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 or balls:

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 in terms of runs scored, the cost of a wicket (22.53) 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.  One of the new T20I sides, Namibia 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 a significant number of 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

England
West Indies
South Africa
Sri Lanka
Bangladesh


Preview part 3 – Group B

Australia
New Zealand
India
Pakistan
Ireland


FIXTURES (ICC)


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)

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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:
India – LWWWLWWL
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 Gorund 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

FIXTURES
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

SQUADS

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 v South Africa

ICC Women’s Championship standings

TEAM M W L T Pts NRR
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 v South Africa

FIXTURES

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

SQUADS

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 v 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

KSL 2018 – Finals Day preview

A record breaking Kia Super League season comes to a close at Hove on Monday.

The run rate in KSL18 (7.44 rpo) far outstrips anything seen in previous professional women’s T20 tournaments.  The highest rate for a WBBL season is 6.69 rpo, for WBBL03, and the highest rate for a KSL season was the 6.64 rpo for the inaugural season in 2016.

The rates at which boundary fours (one every 7.38 balls faced) and sixes (43.48) have been hit are greater than in any previous KSL or WBBL seasons.

Where KSL18 also differs from previous KSL seasons is the average SR off non boundary balls.  In previous years, the rate in the KSL (53 per 100 balls in 2016, and just 50 in 2017) had been distinctly lower than the WBBL, which has been around 60 runs per hundred balls in each season.

The rate in the KSL this year (57) is still not quite that high, but combined with such high boundary rates, has contributed to the exceptionally high run rate in 2018.

This KSL season has also been characterised by a newfound dominance for chasing sides when compared with previous editions, which brings the tournament in line with trends in the last two WBBL seasons.

Wins were split 17-17 between sides batting first and those chasing over the course of the first two KSL seasons (9-8 in 2016, and 8-9 in 2017).

This year, chasing sides have come out on top in 17 matches, compared with 11 for sides batting first.  The lowest total successfully defended this season is 134.

Finalists, Lougborough Lightning set a new tournament record for highest successful chase when they reached a target of 173 vs Southern Vipers at Haslegrave on 4th August.  The next day, Western Storm equalled the feat at Scarborough vs Yorkshire Diamonds.

The Storm also set a new highest KSL total when they posted 185 vs Lancashire Thunder at Taunton on 9th August.

KSL 2018 stats Loughborough
Lightning
Western
Storm
Surrey
Stars
Won 7 6 5
Lost 3 3 4
Abandoned/No result 0 1 1
Win / loss bat 1st 1 / 1 2 / 3 1 / 4
Win / loss bat 2nd 6 / 2 4 / 0 4 / 0
Batting average 31.62 35.31 19.78
Run rate 7.82 8.55 7.25
Bowling average 16.59 25.77 22.16
Economy rate 6.67 7.76 7.45
Ave 1st innings* (inns batted) 143 (1) 149.75 (4) 123.4 (5)
Highest 1st innings total 143 185 167
Highest 2nd innings total 174 174 160
Bowled out 0 0 2
Bowled opposition out 3 2 1
Batting by innings
1st innings batting average 18.69 26.31 14.69
1st innings run rate 7.36 7.95 6.53
2nd innings batting average 38.63 58.70 32.35
2nd innings run rate 7.95 9.37 8.29
Bowling by innings
1st innings bowling average 16.44 21.41 17.90
1st innings economy rate 6.68 7.39 7.36
2nd innings bowling average 17.33 31.22 28.55
2nd innings economy rate 6.64 8.25 7.55

While Western Storm have been a class apart in terms of their run rate this season, that has largely been due to the extraordinary efforts of Smriti Mandhana, who misses Finals Day for an Indian training camp.

Collectively, the Storm’s batters have made their runs off the bat at 8.09 rpo, compared with 7.39 for the Lightning and 6.88 for the Stars.  Remove Mandhana, and the remaining Storm batters have scored at a combined 7.21 rpo.

The Storm’s economy rate as a bowling team (7.76 rpo) has been the worst in the KSL this season.  When Mandhana was available this was less of an issue, but could scupper their chances on Finals Day.

The Storm aren’t a one-woman team however, and have made two previous Finals Days (and won one of them) without Mandhana.  In Heather Knight they have the 2nd highest run scorer this season, and in Stafanie Taylor and Rachel Priest, the top runscorers in the 2016 and 2017 seasons respectively.

By far the Strongest bowling lineup this year have been Loughborough Lightning.  As a team they’ve gone at 6.67 rpo, the only side below 7.00 rpo.

Experienced internationals, Sophie Devine and Jenny Gunn are having their best KSL seasons with the ball.  They have been complemented by left-arm spinners Linsey Smith and Kirstie Gordon, who in her rookie season is currently top wicket taker.

Examining how the Lightning perform as a bowling side during different phases of the innings, they operate at below the average rate, in the powerplay, middle overs (7-16) and the death (17-20).


KSL 2018 team stats by phase of innings
Stats exclude reduced over matches
Season average rate
Powerplay:  7.02 rpo
Overs 7-16:  7.41 rpo
Overs 17-20:  7.85 rpo

Batting team run rate by phase of innings
Phase Lightning Storm Stars
Powerplay 7.42 9.08 5.92
Overs 7-16 8.02 7.90 7.50
Overs 17-20 6.90 7.98 8.15
Bowling team economy rate by phase of innings
Phase Lightning Storm Stars
Powerplay 5.69 7.09 7.02
Overs 7-16 6.23 7.66 7.81
Overs 17-20 6.95 9.17 7.14

As the season has progressed, the Lightining’s batting lineup has looked increasingly impressive.  With Rachael Haynes, Sophie Devine, Elyse Villani and Amy Jones, they have a good blend of power hitting and stroke-players.

As is to be expected for the third place qualifier, Surrey Stars fortunes have been more mixed, but they enter Finals Day on the back of two strong performances in the last week, including a win over semi-final opponents Western Storm.

The Stars have been bowled out more than the other two Finals Days sides this season (twice), which appears to have led them to be more circumspect in the powerplay, looking to avoid loss of wickets rather than pile on the runs.

For a team that opens with big-hitting Lizelle Lee, they have a surprisingly low run rate in the powerplay.

Stars were 31/0 and 37/0 in their crucial last two wins vs the Vipers and Storm respectively.  Below the average powerplay run-rate this season, but more importantly, without the loss of any wickets.

The Stars do come into Finals Day with the best recent form, and are the only participant to have beaten both the others this season, including doing the double over semi-final opposition Western Storm.

As well as the power hitting of Lee, the Stars have the World’s best powerplay bowler in Marizanne Kapp, England’s two most talented players in Taylor and Sciver, and the season’s brightest prospect in Sophia Dunkley.

Dunkley became the first uncapped English player to make a KSl fifty, with 66 vs the Vipers on the opening day of the season.  A strong performance at Hove is certain to see her on the plane for the World T20 in November.

The characteristic all three sides share this season is a strength in chasing.

14 of the 17 wins by chasing sides this year have been made by the three Finals Day participants, who all have better records chasing than they do setting totals in 2018.

In the six head to head meetings between them in 2018, the chasing side has won five, with the only win batting first coming in the 6-overs-a-side match between the Storm and Lighting at Taunton on 29th July.

Finals day qualifiers 2018 KSL head-to-head:
Stars 136/3 (15.5) bt Storm by Storm 132/9 (20.0) by 7 wickets at Cheltenham, 26 Jul
Storm 85/2 (6.0) bt Lighting 67/0 (6.0) by 18 runs at Taunton, 29 Jul
Lightning 96/1 (10.0) bt Stars 95 all out (18.0) by 9 wickets at Loughborough, 2nd Aug
Stars 106/3 (11.2) bt Lighting 100/7 (13.0) by 7 wickets at Guildford, 9th Aug
Lightning 125/1 (12.3) bt Storm 124/6 (20.0) by 9 wickets at Edgbaston, 15 Aug
Stars 160/5 (19.4) bt Storm 158/5 (20.0) by 5 wickets at The Oval, 18 Aug

This may prove pivotal.  Every match at a KSL finals day has been won chasing, and the chasing side has also won all three KSL matches played at Hove.  The same is also true of the three women’s County T20 matches played at the ground (between Sussex, Berkshire and Notts in 2016).

All four T20Is at the ground have been won by the sides batting 1st, but those matches took place in 2004-15, which is looking increasingly like a different era of women’s T20 cricket.

Could the tournament hinge on the toss of a coin?

Domestic women’s T20 matches at Hove:

Sussex 97/2 (15.4) bt Notts 94/9 (20.0) by 8 wickets, 24/07/2016
Notts 123/6 (20.0) bt Berks 122/4 (20.0) by 4 wickets, 24/07/2016
Sussex 131/3 (17.1) bt Berks 130/6 (20.0) by 7 wickets, 24/07/2016
Storm 101/7 (18.5) bt Stars 100/7 (20.0) by 3 wickets, 01/09/2017
Storm 151/3 (18.0) bt Vipers 145/5 (20.0) by 7 wickets, 01/09/2017
Stars 148/6 (19.3) bt Vipers 147/9 (20.0) by 4 wickets, 14/08/2018


KSL Career statistics by innings

KSL career 1st innings batting stats
KSL career 2nd innings batting stats

KSL career 1st innings bowling stats
KSL career 2nd innings bowling stats

ICC Women’s Championship preview – England vs New Zealand

ICC Women’s Championship standings

Team Mat Won Lost Tied N/R Net RR Points
New Zealand 6 5 1 0 0 1.489 10
Australia 6 5 1 0 0 1.105 10
Pakistan 6 4 2 0 0 0.581 8
England 6 3 3 0 0 0.050 6
West Indies 6 3 3 0 0 -0.616 6
India 6 2 4 0 0 0.066 4
South Africa 6 2 4 0 0 -1.147 4
Sri Lanka 6 0 6 0 0 -1.350 0

The overall ODI record between these sides (ENG wins 32; NZ wins 33; 1 tie) suggests a tight contest, but on closer inspection the rivalry has been characterised by extended periods of dominance from one side or the other.

In their first twenty years of ODI cricket, beginning with their a meeting at the 1973 World Cup, England and New Zealand played 11 times.  England won eight of those games, and New Zealand just two, with one match ending as a tie.

From July 1993 – August 2007, New Zealand won 26 and lost six, a run that ended with the White Ferns’ only bilateral series win in England.

In recent times, England have been similarly dominant in ODIs vs New Zealand as they have been in T20Is.  Since that series loss in 2007, England have won 18 and lost five, including winning ten of the last twelve meetings.  England have come out on top in all five World Cup meetings between the sides during that period.

England have won six of the previous ten bilateral series, including the last four in a row (though New Zealand did win two of the three ICC Women’s Championship designated fixtures in their most recent five-match series)

ENG 3-0 NZ, 1984 in England
NZ 3-0 ENG, 1996 in England
NZ 5-0 ENG, 2000 in New Zealand
NZ 3-0 ENG, 2000 in New Zealand
ENG 3-2 NZ, 2004 in England
NZ 3-2 ENG, 2007 in England
ENG 3-1 NZ, 2008 in New Zealand
ENG 3-2 NZ, 2010 in England
ENG 3-0 NZ, 2012 in New Zealand
ENG 3-2 NZ, 2015 in New Zealand (NZ won the ICCWC fixtures 2-1)


England‘s current ICCWC campaign began with the Ashes ODIs in October (lost 2-1).  An experimental side then lost a non-Championship series in India 2-1, before England began their summer with a 2-1 ICCWC victory over South Africa last month.

Starting with their opening day loss to India at the World Cup, England have begun their last four ODI series or tournaments with a loss.

New Zealand top the table but have shown signs of vulnerability.  At Sharjah on 5th November, they lost for the first time to Pakistan, after Suzie Bates, Sophie Devine and Amy Satterthwaite were all dismissed in single figures.

A whitewash of the West Indies in both formats at home in March was more convincing but there were still concerns.  Bates Devine & Satterthwaite were the only players to make fifties and were a familiar sight as New Zealand’s top three runscorers in the series.

In truth, in both ODIs and T20Is, the West Indies let slip chances of victory that teams such as England or Australia probably wouldn’t have in the same situation.  Specifically, the 1st ODI (lost by 1 run) and the 1st and 3rd T20Is (lost by 8 & 1 runs respectively).

New Zealand’s astonishing exploits in Ireland last month are well documented but it’s hard to see them having much of a bearing on this series.


Just as Bates & Devine have dominated New Zealand’s scoring in T20I cricket since the World Cup, the same is true in ODIs.

Devine (428) and Bates (307) have scored 58.8% of  the runs score by New Zealand’s batters in the current edition of the ICC Women’s Championship.

Sophie Devine is the top runscorer in this edition of the ICC women’s Championship (428 runs).  When she followed up her 103 with 62 vs Pakistan at h in Oct/Nov, it was the first time she had made 50+ scores in consecutive ODI innings.  In all since the World Cup, Devine has three centuries and three fifties in seven innings and begins this series on a run of four 50+ scores in a row.

Since moving to the top of the order after the World Cup, Devine has shared one century stand & three fifties in five innings with Suzie Bates at an average of 80.00.  Having reached the milestone of 1,000 runs as a T20I partnership during the tri-series, Bates and Devine need 37 runs together in this series to bring up 1,000 as an ODI partnership.

While Devine begins the series on a run of four consecutive 50+ ODI scores, Suzie Bates is currently on a run of three in a row.

Bates (average 52.20) is one of just two women with 1,000+ runs as an ODI opener at an average over 50. The other is Debbie Hockley (54.54), whose New Zealand ODI runs record Bates recently surpassed.

Bates also comes into the series on a run of excellent domestic List A form in England. Her 358 runs for champions Hampshire were the most scored in the 2018 County Championship.  This was the second year in succession that Bates finished as top runscorer in the competition.

While Bates has been the best opener of her generation and Devine is in the form of her life, neither have particularly strong ODI record vs England.

Bates averages 28.48 in 26 ODI innings vs England, and Devine 16.61 in 19 innings.  In both cases their lowest average against any single opponent.

Spinners Leigh Kasperek and Ameila Kerr each have 16 wickets since the World Cup, making them the equal 3rd highest ODI wicket takers in that time.

In just 20 matches, Kerr already has the 2nd most 4+ wicket hauls for New Zealand (4), behind only Aimee Watkins (5 from 103 matches)

Lea Tahuhu may be one of the fastest bowlers in the World but that doesn’t seem to have aided her vs England.  Tahuhu has played 10 times vs England, making them her 2nd most frequent ODI opponent behind Australia (12).  She has just 4 wickets at 76.75 to show for it, an average more than double that against any other opponent.


After centuries in the 2nd & 3rd ODIs vs South Africa, Tammy Beaumont has a chance to become the second woman to make three consecutive ODI hundreds.  Amy Satterthwaite, currently the only woman to do so, went on to make four in a row.

Since Beaumont was recalled in June 2016, only Lizelle Lee (1,591) has score more ODI runs than her (1,419).  Lee has played 14 more innings in that time.

Beaumont is one of only two women with 3+ ODI hundreds to have a conversion rate of 50%. The other is Meg Lanning.

Best women’s ODI conversion rate (3+ centuries)

Player Mat Inns 100 50 CR
MM Lanning (AUS) 66 66 11 11 50.00
TT Beaumont (ENG) 53 46 5 5 50.00
JA Brittin (ENG) 63 59 5 8 38.46
SW Bates (NZ) 112 106 10 24 29.41
SJ Taylor (ENG) 116 109 7 19 26.92
SFM Devine (NZ) 93 80 4 11 26.67
SC Taylor (ENG) 126 120 8 23 25.81
AE Satterthwaite (NZ) 110 104 6 18 25.00
NE Bolton (AUS) 44 44 4 12 25.00

England’s star bowler since the World Cup has been player of the tri-series Sophie Ecclestone.  In ODIs since the World Cup he has 14 wickets at 20.14 and an ER of 3.81.When Beaumont made her 105 at Canterbury v South Africa she became the 2nd fastest woman to make 5 ODI centuries (46 innings) behind only Lanning (35) and the first woman to make three international centuries in an English home season.

Though she missed selection at the start of the summer, no-one has taken more ODI wickets for England during the Mark Robinson-era than recalled Alex Hartley (34).

Anya Shrubsole and Katherine Brunt look back to their best this summer, though Brunt in has a surprisingly poor ODI record vs New Zealand.  Brunt averages 41.21 vs NZ, and hasn’t taken a wicket against them in her last four ODIs.  She averages 30 or less against all other opponents.

On the other hand, Jenny Gunn has the 5th most ODI wickets vs New Zealand (41), and is the highest ranked active player, and highest ranked non-Australian (who tend to play more matches vs NZ) on the list.  30.37% of Gunn’s ODI wickets have been taken vs NZ.

With most of their bowlers in good form, perhaps England’s most pressing concern is who should be Beaumont’s long-term partner at the top of the order in ODIs.  Amy Jones has looked good for as long as her innings have lasted, but needs to make a telling contribution soon, with Danni Wyatt and Lauren Winfield the other options.


Landmarks to look out for

The first match of the series is set to be Sarah Taylor’s 109th as designated wicket keeper, which will break the women’s ODI record currently held by her predecessor as England keeper, Jane Smit.

Having become the first woman to take 50 T20I stumpings during the tri-series, Taylor (currently on 48) is nearing the ODI record currently held by Anju Jain (51).

Taylor (3,911) also needs 89 runs to become the 9th woman to score 4,000 ODI runs.

If she can score 129 runs in this series, Beaumont, who led the scoring in both the ODIs vs South Africa (212) and the T20I tri-series (256), will break Jan Brittin’s record for most women’s international runs in an English summer (Brittin scored 596 across Tests and ODIs in 1984).

Gunn (143) can overtake Alex Blackwell (144) in this series to move up to 4th place for most women’s ODI appearances.

Bates has captained New Zealand 73 times. During this series, she’ll overtake Merissa Aguilleira (74), to move up to 4th place on the list of most women’s ODIs as captain.

Bates needs 35 more runs to become the fifth woman to record 10,000 List A runs.

Most recorded women’s List A runs

  M I NO R HS Ave 100 50
CM Edwards 397 380 68 16465 199* 52.77 42 103
M Raj 317 280 95 11503 163* 62.17 14 91
KL Rolton 257 245 47 10487 173 52.96 23 74
SC Taylor 289 276 43 10195 156* 43.75 17 66
SW Bates 259 247 33 9965 183* 46.56 23 59

Verdict

If England overcome their recent issue of slow starts to ODI series, and New Zealand don’t find more telling contributions from their lower to middle order, a clean sweep is on the cards for the hosts.


ICC Women’s Championship
ENGLAND vs NEW ZEALAND

Fixtures:

7th July
1st ODI at Headingley

10th July
2nd ODI at County Ground, Derby

13th July
3rd ODI at Grace Road


ICC Women’s Championship stats

Most runs

Most wickets

T20I tri-nation series (ENG, NZ, SA) preview

Year T20Is Runs/wkt Balls/wkt Run rate Sixes 6/Mat
2009 30 17.77 18.05 5.91 53 1.8
2010 42 16.84 16.53 6.11 89 2.1
2011 32 17.02 17.36 5.88 45 1.4
2012 62 16.94 18.57 5.47 102* 1.6
2013 37 18.73 19.67 5.71 63 1.7
2014 71 18.42 18.90 5.85 138 1.9
2015 30 17.81 18.76 5.70 66 2.2
2016 56 18.86 18.70 6.05 140 2.5
2017 13 17.87 16.57 6.47 42 3.2
2018 30 23.01 20.07 6.88 106 3.5
*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).


WT20I winloss 2016-19 June 2018

Last 8 results:
England – LWWWWLLL
New Zealand – WWWWWWWW
South Africa – LLLWLWWW

T20I head-to-head record:

England vs New Zealand
Matches 19
ENG wins 14
NZ wins 5

England vs South Africa
Matches 15
ENG wins 13
SA wins 1
No result 1

New Zealand vs South Africa
Matches 5
NZ wins 4
SA wins 1

WT20i winloss 2016 bat 1st

WT20i winloss 2016 field 1st

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.

WT20I Bp6

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.


SQUADS

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.

 

England v South Africa – 3rd ODI preview

ICC Women’s Championship standings 

Team Mat Won Lost Tied NR Net RR Pts
New Zealand 6 5 1 0 0 1.489 10
Australia 6 5 1 0 0 1.105 10
Pakistan 6 4 2 0 0 0.581 8
West Indies 6 3 3 0 0 -0.616 6
India 6 2 4 0 0 0.066 4
England 5 2 3 0 0 -0.084 4
South Africa 5 2 3 0 0 -1.240 4
Sri Lanka 6 0 6 0 0 -1.35 0

With the series level at 1-1 going into today’s 3rd ODI at Canterbury, England have a ninth straight bilateral series win against South Africa in their sights, while the Proteas are eyeing a historic first series win vs England.

Bilateral ODI series between England & South Africa:

ENG 2-1 SA, 1997 in England
ENG 3-2 SA, 2000 in England
ENG 2-1 SA, 2003 in England
ENG 4-1 SA, 2004 in South Africa
ENG 2-0 SA, 2005 in South Africa
ENG 4-0 SA, 2008 in England
ENG 3-0 SA, 2011 in South Africa
ENG 2-1 SA, 2016 in South Africa
ENG 1-1 SA, 2018 in England*

This will be the first women’s ODI to be played at Canterbury since 6th August 2008.  South Africa were England’s opponent on that occasion too, and will now have taken part in three of the five women’s ODIs played at the St. Lawrence Ground.

Women’s ODIs at Canterbury:
Australia bt England by 87 runs, 1st August 1976
England bt Australia by 6 wickets, 25th July 1987
South Africa bt England by 1 wicket, 25th June 2000
England bt South Africa by 121 runs, 6th August 2008

None of the South African XI that turned out in 2008 have made this series, whereas there are three members of the England lineup from 2008 who could feature today –  Katherine Brunt, Jenny Gunn and Sarah Taylor.

Taylor is set to play her 108th match as designated wicket-keeper today, which would equal the women’s ODI record, currently held by her predecessor as England keeper, Jane Smit.

Her counterpart, Lizelle Lee may not have impressed with the gloves in this series, but her 209 runs are already the most scored for South Africa in a three-match ODI series.

60 more runs will give Lee the national record for a bilateral series of any length.  The outright record for a three-match women’s ODI series (342) is held jointly by Tammy Beaumont (vs Pakistan in 2016) and Amelia Kerr, thanks to her record breaking exploits in Ireland this week.

Most runs for South Africa in a bilateral ODI series:
268 L Lee v BAN, 2017 (5 ODIs)
244 L Lee v BAN, 2018 (5 ODIs)
232 M du Preez v NZ, 2016 (7 ODIs)
222 D van Niekerk v NZ, 2016 (7 ODIs)
215 L Wolvaardt v IRE, 2016 (4 ODIs)
209 L Lee v ENG, 2018*

Since the start of 2016, England and South Africa have been among the the most difficult sides to make women’s ODI centuries against, which makes Beaumont (101), Taylor (118) & Lee’s (117) efforts at Hove all the more remarkable.

Since the start of 2016, top-seven batters (there has never been a women’s ODI century made batting below #7) have averaged a century once every 60.3 innings vs South Africa, and just once every 215 innings vs England.  Lee’s innings makes the conversion rate against England in that time 2.78%.

WODI centuries 2016

As well as being the first ODI century for South Africa vs England, Lee’s innings made her the first ODI centurion for any side against England since Meg Lanning made 104 in the 2nd Ashes ODI at Bristol on 23rd July 2015.

There may be some concern for South Africa though, that they are over-reliant on Lee and big-hitting Chloe Tryon to maintain a competitive run-rate.

At Hove, Tryon (169.23) and Lee (109.34) were the only South Africans to strike at over 100.  Marizanne Kapp (96.66) was the only one of the remaining nine South African batters with a match strike rate over 60.  By contrast, Amy Jones (76.31) and Tammy Beaumont (92.66), were the only English batters who didn’t strike at over 100 at Hove.

South Africa 2nd ODI at Hove:

Lee & Tryon 161 runs off 133 balls at 7.26 rpo (16×4, 9×6)

Rest of South Africa 91 runs off 167 balls at 3.27 rpo (4×4, 1×6)

Even during their comfortable 5-0 whitewash of Bangladesh last month, Tryon (141.05) and Lee (80.52) were the only players to maintain series strike rates over 80 (min. 25 BF).

The average batting SR in women’s ODIs since the start of 2016 has been 69.30.  Fourteen English players have scored above that rate during that time, while only five South Africans have done the same.

South Africa’s vaunted pace attack means it’s not a case of nullify Lee & Tryon and win the game, but that would clearly be a big step in the right direction.  Unfortunately for England, they appear to be getting worse at containing the duo, rather than better.

Lee’s five 50+ scores in her last six innings vs England (including the two highest scores for South Africa vs England in the last two) are well documented, but Tryon too has overcome a less than stellar start, and become increasingly dangerous.

Tryon’s first four ODI innings vs England resulted in four ducks, and she didn’t reach double figures against England until her 7th ODI against them, at Bristol during the World Cup.  Tryon followed her 54 (26) on that day with 44 (26), two innings later, at Hove on Tuesday.Lee & Tryon v ENG

Among batters with 1,000+ ODI career runs there is only one woman with a higher SR than Tryon (97.43), England’s Natalie Sciver (101.66).

Lee (54) and Tryon (40) have hit the most sixes in women’s ODIs since the start of 2016, perhaps to be expected given South Africa have played so many more fixtures than any other side.  Even when measuring in terms of balls faced per six hit, they still top the charts.

WODI bp6

While England are yet to uncover an individual equivalent to Tryon, Lee or New Zealand’s Sophie Devine, as a batting unit, they have dramatically improved at clearing the ropes since Mark Robinson took charge.

In the period after the 2013 World Cup until the end of 2015 (the era during which Paul Shaw was England’s Head of Performance), England hit just six ODI sixes.  The rate at which they hit them (one six every 883 balls faced) was 500 balls worse than the average rate in women’s ODIs for the time-frame (once every 383).

WODI six rate

Since the start of 2016, when Robinson’s tenure began, the average rate in ODIs has virtually doubled (one six every 192 balls faced).  England have not just kept up with the pace, but been among the pace-setters.  Only South Africa (one six every 119 balls faced) have hit sixes more regularly than England (139).

An indication of how much of this change has been down to mindset and fitness/training, lies in the fact that all twelve English players who have hit sixes in the Robinson-era debuted before he took charge.


Landmarks to look out for:

Mignon du Preez needs 66 runs to become the first South African woman to 3,000 ODI runs.

Marizanne Kapp is two wickets away from becoming the second South African, and 9th woman overall to score 1,000+ runs & take 100+ wickets in ODIs.

Laura Wolvaardt needs one more half-century to break the record for most 50+ women’s ODI scores made as a teenager.  She currently shares the record with Stafanie Taylor, who began her career with eleven 50+ scores before she turned 20.


ICC WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
England vs South Africa

3rd ODI at Canterbury, 15th June 2018

GROUND RECORDS:

Highest total
254/6 (ENG) v South Africa, 6th August 2008
High score
106 L Hill (AUS) v England, 1st August 1976
Best bowling figures
4-47 KM Leng (ENG) v South Africa, 25th June 2000

SQUADS

England: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Jenny Gunn, Amy Jones, Laura Marsh, Anya Shrubsole, Nat Sciver, Sarah Taylor, Danni Wyatt

South Africa: Dane van Niekerk(c), Tazmin Brits,  Shabnim Ismail, Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Stacey Lackay, Lizelle Lee, Sune Luus, Zintle Mali, Raisibe Ntozakhe, Mignon du Preez, Andrie Steyn, Chloe Tryon, Laura Wolvaardt