, less than one a match, compared with the T20I average of 97 BF/6 in 2014-16).  Remarkably, they now clear the ropes at two and half times that rate (52.26 BF/6), and have gone from ranking well below the average in 2014-16 to being above average (62.34 BF/6) during the current cycle, in which sixes are far more common overall.

England also stand out compared with other sides for their running between wickets.  Despite little difference in the T20I average for non-boundary SR between 2014-16 and 2016-18, England, who were already one of the strongest sides in that regard during the previous cycle, have improved by 17%.  Their best runner is Natalie Sciver (4.80 rpo in 2016-18), who also finished with the highest non-boundary SR in the 2018 KSL (4.86 rpo).

Openers Tammy Beaumont and Danni Wyatt, who both struggled to establish themselves due to uncertain roles before Robinson’s reign, are England’s two highest run scorers, and 7th and 8th respectively in the world since the 2016 tournament.

Perhaps the greatest asset Robinson has brought to the England setup, is giving the players the freedom to fail, forget about it, and move on.  England blew their opening match of the 2017 World Cup, but still went on to lift the trophy.  They lost their opening match of the summer in 2018, but dominated the ODI and T20I series thereafter.

Wyatt and Beaumont account for three of the six centuries made in women’s T20Is since the last tournament.  Wyatt became the first English woman to make a T20I century, and the first woman from any nation to make a century in a T20I chase, as England completed a then record chase (179) vs Australia at Manuka Oval in November 2017.  Wyatt then repeated the feat at Mumbai in March of this year, as England made the current record chase of 199 vs India.  Overall, Wyatt has the most domestic and international career centuries in women’s cricket (5).

Among women with 200+ runs since the last World T20, Wyatt has the highest SR (158.73) in women’s T20Is.  Beaumont (130.71) is England’s next batter on that list, in 10th position.  Her 116 (52) vs South Africa at Taunton in June was the foundation of England’s new world record total of 250/3.

Following as it did her two ODI centuries vs South Africa, Beaumont’s innings also made her the first woman to make three international centuries in an English summer, and by the end of the home season she had also set a new mark for most women’s international runs in an English summer (628).

Heather Knight and Natalie Sciver each had their best KSL seasons with the bat in 2018, finishing as 2nd & 3rd highest scorers respectively, and sit immediately below Beaumont in 11th (130.67) and 12th (130.63) place in terms of highest T20I SR since the 2016 World T20.

While they are among the most formidable batting units in the World, England have gone from being one of the most economical bowling units in the 2014-16 cycle (English bowlers’ collective ER of 5.50 rpo was second only to NZ), to one of the most expensive in 2016-18 (7.39 rpo, second last, ahead of only SA).

This may explain why England sprung a surprise by naming three uncapped players (Sophia Dunkley, Kirstie Gordon and Linsey Smith) in their World T20 squad.  How they fare will be a litmus test of the effectiveness of the domestic Kia Super League in preparing players for international competition.

Left-arm spinner, Kirstie Gordon finished as the highest wicket taker (17) in her debut KSL season for Loughborough Lightning, as well as topping the charts (23) in the 50-over Women’s County Championship for Nottinghamshire.  Gordon’s Lightning team-mate and fellow left-arm spinner, Linsey Smith is the 6th highest wicket taker (24) across the three KSL seasons, and has played in all three KSL finals.  Middle order bat and legspinner, Dunkley lifted the KSL trophy with Surrey Stars this season, and has been a regular in England Academy and development squads in recent times.  Dunkley was the first uncapped English player to make a half-century in the KSL.

Selecting two rookie left-arm spinners might seem excessive, but makes sense in light of the prevalence of right-hand batters in women’s cricket.  Since the last World T20, 84% of women’s T20I batters to have faced at least 1 delivery have been right-handers.  The World T20 squads also precisely match those numbers, featuring 126 RH and 24 LH bats.  By comparison, in men’s T20Is during the same period, the RH/LH split is 74/26.

Since the last World T20, left-arm spin has the best average, economy rate and SR among all forms of bowling.  Leg spin ranks in second place for all those metrics.

Women’s T20I bowling since the 2016 World T20:

Bowling style Overs Wickets Ave ER SR
Left-arm spin 484.3 140 20.65 5.97 20.8
Leg spin 428.2 120 22.14 6.20 21.4
Off spin 961.2 269 23.23 6.50 21.4
Right-arm pace / seam 1284.4 356 25.04 6.94 21.7
Left-arm pace / seam 134.0 28 30.93 6.46 28.7
Spin 1874.1 529 22.30 6.29 21.3
Pace / seam 1418.4 384 25.47 6.89 22.2
Overall 3292.5 913 23.63 6.55 21.6
Statistics are for matches played between the top ten sides only.

A significant contributor to the strong stats for left-arm spin is England’s Sophie Ecclestone.  Ecclestone was the top wicket (10) as England won their T20I tri-series vs SA & NZ in June/July, and her 19 wickets overall make her England’s highest T20I wicket taker since the last World T20.

Ecclestone also has the most career wickets in the KSL (27), alongside another English left-arm spinner, Alex Hartley, who missed out on selection for the World T20.  Among bowlers to have delivered 20+ overs in the KSL in 2018, Gordon (6.05), Smith (6.40) and Ecclestone (6.41) were the third, fourth & fifth most economical.

First place however, was taken by a fast bowler, in the form of Katherine Brunt (5.42 rpo), who alongside Anya Shrubsole, will be one of England’s key bowlers in the powerplay.  The average ER in the ENG-NZ-SA tri-series was a record high 8.21 rpo, but Shrubsole and Brunt still came away with stellar economy rates of 5.41 and 6.36 rpo respectively.  With England increasingly managing her workload, the World T20 could be one of Brunt’s last outings in an England shirt.
9th Nov update – Brunt pulled out of the squad, due to injury. Replaced by Fran Wilson.

If she plays, Smith is also likely to be in England’s plans in the powerplay.  Only Marizanne Kapp (16) has taken more wickets in the KSL powerplay than Smith (11), who has the best powerplay SR (16.4) of any bowler to have delivered 100+ balls during that phase of the innings in the KSL.

England should win the group, and in all probability reach the final, but they’ll miss Sarah Taylor, with the bat and the gloves, and have been inactive for the longest period among the ten World T20 sides, so could be rusty.

SQUAD: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Tash Farrant, Kirstie Gordon, Jenny Gunn, Danni Hazell, Amy Jones, Nat Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Linsey Smith, Lauren Winfield, Danni Wyatt
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

Hosts and defending champions, the West Indies have made the semi-finals of the last four editions of the World T20.  After a dire 2017 World Cup, the Windies women have won just three of their thirteen international matches in 2018, but do have a strong record in T20Is at home (won 28, lost 11).

West Indies are the only side at the World T20 not to have been bowled out in T20Is since the last tournament, which has often been key to success on their relatively slow home surfaces.  Historically, the West Indies is the 3rd lowest run rate location (5.69 rpo) among the top cricketing nations, ahead of only Bangladesh (5.68 rpo) and Pakistan (5.16 rpo from just two matches).  Before this year, only one side had lost a women’s T20I in the Caribbean after posting 120+ in the first innings (Sri Lanka 120/9 vs WI at Cayon in 2010).

The most recent home series for the West Indies suggests that the effectiveness of a somewhat attritional style of T20 are coming to an end.  After taking a 2-0 lead vs South Africa, the West Indies were unable to defend totals of 135/3 and 155/5, which allowed South Africa to level the series.

As a batting side, the West Indies aren’t really making the most of the first ten overs, especially in light of how few wickets they lose during that part of the innings.  Against most teams in the past, a circumspect first ten followed by an increasing onslaught in the second half of the innings was probably enough, but it’s less likely to secure victory against the top sides, who now push the rate throughout the innings.

Women’s T20I balls per wicket and run rate since the 2017 World Cup:

Overs 1-10 BpW RR Overs 11-20 BpW RR
Australia 27.10 8.04 Australia 23.96 9.13
New Zealand 30.91 7.93 England 14.89 8.79
England 25.16 7.83 West Indies 17.11 7.98
India 30.00 7.14 New Zealand 13.06 7.89
South Africa 25.00 6.65 India 16.33 7.82
West Indies 33.00 5.79 South Africa 17.61 7.53
Ireland 23.08 5.68 Ireland 11.68 7.38
Sri Lanka 17.84 5.45 Bangladesh* 13.65 6.52
Pakistan* 21.67 5.39 Sri Lanka 13.49 5.71
Bangladesh* 33.75 5.40 Pakistan* 12.32 5.22
Statistics exclude reduced overs matches, and are for matches played between the top ten sides only.
*Incomplete data for two matches between BAN & PAK.

For example, when Deandra Dottin made the second of her T20I centuries, vs Sri Lanka at Coolidge last year, the West Indies scored 112 runs off the last ten overs, but finished on a total of 159/6, the lowest women’s T20I total to feature a century.  After ten overs they were on a sedate 47/1.  Ultimately it didn’t matter, as Sri Lanka were unable to pose much of a threat after a poor start, including losing their best batter, Chamari Atapattu for a duck.  West Indies took a 31 run win.

At Brian Lara Stadium last month, West Indies were on an identical 47/1 after ten overs and finished 155/5, after Matthews, Aguilleira and Campbelle helped them blast a similar 108 off the last ten.  South Africa’s deeper batting line-up however, meant they could succeed where Sri Lanka didn’t, winning by three wickets with a ball to spare.

Much rests on the shoulders of the West Indies big three star players, Stafanie Taylor,  Hayley Matthews and Deandra Dottin.  The #1, #2 and #4 ranked all-rounders in the ICC T20I rankings.  No other side has more than two players in the top twenty, but the West Indies’ difficulties become clear when examining the batting rankings.  While the ‘big three’ are all inside the top 12, the next West Indian on the list after them is Merissa Aguilleira at #53.

Dottin (148.67), Matthews (120.68), Taylor (116.11) and the recently recalled Shemaine Campbelle (116.66) are the only members of the Windies squad who have a SR above the average (105.19) in women’s T20Is since the last World T20.

Player of the match in the 2016 final, Matthews recently became the first woman to make a ODI century at Kensington Oval, and also made her first fifty in a home T20I.  Taylor (7×50) and Dottin (2×100, 3×50) are the only women to have made more than one 50+ T20I score in the West Indies.  Dottin (940) will soon join Taylor (1,023) on over 1,000 T20I runs in the Caribbean.  The next woman on the list is India’s Mithali Raj, with 299.  As a partnership, only Charlotte Edwards and Sarah Taylor (1,606) have made more runs than Talor & Dottin’s 1,361.

They may be somewhat over reliant on a few big names for runs, but the West Indies are  better served with bowlers adept at exploiting their home conditions.  Anisa Mohammed, is the only bowler with over 100 T20 international wickets, and the only woman to have taken more than one T20I 5-fer (she bagged her 3rd on 28 September).  Other spinners the Windies can call on include legspinner Afy Fletcher (home ER 5.08 rpo, away 6.41 rpo) and of course their all-round stars, Matthews and Taylor.  As well as having the 2nd most career runs in T20Is, Taylor also has the 8th most wickets.

Dottin’s skilful change-ups and her temperament will be important at the death.  She memorably conceded just one run in the West Indies’ last over of the 2016 final vs Australia.  The economical Shakera Selman and tall fast bowler, Shamilia Connell round out the seam attack.  Connell is one of the more effective bowlers of the bouncer in women’s cricket.  Though she can be wayward, she’s much more effective at home (4.93 rpo) than away (7.09 rpo), and looked in good form vs South Africa.

Despite having the most T20I caps of any squad at the World T20, a persistent issue for the West Indies is a lack of cricket.  The reason the squad have so may caps is more due to a small core of players being almost certain selections for the best part of a decade, rather than a glut of fixtures.  Preparations for the World T20 were dealt a blow when a series with India scheduled for last moth fell through at the last-minute.

The 2016 World T20 win generated a lot of headlines, but didn’t translate into more cricket for the Windies women.  Of the ten sides at the World T20, only Ireland (30 – 12 T20IS & 18 ODIs) have played fewer international fixtures since the last tournament than the West Indies (38 – 14 & 24).  The West Indies don’t take part in a regular regional tournament, like the Asia Cup, or a longstanding rivalry such as the Ashes, or AUS v NZ series.  They currently subsist exclusively on ICC Women’s Championship ODI fixtures and their associated T20I series.

The domestic season in the Caribbean is limited to just a few weeks each year.  While Taylor, Matthews and Dottin have been regulars in the professional/semi-professional WBBL and KSL, a huge gulf in terms of top-level T20 experience is developing between those three and the rest of their compatriots.

Taylor, an ever-present in the WBBL & KSL has played the third most professional/semi professional T20 matches (T20I, WBBL & KSL) in the world since the 2016 World T20, behind only Suzie Bates (74) and Amy Satterthwaite (68).  Matthews has played 53 and Dottin 42.  No other West Indian woman has played in either professional domestic league in that period.

Only Ireland (166), Sri Lanka (199) and Pakistan (233) have played fewer than the West Indies squad’s collective 252 pro/semi-pro matches since 2016.  Taylor, Matthews and Dottin account for 161 (63%) of those 252.

Comparing the 2016 World T20 winners with the 2017 World Cup winners paints a stark picture, and also shows that England’s decision to pick three uncapped players is less risky than it might initially appear.

Most professional/semi-professional T20 matches played since the 2016 World T20pro T20

Player of the match in their semi-final, and the West Indies 10th most capped player (both overall and in the time since the 2016 World T20), Britney Cooper has played just eight T20Is in two and a half years.  That semi-final was just ten matches ago in terms of Cooper’s professional T20 career.  Ten professional matches ago for England’s three uncapped players, was the start of the 2018 KSL season.

Regardless of the outcome of this tournament, major structural issues at domestic and international level need to be addressed if teams such as the West Indies are to remain a force in women’s cricket long-term, and not be left behind by the increasingly professional game.

There’s no question that the West Indies have the talent to reach the semi-finals, and maybe go a step further.  What is in doubt is whether their limited schedule gives them the best chance to achieve that success.

SQUAD: Stafanie Taylor (c), Merissa Aguilleira, Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Britney Cooper, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Sheneta Grimmond, Chinelle Henry, Kycia Knight, Hayley Matthews, Natasha Mclean, Anisa Mohammed, Chedean Nation, Shakera Selman
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

One side that has made proactive steps to get as much playing time as possible in recent  years has been South Africa.  The Proteas women played the most ODIs between the 2013 and 2017 World Cups, and are leading the way in that regard since the 2017 tournament.  Since the 2016 World T20, South Africa have played the fourth most women’s T20Is, and are the side to have most recently toured the West Indies, drawing 2-2 with the hosts in October.

That drawn series provided some respite to South Africa, who have been on the end of several large reverses in 2018, including conceding two world record totals in a day.  Their only ODI or T20I series wins in 2018 have come against Bangladesh.  The 2-2 drawn series deserves some credit though, as just the second time the West Indies have failed to win a bilateral T20I series at home.  While South Africa were outclassed in the first two matches, they fought back with the two highest successful chases made in women’s T20Is in the Caribbean.

In among some heavy defeats in the English tri-nation series in June/July, South Africa’s one win was a convincing chase vs England (their record chase, and the highest successful chase by any side vs England).  South Africa have the beating of any side in the group on their day, but as those world record totals suggest, their glaring issue since the 2016 World T20 has been their bowling.

As a bowling team they concede more runs per over (7.75), and take wickets less often (1 every 26.68 balls) than any other side in the tournament.  In matches vs the 2018 World T20 sides, Sri Lanka (20.38) are the only other side to average over 19 balls per wicket in that period.

While Marizanne Kapp and Dane van Niekerk have been in demand and highly successful in domestic T20 leagues, their T20 international bowing form has nose-dived.  Van Niekerk, who has taken just two T20I wickets since the last World T20, has the worst SR (99.0) of any woman to have taken a T20I wicket in that period.

Van Niekerk is joined by three other South Africans in the bottom five of the rankings in terms of bowling SR  (25+ overs bowled) since the 2016 World T20.  The others are Kapp (39.2) Masabata Klaas (55.5) and Raisibe Ntozakhe 56.0), who was excluded from this squad due to an illegal bowling action.

Kapp has the best career ER (10+ overs) in the WBBL (4.66 rpo), and the 4th best in the KSL (5.40), but internationally has been going at 7.07 rpo since the 2016 World T20.  Worryingly for South Africa, that makes her one of their better performers in that period.  The numbers for Shabnim Ismail (8.16), Sune Luus (8.16), Zintle Mali (8.28) and Masabata Klaas (8.64) make for grim reading.

One bright spot has been bustling medium pacer Tumi Sekhukune (5.14 rpo), who debuted in September vs West Indies.  Injury and bans have forced South Africa to change their World T20 selection, bringing in disciplined left-arm medium bowler, Moseline Daniels (5.75), who could probably count herself unlucky not to have been selected in the first place.

A lot of pressure will be on the South African batting line-up to ameliorate deficiencies in their bowling.  In August, Lizelle Lee took Surrey Stars to their first KSL title with 104 (58) against Loughborough Lightning.  This was the first century in a women’s T20 final.  Lee also holds the record for highest score in any women’s T20 match (169* off 84 balls for North West vs Mpumalanga in 2013), but only has a relatively modest HS of 69* in T20Is.

Lee is one of a host of South Africans to have earned WBBL & KSL contracts, among them Mignon du Preez, Sune Luus and Laura Wolvaardt.  In February, Wolvaardt became the youngest woman to score 1,000 ODI runs, and last month, became the youngest South African to make a T20I half-century.

One South African who has surprisingly been overlooked by professional T20 leagues so far is Chloe Tryon.  Among women with 250+ career runs, Tryon has the highest SR in women’s T20Is (142.45).  Since the 2016 World T20, Tryon’s SR has been 150.00, second only to England’s Danni Wyatt among women with 200+ runs in that time.

Her 32* (7) vs India on 13 February holds the record for the highest SR score of 25+ runs in international cricket (457.24).

WT20I Bp6 Tryon

The whole tournament being televised for the first time means this edition of the World T20 has the potential to make stars of more players than ever.  If things go well, that added exposure could be the push to get players such as Tryon the domestic T20 contract they deserves.

In truth, a batting line-up containing as many talented and powerful players as South Africa’s should be making much higher totals than their best of 169/4 vs Bangladesh since the 2016 World T20.  Similarly to the West Indies, South Africa tend to rely on big hitting at the end to ‘catch-up’ and post respectable totals.  South Africa’s run rate since the World T20 is an above average 7.00 rpo, but not enough to outstrip their dismal economy rate.

To reach the semi-final, South Africa will almost certainly have to beat the hosts on 14 November.  West Indies have won all three previous meetings at the World T20, though the last of those was in 2012, and South Africa’s comeback in their most recent series suggests that virtual quarter final will be very close.  At the very least, South Africa will be looking to outdo their last outing at the World T20.  In 2016, they only managed one win (vs Ireland) and finished second last in their group.

SQUAD: Dane Van Niekerk (c), Trisha Chetty, Moseline Daniels, Mignon du Preez, Yolani Fourie, Shabnim Ismail, Marizanne Kapp, Masabata Klaas, Lizelle Lee, Sune Luus, Zintle Mali, Robyn Searle, Tumi Sekhukhune, Chloe Tryon, Laura Wolvaardt
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

Sri Lanka beat South Africa during the 2016 tournament but will do well to leave the Caribbean with any wins in 2018.  Sri Lanka will most likely be fighting it out with Bangladesh to avoid a last place finish.  The Sri Lankans do have the distinction of being the only side to beat Bangladesh during their victorious Asia Cup campaign, but they also went on to lose to Thailand during the same tournament.

In their only previous meeting with Bangladesh at the World T20, Sri Lanka lost to the hosts by 3 runs in 2014.  Sri Lanka have only managed four wins in women’s T20Is since the last tournament, one of which was against Malaysia.  Sri Lanka’s tranche of spin and slow bowlers will be useful, if not particularly penetrating in the West Indies, but not enough to make up for one of the most fragile, collapse-prone line-ups in the competition.  Only Ireland (15.65)  and Bangladesh (15.96) average fewer balls per wicket against top ten nations than Sri Lanka (16.07) since the last World T20.

The average rate of dismissals by run out in women’s T20Is played between the top ten sides in 2018 is 10.88%, by far the lowest rate in the last decade.  Despite this, Sri Lanka have lost 21.92% of their wickets to run outs in those matches in 2018, the highest rate for any side at the World T20.  The next most run out side are Ireland, at 15.79% of dismissals.

The oldest side in the tournament, at an average of 29 years 263 days, this could be the last major tournament for several veterans of Sri Lanka’s most successful ICC tournament, the 2013 World Cup.  Yasoda Mendis (32), Sripali Weerakkody (32), Udeshika Prabodhani (33), Shashikala Siriwardene (33), Eshani Lokusuriyage (34) and Dilani Manodara (35) all played in one or both Sri Lanka’s victories vs England and India during that tournament.

The same is true for Sri Lanka’s trump card, who still has several tournaments ahead of her.  Captain Chamari Atapattu is the only Sri Lankan to have appeared in either the WBBL or KSL, but hasn’t been in sparkling T20I form herself in recent times.  Atapattu’s highest T20I score since the last World T20 is 39, and her SR of 101.66 is below the average rate for the period.

In 2018, Anushka Sanjeewani is the only Sri Lankan batter to have made a T20I half-century, but she didn’t make the squad.

Nilakshi de Silva caught the eye during Sri Lanka’s recent ODI and T20I series vs India and could do some damage at the World T20.  Before those series, De Silva had 140 runs off 241 balls (SR 58.09) in her ODI & T20I careers.  In a series of quickfire cameos vs India, De Silva scored 107 off 76 (140.79), having benefited from playing in Australian Premiere cricket in 2017/18.

The brightest star on the horizon for the future of Sri Lankan cricket is 17 year old Kavisha Dilhari.  A tidy offspinner, against India on 16 September Dilhari became the youngest Sri Lankan to take an international wicket, but what particularly impressed on that day was her temperament during Sri Lanka’s victorious run chase.  With Sri Lanka needing 10 off 8 for their first win vs India since the 2013 World Cup, Dilhari batting at #9 in her 2nd ODI, Dillscooped Mansi Joshi to the boundary to relieve the tension, and in the next over hit the winning runs.

Sri Lanka: Chamari Athapaththu (c), Nilakshi de Silva, Kavisha Dilhari, Ama Kanchana, Sugandika Kumari, Eshani Lokusooriya, Dilani Manodara, Yashoda Mendis, Hasini Perera, Udeshika Prabodani, Inoshi Priyadharshani, Oshadhi Ranasinghe, Shashikala Siriwardena, Rebeka Vandort, Sripali Weearakkody
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

Whatever happens at this tournament, 2018 has already been the best year in the history of Bangladesh women’s cricket.  They began their Asia Cup campaign with a loss to Sri Lanka, equalling their own record for most women’s T20Is lost in a row (15).  After that however things took an unexpected turn.  Bangladesh, who had never won more than two T20Is in a row, won their four remaining group matches, including a first ever win vs India (who had never previously lost at the Asia Cup), and a first T20I win vs Pakistan.  In a nail-biting final, that went down to the final ball, they once again defeated India to claim the trophy.

The first signs Bangladesh might be on an upward curve were seen earlier in the year, during their tour of South Africa.  Though they were comfortably whitewashed in both ODIs and T20Is, Bangladesh passed a number of notable milestones on that tour.  Fargana Hoque, Rumama Ahmed and Shamima Sultana all made half-centuries in the ODI series, the first time three Bangladesh women had made fifties in an away series.  Rumana and Shamima made Bangladesh’s record 4th wicket stand in the ODIs and Fargana and Shamima made their record 3rd wicket stand during the T20Is.

In the 2nd T20I, Shamima then became the first Bangladesh woman to make a T20I half-century, and Bangladesh’s beaten total of 137/5 was at the time, their highest total in T20Is.

Less than three weeks later, Fargana’s 52* bettered Shamima’s national record by 2 runs and Bangladesh improved on their highest total by 5 runs, to clinch that landmark first win vs India.  Rumana, who had taken 3-21 earlier in the day, would finish 42* in that chase, while Shamima had got things off on the right track with 33 off 23.

Those three will be the bedrock of any batting success Bangladesh have at the World T20, and Rumana Ahmed also has the 2nd most women’s T20I wickets (26) in 2018.  On 28 June, Jahanara Alam (5-28 vs Ireland) became the first Bangladesh woman to take a T20I 5-fer.  She was swiftly followed by Panna Ghosh, who took 5-16 vs Ireland in the final of the World T20 qualifier on 14 July.

Bangladesh’s extraordinary run, which continued for two games after the Asia Cup, lasted seven matches in all, the eighth longest winnings streak in women’s T20Is.  Bangladesh have won twelve of their last sixteen matches, having previously won just five of their first 38.  After winning the World T20 qualifier in July however, they suffered something of a setback vs Pakistan last month.

At Cox’ Bazar, Bangladesh were bowled out for 30, the lowest total in a match between two full member nations, and the joint 4th lowest in any women’s T20I.  Things barely improved during the rest of the series, as Bangladesh’s batters could muster just five double figure scores across the three matches.  In another unexpected turn, two days after the conclusion of that chastening series, Bangladesh beat Pakistan in an ODI, thanks to Khadija Tul Kubra’s 6-20, the 8th best figures in women’s ODIs.

The World T20 is a rare chance for Bangladesh Test themselves against England and West Indies, neither of whom have ever faced them outside the confines of the tournament.  South Africa and Pakistan are the only members of the top eight to face Bangladesh with any regularity in bilateral cricket in recent times.

Most bilateral T20I matches vs Bangladesh:
9 vs South Africa (W1, L8)
7 vs Pakistan (L7)
6 vs India (L6)
4 vs Ireland (W2, L2)

If they play to the peak of their potential in 2018, Bangladesh should be able to beat Sri Lanka, and even have an outside chance of catching West Indies cold in the opening match, which will be the only game in Group A to be played on the spin-friendly surface of Providence, Guyana.

SQUAD: Salma Khatun (captain), Ayasha Rahman, Fahima Khatun, Fargana Hoque Pinky, Jahanara Alam, Khadija Tul Kubra, Lata Mondal, Nahida Akter, Nigar Sultana Joty, Panna Ghosh, Ritu Moni, Rumana Ahmed, Sanjida Islam, Shamima Sultana, Sharmin Akhter Supta
Squad T20I stats

WT20I win loss since 2016

2018 Women’s World T20 preview part 1
2018 Women’s World T20 preview part 3 – Group B



2018 Women’s World T20 preview – Part 1

Stats derived from ESPNcricinfo statsguru.

A record breaking Women’s World Cup, both on and off the field, marked 2017 as a landmark year for women’s ODI cricket, and 2018 looks set to be a year of equal if not greater importance in the progress of women’s T20I cricket.

The 2018 Women’s World T20 will be the first standalone women’s edition of the tournament, and the first Women’s World T20 to be televised in its entirety.  Beyond the World T20, this year also saw a crucial step for the future development of the sport, in the expansion of T20 international status to all ICC member nations.  That move bore fruit almost immediately, during the Women’s T20 Asia Cup, when Thailand recorded their first win vs Sri Lanka, at Kuala Lumpur on 9th June.

The 2018 Women’s World T20 isn’t the first edition of the tournament to take place in the nascent professional era of women’s cricket.  Australia and England have been leading the way in something of a remuneration race since at least the 2013 World Cup (with Australia now quite firmly established as the Armstrong & Aldrin in this analogy to England’s Gagarin), and the 2016 World T20 took place shortly after the conclusion of the inaugural Women’s Big Bash League season.

The difference this time is that, with three seasons each of the WBBL and England’s Kia Super League now completed, and an increasing provision of international contracts among the competing nations, the 2018 tournament is the first in which the effects of that growing professionalism are likely to be fully reflected in the on-field game.

Another significant difference between this tournament and all previous editions is a change in the women’s international playing conditions, which came into effect after the 2017 World Cup.  The number of fielders allowed outside the inner circle during non-powerplay overs has been reduced from five to four.

Whether this change was necessary in a sport that was already moving in the direction of increased power and boundary hitting is up for debate.  What is clear though is that this, combined with increased professionalism, as well as generally better playing surfaces, has led to a notably more aggressive intent from batters.

Just as the 2017 Women’s World Cup shattered a host of batting records (and somewhat fewer bowling records), the game being played in the Caribbean over the next few weeks promises to be unlike anything seen at previous editions of the Women’s World T20.

While the unprecedented introduction of multiple new T20I teams is vital for the future sustainability of the game, statistically it has somewhat masked the transformation at the top level of women’s T20I cricket.

England’s new world record total apart, a glance at the overall women’s T20I stats doesn’t immediately suggest a revolution, whether in terms of run rate, or the cost of a wicket in runs scored or balls bowled:

WT20I by year

When the results are filtered to only include matches played between the ten established sides contesting the 2018 World T20 however, the scale of the change becomes clear:

WT20I by year top10

The run rate (6.98 rpo) has never been higher, and the cost of a wicket (22.53 runs) is almost 20% higher than for any year in the previous decade.

South Africa’s record women’s T20I total of 205/1 vs the Netherlands at Potchefstroom in 2010, stood for seven and a half years, but has now been beaten four times in 2018.  Australia were the first to break the record, in the final of the Indian tri-nation series in March, with 209/4 against England.  South Africa were then on the receiving end of back-to-back world records on the same day at Taunotn in June.  New Zealand posted 216/1 in the first match of the day, before England obliterated that record with 250/3 a few hours later.  Namibia, one of the sides to recently receive T20I status, also pushed South Africa further down the all-time list with 210/5 in a lopsided contest vs Lesotho in August.

Unsurprisingly, the T20I tri-series in England in June/July which featured those two world records had the highest run-rate ever for a women’s T20I series or tournament.  Seven of the top eight fastest scoring women’s T20I series have taken place since the 2017 World Cup.

Highest run rate for a women’s T20I series or tournament:
8.30 rpo ENG, NZ, SA Tri-nation series in England, Jun-Jul 2018
8.19 rpo IND, AUS, ENG Tri-nation series in India, Mar 2018
7.87 rpo Ashes T20I series in Australia, Nov 2017
7.68 rpo India in South Africa series, Feb 2018
7.66 rpo New Zealand in Australia series, Sep-Oct 2018
7.55 rpo India in Sri Lanka series, Sep 2018
7.48 rpo England in South Africa series, Feb 2016
7.28 rpo West Indies in New Zealand series, Mar 2018

Similarly, seven of the eight highest women’s T20I totals have been made in 2018.  Among those was England’s 199/3 vs India at Mumbai, which broke the record for the highest women’s T20I chase, improving on a mark England had themselves achieved at Canberra during the Ashes series in November 2017.

Those two chases both featured hundreds from Danni Wyatt, who became England women’s first T20I centurion and the first, and so far only woman to make a century in a T20I chase.  There have been six centuries in women’s T20Is since the 2017 World Cup, compared with a total of just three in the preceding thirteen years.

With the World T20 and WBBL04 still to come, 2018 has already seen a record eleven women’s T20 centuries at domestic and international level.  Twenty-one of the fifty-one centuries recorded in women’s T20 cricket have been made since the start of 2017.

Women’s T20 centuries by year:
2010 – 3
2011 – 3
2012 – 6
2013 – 7
2014 – 3
2015 – 4
2016 – 4
2017 – 9
2018 – 12

In matches between the top ten sides in 2018, chasing sides have a 1.85 to 1 win/loss record.  For years in which ten or more matches have taken place, that is the 2nd best win/loss ratio for chasing sides in women’s T20Is, just behind the 1.9 to 1 achieved in 2015.  The average winning 1st innings total in a women’s T20I, which had hovered around the 130s for the best part of a decade, has leapt to 166 in 2018.

WT20I 1st inns

Of the ten sides competing at the World T20, seven have made their highest total this year (England, New ZealandAustralia, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh), and seven (England, India, Australia, South Africa, Ireland, Bangladesh and Pakistan) have made their record successful chases in 2018.  Sixteen of the 31 women’s T20Is to feature an aggregate of 300+ runs have taken place since the 2017 World Cup.  Having occurred at a rate of less than two a year for the past decade, 300+ match aggregates are now occurring in one of every four matches played between the ten top nations in 2018.

There have been fifteen successful chases of 150+ targets in women’s T20Is.  Nine of those, including seven of the top eight, have occurred since the 2017 World Cup.  In that time, Australia, England, India and New Zealand have each lost just once when chasing.  The lowest first innings total successfully defended against any of those four sides since the 2017 World Cup is 152.

That there have been a record 247 women’s T20I sixes hit in 2018 is not much of  a surprise, given there have been a record 112 matches played this year.  However, an extraordinary 232 of those 247 sixes were hit in the 59 matches played between the ten sides contesting the World T20.  The rate at which the professional/semi-professional nations are hitting sixes against each other (currently 1 six every 55 balls faced) has increased by over 20% in both of the last two years, and by at least 10% compared with the previous year in every year since 2014.

WT20I Bp6 graph

The 42 sixes hit in the series between South Africa and India in February, at the time (there have since been series featuring 27 and 24 sixes) more than doubled the previous record for a bilateral women’s T20I series.  Batters cleared the ropes so often in that five-match series, that the number of sixes exceeded the totals for the 2009 (38 sixes in 15 matches) and 2012 (30 sixes in 15 matches) editions of the World T20.

All this suggests that compared with previous tournaments, the 2018 Women’s World T20 will not so much re-write the record books, as create an entirely new language.  Most importantly, unlike previous tournaments, television viewers around the world will be able to see more than just the knock-out stages and a select few group games.

Comparison of previous World T20 stats with women’s T20I stats in 2018:

World T20 compariosn with 2018

The only factor that might put any dent in the run rate, and boundary hitting, though not enough to stop records being broken, are the surfaces in the West Indies, or rather one in particular.  Women’s T20I run rates in the Caribbean are historically among the lowest among the established nations, though the last two series in the West Indies have each broken the record for highest series run-rate in the region.

The stadium for Group A is unlikely to be an issue. Darren Sammy Stadium, St Lucia has played host to the highest totals in both women’s and men’s T20I cricket in the Caribbean, and tends to be one of the fastest scoring grounds in the West Indies.  It’s only the more spin-friendly track at Providence, Guyana which might make scoring in Group B harder going.

In any case, differing surfaces arguably make for a more interesting competition, and how teams handle the transition from the grounds used in the group stage, to the playing surface at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua for the knock-out matches, adds an intriguing element to what is sure to be a spectacular tournament.

WT20I win loss since 2016

Preview part 2 – Group A

West Indies
South Africa
Sri Lanka

Preview part 3 – Group B

New Zealand


Women’s World T20 landmarks to look out for

Highest total:  Australia 191/4 vs Ireland, Sylhet 2014
Lowest total:  Bangladesh 58/9 vs England, Sylhet 2014
Highest target successfully chased:  England 164 vs Australia, The Oval, 2009 semi-final
Highest individual score:  Meg Lanning (AUS) 126 vs Ireland, Sylhet 2014
Best bowling figures:  Sune Luus (SA) 5-8 vs IRE, Chepauk, 2016
Most runs at a single tournament:  Meg Lanning (AUS) 257 in Bangladesh, 2014
Most wickets at a single tournament:  Anya Shrubsole (ENG) 13 in Bangladesh, 2014
Most tournament 50+ scores:  18 in Bangladesh, 2014
Most tournament sixes:
  57 in Bangladesh, 2014
Highest overall tournament run-rate:  6.26 rpo in the West Indies, 2010

Word T20 records (ESPNcricinfo)

Women’s T20I series preview – Sri Lanka vs India

Sri Lanka vs India – women’s T20Is

Matches: 12
India wins: 9
Sri Lanka wins: 3

Highest total: Sri Lanka 148/7 at Vizianagaram, 25th Jan 2014
High score: Mithal Raj (IND) 67 at Vizianagaram, 25th Jan 2014
Best bowling: Diana David (IND) 4-12 at Basseterre, 10th May 2010

Last six meetings:
SL bt IND by 22 runs at Sylhet, 24th March, 2014 (World T20)
IND bt SL by 34 runs at Ranchi, 22th February 2016
IND bt SL by 5 wickets at Ranchi, 24th February 2016
IND bt SL by 9 wickets at Ranchi, 26th February 2016
IND bt SL by 52 runs at Bangkok, 1st December 2016 (Asia Cup)
IND bt SL by 7 wickets at Kuala Lumpur, 7th Jun 2018 (Asia Cup)

Recent T20I form:
Sri Lanka – LWLWWLLL

Following an ODI series that finished 2-1, Sri Lanka and India begin a five-match T20I series on Wednesday.  Both teams will be playing their first T20I series under new coaches, with the World T20 less than eight weeks away.

Since the 2017 World Cup, Sri Lanka have managed just 3 wins in 11 T20I matches (one each vs Pakistan, Bangladesh and Malaysia), and at the Asia Cup, lost for the first time to Thailand.  The ODI series vs India already suggested  some progress has been made since Harsha de Silva’s return as coach.

India began the year with an impressive away series win (3-1) in South Africa, that suggested they may have turned a corner in their T20I performance.  There was no shame in being outplayed in a home tri-series vs Australia and England (the only two sides with professional domestic T20 leagues), but the alarm bells were deafening after India’s Asia Cup campaign.

Confusing selections (Jemimah Rodrigues, arguably the most promising young batter in world cricket, didn’t play a game) and tentative play saw one of the best funded sides in the World get beaten (twice) by Bangladesh, a side run on a relative shoestring.  The acrimonious fallout from the tournament led to Tushar Arothe’s resignation as coach, with Ramesh Powar taking over the role in July.

Women’s T20Is have been something of a rarity in Sri Lanka in recent years.  Pakistan’s visit in March of this year, was the first series of women’s T20I matches (a series Pakistan won 2-1) to be played on the island since the West Indies visited in May 2015.  In the intervening period Australia cruised to victory in a solitary match, at Colombo in September 2016.

The women’s T20I run rate in Sri Lanka (5.54 rpo) is the second lowest among the established top ten nations, only beating Pakistan (5.16 rpo), which has hosted just two T20Is.  To labour the point, 160/5 (by England at NCC Colombo in 2010) is the second lowest high-total in any of the top ten T20I nations, again only beating Pakistan.

In all, there have been just two 150+ totals made in Sri Lanka.  Sri Lanka’s own highest total at home is 132/6 vs South Africa at the MCA Ground in 2014.  Chasing sides have a 23-14 win-loss record, including winning seven of the last ten matches.

Against all that history, it’s likely, given the changes in the T20I playing conditions last year, and some in form batters on both sides, that this series will showcase a somewhat different brand of women’s T20 to that previously seen in Sri Lanka.

In matches between the top ten nations, the run rate in 2018 (7.09 rpo) is higher than any previous year in which more than one women’s T20I match was played.  India, while not at the front of the pack, are still among the faster scoring sides in 2018 (7.34 rpo in all T20Is).  Sri Lanka are the weakest top ten nation in that regard (5.38 rpo), only outperforming teams that were awarded T20I status in June.

Historically, Sri Lanka’s home record is the worst (5 wins, 17 losses) among the top ten T20I nations.  Among all women’s T20I teams, only Malaysia and the Netherlands, neither of whom have ever won a T20I, fare worse than Sri Lanka’s home W/L ratio of 0.294.

Coupled with that, India have the best record at away or neutral venues among the top ten nations since the start of 2016 (13 wins, 4 losses. A win/loss ratio of 3.250).

T20I results 2016-present Home Away/neutral
Result Won Lost Won Lost
Sri Lanka 1 3 5 13
India 5 9 13 4

Much as in ODIs, Mithali Raj looms large over T20I contests between Sri Lanka and India.  Raj has 346 runs at an average of 57.66 and a SR of 104.84 in ten T20I innings vs Sri Lanka, and is the only woman to have made more than one fifty (4) in India vs Sri Lanka T20I matches.  Her 67 at Vizianagaram (a match India went on to lose) is the highest individual score in India vs Sri Lanka T20Is.

Since the 2017 World Cup, Smriti Mandhana has been India women’s highest run scorer. Mandhana is the second highest scorer in ODIs (669) and fourth highest in T20Is (433, just ahead of Raj’s 415, but at a much greater SR) in that time.  Among players to have scored 200+ runs since the World Cup, Mandhana has the 6th highest SR (135.73) in women’s T20Is.

Through July and August, Mandhana completed a successful debut stint in the KSL for Western Storm (421 runs at an astonishing SR of 174.68), which propelled them to finals day.

Mandhana has played against Sri Lanka more than any other T20I side in her career (7 innings) but doesn’t have a particularly strong record against them.  Her SR of 96.92 vs Sri Lanka, compared with a career rate of 113.06 is a microcosm of her career record against Asian teams as a whole.

In 21 innings vs non-Asian sides (AUS, ENG, NZ, SA & WI), Mandhana has 524 runs at an average of 29.11, a SR of 127.18, with five half-centuries, and a HS of 76 (vs England at Mumbai in March).

In 20 innings vs Asian sides (Bangladesh, Malaysia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand, none particularly renowned women’s T20I sides), Mandhana has 333 runs at 17.52, a SR of 96.24 and a HS of 43* (vs Sri Lanka at Ranchi in 2016).

Sri Lanka will hope Chamari Atapattu can carry her impressive ODI form into the T20Is.  Atapattu’s 57 in the 2nd ODI was her maiden fifty vs India, having played against them ten times before in ODIs.  She then followed it with her (and Sri Lanka’s) first ODI century vs India, to propel them to a first ODI win vs India since 2013.  Her 115 at Katunayake was also her first century in an ODI chase.

Atapattu has played 11 T20Is vs India, with a HS of 43 and a SR of 81.39.  The only opponents against whom she has a lower T20I SR are West Indies (74.81) and England (41.17).

Sri Lanka’s unimpressive recent record in T20Is has in part been due to missing Atapattu’s service during the Asia Cup, and her poor form in the matches she has played since the World Cup (54 runs in 6 innings vs West Indies & Pakistan).  Following her World Cup heroics vs Australia, Atapattu became the first, and so far only, Sri Lankan to earn contracts in the KSL and WBBL, though she hasn’t really kicked on in those leagues since making 66* vs Loughborough Lightning in her third KSL match in 2017.

With a modest 171 runs at an average 21.37 and a SR of 91.93, Anushka Sanjeewani has been Sri Lanka’s best performer with the bat in T20Is since the World Cup.  Sanjeewani’s 61 vs Pakistan in March is the highest score, and only half-century, by a Sri Lankan woman in a home T20I.

It’s little surprise then, that Sri Lanka have looked in danger of being left behind as the women’s T20 batting revolution gathers pace.

In the two years prior to the change in women’s international playing conditions, the average T20I batting SR was 93.42.  Sri Lankan batters collectively had the second lowest SR in that period (77.32), with only Bangladesh (70.36) faring worse.

In matches between the established top ten women’s T20I nations (AUS, BAN, ENG, IND, IRE, NZ, PAK, SA, SL, WI), since the change of playing conditions, the average batting SR has been 111.39.

Sri Lanka (79.25) along with Pakistan (82.23), are yet to change with the times.

Women’s T20I batting strike rate (matches between top 10 nations only):

Team Sep’15 – Sep’17 Since Sep‘17 SR Difference % Difference
AUS 101.04 136.49 +35.45 +35.08
NZ 104.92 129.44 +24.52 +23.37
BAN 70.36 93.21 +22.85 +32.48
SA 96.76 119.40 +22.64 +23.40
IND 97.33 115.74 +18.41 +18.91
IRE 84.68 102.19 +17.51 +20.68
ENG 116.30 132.63 +16.33 +14.04
WI 99.31 110.82 +11.51 +11.59
SL 77.32 79.25 +1.93 +2.49
PAK 82.23 81.43 -0.80 -0.97
Average 93.42 111.40 +17.98 +19.25

Despite the overall rate of six-hitting greatly increasing in women’s T20Is over the last year (one six every 59 balls faced in matches among the top 10 nations, compared with one every 95 balls over the two previous years), Sri Lanka have managed to hit just one T20I six since the 2017 World Cup (Yasoda Mendis vs Malaysia during the Asia Cup).  The last Sri Lankan woman to hit a T20I six at home was Eshani Lokusuriyage vs West Indies on 25th May 2015.

There were signs in the ODI series that Sri Lanka may be making progress in that regard that might continue into the T20I series.  The seven sixes Sri Lanka hit in their win at Katunayake on Sunday were the most they had ever struck in an ODI.  Importantly, they weren’t all from the bat of Atapattu, with Hasini Perera hitting two and Nilakshi de Silva, one.

De Silva’s form in the last two ODIs has been strikingly different to anything she’d displayed internationally before.  In seven previous ODI innings, De Silva had 37 runs off 122 balls at a paltry SR of 30.32, having never managed an innings SR above 50.0.  In her last two innings, she scored 31 off 19 and 15 off 9, hitting her first (3) international sixes in the process.  Could her T20I batting fortunes, which have been similarly unremarkable up until now, be about to change too?

The real find for Sri Lanka in the ODIs looked to be Kavisha Dilhari.  In the 3rd ODI, Dilahari sent down 10 overs of accurate offspin for the most economical figures among Sri Lanka’s bowlers on the day, and became her country’s youngest ever international wicket taker in the process.  Dilhari then kept her cool with the bat, including dillscooping Mansi Joshi for a boundary in the penultimate over, to see Sri Lanka over the line as they wobbled in their chase.

As a bowling side, Sri Lanka look a more convincing outfit.  In matches among the top ten since the World Cup, only Pakistan’s bowlers (5.88 rpo) have a better collective ER, than Sri Lanka’s (5.98 rpo).

A large factor in this though, is the opposition faced, and surfaces played on.  Ninth ranked, England (7.77 rpo) have exclusively faced some of the biggest hitting sides in the world on true batting surfaces, while Sri Lanka have only played in Asia and the Caribbean, and against less explosive line-ups.  Teams obviously also don’t need to score as fast vs Sri Lankan bowlers if they’re faced with the modest targets often set by Sri Lankan batters.

When the timescale is expanded to cover the last three years, Sri Lanka’s ER rises to 6.22 rpo, but that remains better than the average (6.28) for the period and still ranks them 5th, and ahead of teams like Australia, England and South Africa.

Since the World Cup, Sri Lanka’s most successful T20I bowler has been left-arm spinner Sugandika Kumari.  Her 13 wickets make her the ninth highest wicket taker in women’s T20Is in that period, with an excellent ER of 3.96 rpo.

India’s stand out T20 bowler is legspinner Poonam Yadav.  India may not have had a great Asia Cup, but Yadav’s 4-9 vs Bangladesh in the final were the best figures in an Asia Cup knock-out match, and saw her become the fastest Indian, and third fastest woman overall to take 50 T20I wickets.

Since the World Cup, Yadav has 19 wickets, making her the second highest wicket taker in women’s T20Is for the period.  In record high-scoring series vs South Africa, England and Australia, Yadav was India’s highest wicket taker (9) and had an ER of 6.78 rpo.  The average bowling ER across those two series (the two highest run-rate series India women have played in, and the 2nd & 4th highest overall in women’s T20Is) was 7.89 rpo.

Jhulan Goswami, who recently retired from T20Is, will surely be missed for India, but her record vs Sri Lanka in T20Is wasn’t overwhelming (3 wickets in 9 innings at an avearge of 54.66 and an ER of 5.46 rpo).  The increasingly impressive Mansi Joshi, looks the most likely fast bowler to take up Goswami’s mantle as leader of the Indian attack.

In terms of India vs Sri Lanka T20I contests, left-arm spinner Ekta Bisht has been by far the highest wicket taker, with 19 wickets in just 8 innings.  Bisht has taken at least one wicket in every T20I she’s played against Sri Lanka.  Four of the seven times Bisht has taken 3+ wickets in a T20I have been against Sri Lanka.

The traditionally difficult batting conditions for women’s T20I cricket in Sri Lanka could well be ideal preparation for the low, slow surface likely to be seen in the Caribbean for the World T20 in November.

India are strong favourites for this series, but need to do more than simply come away with a series win to convince as contenders for the World T20.  Sri Lanka have struggled in recent times, and don’t fare well in home conditions, while India are among the best performing sides away from home.  Even in light of Sri Lanka’s ODI victory on Sunday, and the greater competitiveness that the T20 format often provides, it would be a surprise (and a major concern for their well-resourced visitors) if the hosts manage to pick up more than a one-off win during the series.

Landmarks to look out for:

Jhulan Goswami’s retirement from T20I cricket means India’s bowlers now have a set target to aim at.  Poonam Yadav (53) and Ekta Bisht (50) are the closest contenders to Goswami’s India women’s record mark of 56 wickets.

Mithali Raj needs one half-century to break the record for most 50+ T20I scores in a calendar year.  Raj is currently level with Elyse Villani’s mark of five, set in 2014.

Smriti Mandhana, who has thirteen sixes in 2018, needs four more to break Sophie Devine’s record for most women’s T20I sixes in a calendar year (Devine hit sixteen in 2015).  Even if she does so, with the World T20 still to play, it’s possible that she, Devine, Lizelle Lee, and others could more than double that mark by year’s end.

Women’s T20I series
Sri Lanka vs India

1st T20I, FTZ Sports Complex, Katunayake, 19th September
2nd T20I, Colts Cricket Club, Colombo, 21st September
3rd T20I, Colombo Cricket Club, 22nd September
4th T20I, Colombo Cricket Club, 24th September
5th T20I, FTZ Sports Complex, Katunayake, 25th September


Sri Lanka: Chamari Attapattu (c), Yasoda Mendis, Anushka Sanjeewani, Eshani Lokusuriyage, Hasini Perera, Dilani Manodara, Shashikala Siriwardena, Nilakshi De Silva, Imalka Mendis, Sripalee Weerakkodi, Sugandika Kumari, Rebeca Vandort, Udeshika Prabodhini, Ama Kanchana, Kavisha Dilhari

India: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana, Mithali Raj, Veda Krishnamurthy, Jemimah Rodrigues, Dayalan Hemalatha, Deepti Sharma, Anuja Patil, Taniya Bhatia, Poonam Yadav, Ekta Bisht, Radha Yadav, Shikha Pandey, Mansi Joshi

Sri Lanka vs India – women’s T20I statistics
Match results
Highest total
Most runs
Batting average
Batting SR
High score
Most wickets
Bowling average
Economy rate
Best bowling
Highest partnerships

ICC Women’s Championship preview – West Indies vs South Africa

ICC Women’s Championship standings

NZ 9 6 3 0 12 0.401
AUS 6 5 1 0 10 1.105
ENG 9 5 4 0 10 0.571
PAK 6 4 2 0 8 0.581
IND 9 4 5 0 8 0.384
WI 6 3 3 0 6 -0.616
SA 6 2 4 0 4 -1.147
SL 9 1 8 0 2 -1.214

With Australia, England and New Zealand looking poised to pull away from the pack in the 2017-21 ICC Women’s Championship (ICCWC), there are likely to be four teams battling for one spot, with Sri Lanka almost certainly out of contention already.

Thought the tournament is less than halfway through, the result of this series could all but consign either West Indies or South Africa to the the World Cup qualifying tournament in 2021.

If the West Indies were to suffer a whitewash in this series, it’s difficult to see them picking up the points required, given they are yet to face Australia, England or India in this edition of the tournament, nor for that matter, a much-improved Pakistan.  South Africa still have tough series vs Australia and New Zealand ahead of them after this series.

This series marks South Africa’s second bilateral tour of the Caribbean (their first, in 2013 ended 2-2 with one no result, and they also visited for the World T20 in 2010), and the 1st ODI will be just the second women’s ODI to be played at the historic Kensington Oval.  The last bilateral series between the sides was won by the West Indies in South Africa in February 2016.

South Africa began their ICCWC campaign with 2-1 losses at home to India and away to England, while the West Indies have inflicted a whitewash at home vs Sri Lanka and suffered a whitewash on their tour to New Zealand.

The head-to-head record between these sides stands at an even 9-9, with one tie, though their most recent encounter was anything but close:

The nadir of the West Indies’ 2017 World Cup campaign (which in itself became something of an extended nadir for the 2013 finalists) was their crushing defeat at the hands of the South Africans at Grace Road.

The West Indies could only limp to 48 all out in 25.2 overs, the lowest World Cup total for twenty years, with Chedean Nation (26 off 53) the only player to score more than 4.  South Africa then brushed aside the target in 6.2 overs, for the simplest of 10 wicket victories.

Cleaning up a shell-shocked tail, after pacers Kapp & Ismail had obliterated the top order, South Africa captain Dane van Niekerk came away with the absurd figures of 3.2-3-0-4.  The only time in the history of men’s or women’s international cricket that a bowler has finished with four or more wickets without conceding a run.  At 31.4 overs, the game itself was the third shortest non-rain-affected match in the history of women’s ODIs.

Since the World Cup, South Africa have continued to be one of the busiest sides in women’s cricket, organising a bilateral series vs Bangladesh, independent of the ICCWC, and taking part in the T20I tri-series in England.

West Indies on the other hand, have been among the least active of sides, playing just six ODIs and seven T20Is since the World Cup.  Among team with ODI status, only Ireland have played fewer fixtures in that time.

Women’s international matches played since the 2017 World Cup:

Team Mat Test ODI T20I
England 26 1 12 13
India 26 11 15
New Zealand 26 12 14
South Africa 23 11 12
Bangladesh 22 5 17
Sri Lanka 19 8 11
Pakistan 18 6 12
Australia 15 1 6 8
West Indies 13 6 7
Ireland 12 3 9

Australia (6 ODIs & 8 T20Is), can better weather periods of inactivity at international level, thanks to the world’s strongest domestic List A and T20 tournaments in the WNCL and WBBL, and having multiple players being in demand for the KSL.

By contrast, the West Indies largely have to rely on national training camps and a relatively short domestic season, involving no overseas players.

While Stafanie Taylor, Hayley Matthews and Deandra Dottin played in WBBL03, Taylor was the only West Indian to take part in the most recent KSL season, which concluded last month.  Taylor reached finals day with Western Storm for the third year in succession, though had her least impressive tournament as an individual.

As well as playing an ODI series and T20I series in England in June/July, four South Africans also took part in the KSL.  Mignon du Preez played for last placed Southern Vipers, while Marizanne Kapp, Dane van Niekerk and Lizelle Lee all played a major role for eventual champions, Surrey Stars.

Van Niekerk was the Stars highest wicket taker, Kapp their most economical bowler, and Lee made history by becoming the first woman to make a century in a women’s T20 final.

Having looked less than convincing as a stand-in keeper for SA in England, Lee is likely to be allowed to concentrate on her batting in the Caribbean.  That’s probably for the best, as there are few places where women’s ODI batting is harder-going than the West Indies.

Over the course of women’s ODI history, there have been just three centuries made in the region.  Stafanie Taylor is the only West Indian woman to have made a home century.  Three-figure scores come at a rate of one every 299 innings, the worst rate for any nation in which an ODI century has been made.

Since the start of 2016, the collective ODI batting average in the West Indies has been 17.37, the lowest in any ODI nation during that time.

Women’s ODI conversion rate by host nation:

Host nation Mat Batters Inns 100s 50s CR I/100+
NED 35 220 643 4 17 19.05 160.75
IRE 56 295 940 15 66 18.52 62.67
UAE 9 64 162 2 10 16.67 81.00
ENG 222 669 3778 50 301 14.25 75.56
AUS 147 399 2559 32 223 12.55 79.97
NZ 180 453 3119 35 261 11.82 89.11
IND 163 529 2847 30 229 11.58 94.90
SA 108 319 1818 17 158 9.71 106.94
PAK 23 109 420 2 21 8.70 210.00
SL 85 296 1488 6 87 6.45 248.00
WI 48 166 897 3 47 6.00 299.00
BAN 26 128 478 2 33 5.71 239.00

Lee could well be the player to break that Caribbean century drought.  As well as her domestic T20 heroics in England, her 117 vs England at Hove in June was the first ODI century against England in England for three years.  Lee’s opening partner, Laura Wolvaardt will look to continue her outstanding start to her ODI career.  Against India in February, Wolvaardt became the youngest woman to bring up 1,000 ODI runs, and the 4th fastest in terms of innings batted (27).

For the West Indies, responsibility for run-scoring will rely heavily on captain Stafanie Taylor.  Since the start of 2016, Taylor is the only West Indian to average over 30, and has nine half-centuries compared with a collective six 50+ scores from her teammates.  Taylor, who made her maiden ODI century vs South Africa in Paarl in 2009, has four half-centuries in her last five ODI innings.

After a strong domestic List A & T20 season, West Indies have recalled Chemaine Campbelle.  Campbelle, who last played international cricket in November 2016, has the distinction of being the only woman to make an ODI century from outside the top 5 in the batting order (Campbelle made 105 from #7 vs Sri Lanka at Dambulla in 2013).

As well as Campbelle, West Indies will be hoping for better things from Deandra Dottin and and Hayley Matthews.  Matthews, who began her ODI career with three fifties in three innings vs Australia last made an ODI half-century in 2016 (56 against South Africa at East London in Feb 2016).  Matthews did make 53 in a T20I vs New Zealand in February, which was her first international half-century since her starring role in the 2016 World T20 final.

Dottin, once the biggest hitter in women’s cricket has now been overshadowed by several other players.  While Dottin still holds the record for most women’s ODI sixes (67), since the start of 2016 it’s South Africa’s Lizelle Lee (54) and Chloe Tryon (42) who lead the way.  By contrast, Dotiin has just 9 in the same period.  Dottin’s SR (76.52) is merely above average (69.46) for the period and pales in comparison to the numbers for Lee (98.04) and Tryon (109.13).

The West Indies’ run rate has looked pedestrian compared with other nations in recent years.  In matches among the top 8 sides since the start of 2016, West Indies have scored at 3.82 rpo.  Only Pakistan (3.78) and Sri Lanka (3.51) have fared worse.  The average rate in that time has been 4.49 rpo.

It’s likely bowlers will be on top for much of the series.  South Africa will miss Shabnim Ismail, but only Shashikala Siriwardene (who has bowled twice as many innings vs West Indies) has more ODI wickets vs West Indies than captain Dane van Niekerk (29).

With a raft of spinners and some canny pace bowlers at their disposal, West Indies’ main strength is their bowling, particularly in home conditions.  In matches between the top 8 sides since the start of 2016 West Indies have a collective ER of 4.21 rpo, the third best in that period.  At 3.42 rpo, they have by far the most economical set of bowlers in home conditions since the start of 2016.  The next best are India at 4.08 rpo.

Expect Anisa Mohammed to pick up the two wickets she needs to overtake Lisa Sthalekar and become the 3rd highest wicket taker in women’s ODI history.  That would also make Mohammed the highest placed spinner.

ODI results 2016-present Home Away/neutral
Result Won Lost Won Lost Tie
West Indies 5 3 4 12 0
South Africa 13 13 16 13 1

Other landmarks to look out for

Mignon Du Preez (2,951) is set to become the first South African woman to 3,000 ODI runs.

Marizanne Kapp needs one wicket to become the second South African and ninth woman overall to the 1,000 run, 100 wicket double in ODIs.

Merissa Aguilleira is one victim away from claiming 100 ODI keeping dismissals.  Aguilleira would be the first West Indian woman to that mark and the fifth overall.

ICC Women’s Championship
West Indies vs South Africa


1st ODI, Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, 16 September
2nd ODI, Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, 19 September
3rd ODI, Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, 22 September


West Indies:  Stafanie Taylor (c), Merissa Aguilleira, Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Qiana Joseph, Kycia Knight, Hayley Matthews, Natasha Mclean, Anisa Mohammed, Chedean Nation, Shakera Selman

South Africa: Dané van Niekerk (c), Marizanne Kapp, Masabata Klaas, Lizelle Lee, Suné Luus, Zintle Mali, Raisibe Ntozakhe, Mignon du Preez, Robyn Searle, Tumi Sekhukhune, Saarah Smith, Chloe Tryon, Faye Tunnicliffe, Laura Wolvaardt

ICC Women’s Championship statistics (ESPNcricinfo)

Highest total
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

West Indies vs South Africa, women’s ODI statistics
Match results
Highest total
Most runs
Batting average
Strike rate
High score
Most wickets
Bowling average
Economy rate
Best bowling