Stats derived from ESPNcricinfo statsguru.
Controlled aggression best describes watching Australia over the last year or so. Their loss to the West Indies in the 2016 World T20 final was Australia’s first loss in an ICC tournament final since the 2000 World Cup, and their semi-final defeat at the hands of India during the 2017 World Cup was their only loss in a World Cup knock-out match since that 2000 final vs New Zealand.
Final and semi-final appearances in consecutive ICC tournaments would be a creditable effort for most teams, but prompted a pause for introspection from the perennial pace-setters of women’s cricket. Since the World Cup, both in their play on-field and their interviews off-field, Australia have exuded an air of determination to reassert their position of dominance.
Between 2016-17 the three time World T20 champions had a mediocre 9-10 record in T20Is, but look clear favourites for the title this year, having won ten of their eleven T20I fixtures in 2018, including their last nine in a row (the equal fourth longest winning streak in women’s T20Is). Against the other teams in Group B in 2018, Australia have played:
Three ODIs (3-0) & two T20Is (2-0) vs India
Three T20Is (3-0) vs New Zealand
Three ODIs (3-0) & three T20Is (3-0) vs Pakistan
Their last meeting with Ireland was a straightforward victory at the last World T20.
Australia’s only international loss in 2018 was in the their second match of the Indian tri-nation series in March – England restricted Australia to 149 and easily chased down their target with three overs to spare. Australia atoned for that loss by setting a new record T20I total of 209/4 vs England to convincingly win the final (such is the rate of change in women’s cricket recently, that mark is now ‘only’ the 4th highest total in women’s T20Is).
Australia’s run rate of 8.66 rpo in 2018 is the highest by any women’s T20I side in a calendar year (2+ matches played). What sets Australia apart from England (8.40 rpo in 2018), and New Zealand (8.10) is how much more they seem to have left in the tank.
As well, as their record run rate, Australia’s average of 40.30 runs per wicket in 2018 is also the highest by women’s T20I side in a calendar year.
Women’s T20I team batting in 2018:
Statistics are for matches played between the top ten sides only.
The difference between England and New Zealand’s runs per wicket and balls per wicket compared with Australia, shows how hard they are having to push to try and keep pace. Australia have lost just 40 wickets in eleven matches in 2018.
For a side with such a high run rate, it might be expected that Australia are blasting sixes left, right and centre, but their rate in 2018 (1 six every 53.48 BF) is only just better than the average (55.45 BF/6). South Africa, New Zealand, India, West Indies, and England all hit sixes more often than Australia in 2018. Australia run better (non-boundary SR 61.85) than all but England (67.71), and hit fours (5.13 BF/4) and overall boundary fours and sixes at the best rate (4.68 BF/boundary) in 2018.
In other words, Australia are the best side at finding the gaps, and are currently achieving the limited overs holy grail of high(est) run rate, low risk cricket.
The reason Australia have been able to achieve this is the unparalleled depth of their batting lineup. Every member of Australia’s likely top eight has a SR above the average in women’s T20Is (105.19) since the last World T20. No other side can boast as many potential match-winners with the bat. In their ten wins in 2018, six different Australian batters (Lanning, Healy, Mooney, Perry, Haynes and Gardner) have finished with the highest score in the innings.
Rachael Haynes has Australia’s highest SR in this period (149.59). Alyssa Healy has made four fifties in her last five innings, and needs 86 more runs to become 3rd woman to score 1,000 T20I runs as keeper. Meg Lanning has made a seamless return since her injury lay-off. Her 88* (45) vs England in the Indian tri-nation series final was the highest SR innings of her career. In September, Lanning and Haynes broke the record for the highest 5th wicket stand in women’s T20Is, with 119* vs New Zealand at North Sydney Oval.
Since she returned from injury, Lanning, who had been Australia’s established #3 has generally been held back from batting in the powerplay. Ashleigh Gardner, scorer of the fastest WBBL hundred, now takes the role of #3, as she does for Sydney Sixers.
Mooney & Healy, Australia’s most successful T20I opening pair in terms of runs scored (443), and run rate (7.86), and Gardner, who made her maiden ODI and T20I fifties in consecutive innings vs Pakistan last month, are given licence to attack in the powerplay. Lanning will on occasion come in at #5, depending on how many wickets Australia lose in the powerplay. Lanning’s reliability and her ability to score at a high rate from the start of her innings, helps Australia outscore the rest in the middle overs, and subsequently at the death.
In the eleven matches since adopting this strategy in 2018, Australia score at 7.82 rpo in the powerplay, 8.94 rpo in overs 7-16, and 9.93 rpo in overs 17-20, for an overall run rate of 8.66 rpo. In non-reduced overs matches from the start of the 2016 World T20 until the end of the 2017 Ashes series (twelve matches), Australia scored at 6.10 rpo in the powerplay, 7.06 rpo in the middle overs and 7.57 rpo at the death, for an overall run rate of 6.79 rpo.
In all, Australia’s squad contains eight of the nine highest run-scorers in the WBBL. The only player missing from that nine is the retired Alex Blackwell. The highest ranked non-Australian in the WBBL is New Zealand’s Suzie Bates in 10th. Such is the strength of Australia’s lineup, the top WBBL run-scorer, Ellyse Perry is essentially an insurance policy in case of collapse, coming in at #7.
In T20Is at least, Perry has returned to primarily being in the team for her bowling (in ODIs she remains the 2nd best batter in the world, behind Lanning). Perry was the leading wicket taker in Australia’s recent series vs New Zealand, and is now just nine wickets away from becoming the second bowler to take 100 T20I wickets. It’s another Australian pace bowler however, who has been the best in the World since the World Cup. Megan Schutt’s 24 wickets are the joint most taken in T20Is played between the top ten nations since the World Cup. Among bowlers with 10+ wickets in those matches, Schutt has the best SR (12.8) and the 8th best ER (5.63 rpo, the best for a pace bowler).
As a team Australia have an ER of 6.98 since the World Cup, which is a fraction above the average for the period (6.98). In real terms that’s a remarkable achievement, given Australia have played in three of the five highest run-rate series ever during that period. The average RPO in matches Australia have played in since the World Cup has been 7.69.
Left-arm spinner, Sophie Molineux has stepped up in the absence of the injured Jess Jonassen. Molineux had the best ER (5.08) in the series vs New Zealand (the series average was 7.39). She then had a scarcely believable ODI series vs Pakistan (26.0-6-39-6), and she and Schutt were once again the two most economical bowlers in the T20I series that followed. This time Schutt was 1st (3.04), and Molineux second (4.72), in a series with an average ER of 6.52.
Just as they’ve had a plethora of match-winners with the bat in their ten wins in 2018, six Australian bowlers have come away with the best innings figures in those matches as well (Molineux, Schutt, Perry, Gardner, Kimmince and Wareham).
There are no certainties in sport, especially not T20, but Australia will make the final and are overwhelming favourites to take their fourth World T20 crown.
SQUAD: Meg Lanning (captain), Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
Squad T20I stats
New Zealand come into the tournament on the back of five consecutive T20I losses. In June, New Zealand began their Northern tour in spectacular style. In obliterating a middling run chase vs Ireland, New Zealand scored 142/0 (11.0), the highest innings run-rate (12.90 rpo) in a completed women’s international match. They followed that with three consecutive 400+ ODI totals vs Ireland, including a new world record 491/4, and began the English tri-nation T20I series with another world record total of 216/1 vs South Africa. After that however, the wheels came off in increasingly predictable fashion.
Swept aside by England in all three T20I of that series, and whitewashed in both ODI and T20I series in Australia in September, New Zealand have looked over-reliant on their opening partnership of Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine.
The highest career run-scorer (2,846) in T20 international cricket, Suzie Bates, who stepped down from the captaincy after the Northern tour, also has the most women’s T20I runs in 2018 (509 at an average of 56.55 and SR of 141). Bates & Devine are one of three pairings to have scored over 1,000 runs together in women’s T20Is, and are the only partnership to have shared four century stands. Their 182 opening stand vs South Africa in June was the highest partnership in women’s T20Is.
Only Charlotte Edwards & Laura Marsh (939) have made more runs as an opening partnership than Bates & Devine’s 877. Their average of 41.76 is the highest for any women’s T20I opening pair with 300+ runs. By the same criteria, Only England’s Beaumont and Wyatt (8.92 rpo) have a higher run rate than Bates & Devine’s 7.96 rpo.
Since the 2017 World Cup, New Zealand have been the fastest scoring side in the powerplay in women’s T20Is (7.94 rpo).
|Team||Powerplay||Ovrs 7-16||Ovrs 17-20||Overall|
Statistics are for matches played between the top ten sides only.
*Incomplete data for two BAN v PAK matches & one SL v PAK.
Among the six likely semi-final contenders (AUS, ENG, IND, NZ, SA, WI), New Zealand are unique however in slowing down as the innings progresses. Once their opening partnership is broken, and especially after both Bates & Devine depart, New Zealand have struggled to maintain the rate, and frequently collapse altogether. In matches played between the top ten since the World Cup, the only teams to lose wickets in the last ten overs more frequently than New Zealand (1 every 13.06 balls) are Pakistan (12.95) and Ireland (11.68).
That being said, New Zealand are still the third fastest scoring side overall, both since the World Cup and since the last World T20. Australia and England are the only sides that have beaten New Zealand in T20Is since the 2016 tournament.
New Zealand are still one of the strongest teams in the competition, and far from being the two-player side that they’ve been characterised as. With the bat, Katey Martin has been in career-best form in 2018. Martin, who didn’t make a fifty in her first 40 T20I innings has made four fifties in twelve innings in 2018. Captain Amy Satterthwaite was player of the season in the WBBL, an award which could just as easily have been awarded to Devine.
Devine’s bowling form has been just as good as her batting form recently. She was 4th highest wicket taker in WBBL03 (17), 2nd highest in the 2018 KSL (16), and is New Zealand’s 2nd highest wicket taker in T20Is since the World Cup (15). The only pace bowlers with more wickets in women’s T20Is in that period are Australia’s Schutt and Kimmince.
New Zealand’s star bowlers on the surface at Providence, Guyana could well be offspinner Leigh Kasperek and legspinner Amelia Kerr. Kasperek is the 3rd highest wicket take in T20Is since the World Cup (21), with a SR (13.4) second only to Schutt (10+ wickets). Kasperek, with 46 wicket in 27 innings, is on course to be the 2nd fastest woman to 50 T20I wickets. Kerr, who turned 18 last month, has the most women’s international wickets (53. 39 in ODIs & 14 T20I) of any bowler by that age.
Despite recent setbacks, New Zealand are still one of the favourites to make the semi-finals. A huge amount rests on the outcome of their first match, a virtual quarter final vs India. The sides played each other with a semi-final spot on the line in the final group game of the 2017 World Cup. On that occasion, India were convincing winners, but the sides haven’t played a T20I against each other since 2015, and last met at the World T20 in 2010.
SQUAD: Amy Satterthwaite (c) Suzie Bates, Bernadine Bezuidenhout, Sophie Devine, Kate Ebrahim, Maddy Green, Holly Huddleston, Hayley Jensen, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Katey Martin, Anna Peterson, Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu, Jessica Watkin
Squad T20I stats
2017 World Cup finalists, India haven’t made the semi-finals of the World T20 since 2010, and put in a particularly poor showing as hosts in 2016, managing just a solitary win vs Bangladesh. They begin this tournament in somewhat uncertain waters. Their Asia Cup defeats to Bangladesh led to an acrimonious change of coach, but with the players at their disposal, this tournament represents their best chance of reaching the semi-finals in years.
With an average age of 24 years 210 days, India are the youngest squad in the tournament, even with the inclusion of Mithali Raj, whose international career now spans over 19 years.
During their home tri-series in March, India made their highest total (198/4 vs England), and have made seven of their eight highest T20I totals this year alone. That highest total wasn’t enough to win the match however, as England achieved the record women’s T20I chase. Like most of the top teams in the tournament, India have fared better chasing (W8, L6 batting 1st, and W8, L3 chasing since the 2016 World T20), and in 2018 have made four of the five highest successful chases in their history.
In terms of their win/loss record (1.555 to 1), and their run rate (7.07 rpo) vs the top ten sides, India are the 4th ranked side over the current World T20 cycle. Unfortunately for India, the draw for the World T20 has placed three of those four (Australia, New Zealand and India) in the same group.
To reach the semi-finals, India will have to beat one of New Zealand or Australia, something they haven’t done in T20Is since before the previous World T20, though they did manage to beat both sides at the World Cup, with both matches also being elimination games. Against non-Asian opposition India have four T20I wins since the last World T20 (three vs South Africa, and one vs England). Three of those four wins were in run chases. Their only win batting 1st vs a non-Asian side since the last tournament was in South Africa in February.
A significant positive step since the change of coaching regime after the Asia Cup, has been the re-introduction of Jemimah Rodrigues ot the XI. Rodrigues mystifyingly didn’t play a single match at the tournament, despite having made a promising star to her career. After showing flashes of promise in South Africa, Rodrigues’ 50 vs Australia in March made her the youngest Indian to make a T20I half-century.
In her comeback series in Sri Lanka Rodrigues was by the highest run scorer (191, 2nd place scored 107), and added two more fifties to her record. Rodrigues has the highest SR (137.14) among India’s batters since the World Cup, and the 9th highest by any woman to have scored 200+ runs in matches against the top ten sides in that period.
India’s next batter on that list is Smriti Mandhana (134.09). Though India failed to make the final of their home tri-nation series with Australia and England in March, Mandhana was still a stand-out performer, with three fifties in four innings.
In July/August Mandhana had a breathtaking debut season in the KSL, propelling Western Storm to finals day. Despite missing finals day herself, due to international duty, Mandhana finished as the tournaments highest run scorer with an outstanding SR of 174.69. During her stint Mandhana made the joint fastest recorded fifty (18 balls) in women’s T20 cricket and, what was at the time, the fastest KSL century (60 balls). Having played just nine innings in the competition, Mandhana has the third most KSL career sixes (21).
In the international cricket she’s played around that KSL season however, Mandhana has been in something of a slump. In T20Is since the home tri-nation series, a period encompassing the Asia Cup and India’s tour of Sri Lanka, Mandhana has now gone ten innings without making a fifty, and has been out for single figure scores in each of her last five innings.
India’s other big names in the batting department have had mixed fortunes recently. Mithali Raj began the year by becoming the only woman to make four consecutive 50+ scores in T20Is, and in 2018 has equalled Elyse Villani’s record for most 50+ scores in year (five, which Suzie Bates has also achieved in 2018). There are growing calls however, that Raj’s SR (100.00 in matches vs the top since the World Cup) is too low, and that Rodrigues should be opening with Mandhana to best take advantage of the powerplay. Raj has made her highest T20I career score (97*) this year, but that was against the part-timers of Malaysia. In the ten other innings since she made 53 vs England during the India tri-nation series, Raj has a HS of 23.
After India’s pre-tournament series against West Indies fell through in October, the full squad were substituted into a series against Australia A. During that series, Raj made her second career century, and the highest score T20 by an Indian woman (105* off 61).
Harmanpreet Kaur has perhaps suffered more from excessive expectations generated by her semi-final winning 171* vs Australia at the World Cup. rather than being in particularly poor form. In matches vs the top ten sides in that time, Kaur is India’s highest scorer and the 6th highest in T20Is overall (421). Her SR (113.47) is above average for the period (109.50). While she only has two fifties in 2018, Kaur has made at least 20 in thirteen of her last fifteen T20I innings, and made her highest score of the year in her most recent T20I innings (63 off 38 vs Sri Lanka).
Taniya Bhatia has recently begun to make significant international contributions. Bhatia made a match winning 46 (35) vs Sri Lanka, and her 68 in the ODI series vs Sri Lanka was the first fifty by an India keeper for five years.
With Group B taking place in Providence Guyana there will be pressure on India’s spinners to make telling contributions. Legspinner Poonam Yadav could well be India’s star turn at the World T20, maybe even outshining their vaunted batters. Poonam has 27 T20I wickets in 2018, the women’s T20I record for a calendar year, and 61 in 43 innings overall. Only Anisa Mohammed (64) & Anya Shrubsole (63) have had more women’s T20I wickets at the same stage of their careers.
India have played in some exceptionally high run rate series in the last year, but Poonam has still managed to maintain an excellent ER. The average ER in matches Poonam has played in 2018 is 7.00 rpo, but her own ER in those matches has been 5.65.
Offspinners Anuja Patil (17) and Deepti Sharma (13) are India’s next highest wicket takers since the World Cup. Left-armer Ekta Bisht has the best ER (4.58) among bowlers too have delivered 25+ overs against the top ten sides since the last World T20, though has been in and out of contention recently, generally vying for the same spot as Radha Yadav.
For the first time, India will play the World T20 without fast bowler Jhulan Goswami, who retired from T20 internationals earlier this year. Pooja Vastrakar and Mansi Joshi are the leading contenders to take on the role of India’s #1 seamer, after Shikha Pandey was surprisingly left out.
India can perhaps count themselves unlucky to have been drawn in the ‘group of death’, but they have beaten both Australia and New Zealand at the last ICC tournament, and the conditions in Guyana are not unlike those in Asia. While they have a host of exciting cricketers, it’s not yet clear they’ve settled upon a game-plan in T20Is that makes the most of their talents. If Mandhana and Rodrigues are on form, India will be a force to be reckoned with, but this might be a tournament too soon for some of the other young players in the squad.
SQUAD: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Tanya Bhatia, Ekta Bisht, Dayalan Hemalatha, Mansi Joshi, Veda Krishnamurthy, Smriti Mandhana, Anuja Patil, Mithali Raj, Arundathi Reddy, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Pooja Vastrakar, Radha Yadav, Poonam Yadav
Squad T20I stats
Once upon a time, Javeria Khan was an offspinner whose international career was in jeopardy due to a reported bowling action. In 2018, she stands as one of Pakistan’s longest established top order batters, and will lead her country at the World T20.
Since the 2017 World Cup, from which they came away with a last place finish and no wins, Pakistan have made significant progress (it would admittedly be hard to regress from that position). A first ODI win vs New Zealand at Sharjah last Novemeber was a significant breakthrough, and showed the value of the ICC Women’s Championship.
Against Asia Cup champions Bangladesh last month, Pakistan achieved their first whitewash in a T20I series of three or more matches. Much of Pakistan’s recent progress has been down to their bowling. Since the World Cup, Pakistan are the most economical bowling side (5.94 rpo), and average the fewest runs per wicket (18.26).
Among women to have bowled 20+ overs since the World Cup, Pakistan have the three most economical bowlers in T20Is, Anam Amin (4.60 rpo), Nida Dar (4.89 and Nashra Sandhu (5.06). Diana Baig is in 10th (5.66).
Sana Mir, who recently rose to the top of the women’s ODI bowling rankings, fares less well in T20Is recently, but has the 5th most career wickets (77). Fellow offspinner Nida Dar has the 4th most (80), and in 2018 has taken 20 T20I wickets, the most for Pakistan women in a calendar year. Among women with 50+ career wickets, Dar has the 2nd best career ER in women’s T20Is (4.89).
Though they can be a threat with the ball, especially on slow surfaces such as those in Guyana, Pakistan often don’t make the most of this because of their travails with the bat. It’s also fair to say that Pakistan’s good ER is in part due to the fact that their opposition are often not faced with having to score particularly quickly to surpass their totals. Their run rate of 5.34 rpo since the last World T20 is the second lowest in the tournament, and represents little progress since the last cycle (5.23 rpo). Given the significant increase in overall run-rates between those two cycles, in real terms Pakistan have gone backwards. The average in 2016-18 is 6.66 rpo, compared with 5.97 for 2014-16.
Pakistan are hugely reliant on three key batters. Captain Javeria Khan, opener Nahida Khan, and Bismah Maroof, who has just returned to international duty after an extended lay-off due to surgery. Bismah is Pakistan’s most talented batter and their leading run-scorer in T20Is. Javeria is the only other Pakistan batter with over 1,000 T20I runs and one of just three Pakistan batters with a SR over 100 since the last World T20.
Nahida, while less free-flowing than Bismah or Javeria, is one of the few reliable scorers in the side. Her 43 on 25 October was Pakistan’s highest T20I score vs Australia. A few other batters chip in from time to time, most notably Ayesha Zafar, and mercurial all-rounder Aliya Riaz. On the whole, especially against the stronger sides, Pakistan’s innings are characterised by an inability to effectively change gears, and tend to consist of one or two solid partnerships followed by a collapse.
Omaima Sohail, with just three caps, has shown enough promise to already be considered among Pakistan’s four most important batters. Against Australia in Kuala Lumpur last month, Omaima made 25, the 2nd highest score for Pakistan women on debut, and the highest score by a debutant for Pakistan since Sajjida Shah made 27* in their first T20I.
In the second T20I, Omaima made 43, equalling the highest score for Pakistan women vs Australia, which Nahida Khan had made in the previous match. Omaima and Javeria were the only Pakistan batters to make double figures in that innings. Omaima is the only other Pakistan batter apart from Bismah Maroof and Javeria Khan to have a SR in excess of 100 in the current World T20 cycle.
Progress of sorts was made in that series vs Australia, in that Pakistan did manage their highest total against the Australians, albeit in a match in which they’d already conceded 195/3. Nahida & Omaima’s 55 partnership off 44 balls was Pakistan’s highest run rate 50+ partnership (9.70 rpo) against a full member, and the 8th highest run rate 50+ partnership by any side vs Australia. Pakistan made their highest T20I total against any side with 177/5 Malaysia, at the Asia Cup in June, and also made their highest successful chase (130) vs Sri Lanka earlier in the year.
Pakistan have shown flashes of promise and achieved significant milestones recently. If they put all the pieces together on the same day, they can cause an upset, but would probably have stood a better chance of doing so vs the sides in Group A.
SQUAD: Javeria Khan (c), Aiman Anwar, Aliya Riaz, Anam Amin, Ayesha Zafar, Bismah Maroof, Diana Baig, Muneeba Ali Siddiqui, Nahida Khan, Nashra Sundhu, Natalia Parvaiz, Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Sana Mir, Sidra Nawaz
Squad T20I stats
Ireland have played the fewest fixtures (12) since the the last World T20, only eight of which were against sides playing at the tournament. They have the fewest overall T20I caps of the ten 2018 World T20 sides, and have played the fewest total professional/semi-professional T20 fixtures since the last tournament. Their squad includes both the oldest player at the tournament (Ciara Metcalfe), and the youngest (Gaby Lewis). Metcalfe, who made her debut in 1999, and Clare Shillington (who debuted in 1997) have already announced that this will be their last international outing. They still have at least one first ahead of them. Ireland’s third match of the tournament will their first T20I meeting vs India.
While the odds are stacked against them, Ireland have recorded wins against higher ranked sides since the last tournament. In August 2016, they beat South Africa, who would go on to make the World Cup semi-final less than a year later. In July of this year, they were the side that ended Asia Cup champions Bangladesh’s wining streak. Ireland’s total of 152 in that match was their highest successful chase and the 9th highest by any side in women’s T20Is.
Another notable milestone was Gaby Lewis’ 61 in defeat vs New Zealand in June of this year, which was Ireland’s 2nd highest T20I score, and their highest vs a full member. Lewis has the most women’s T20I runs (366) by a player before their 18th birthday, and is the youngest player to have made two women’s T20I half-centuries. In their loss to Bangladesh in the World T20 Qualifier final, Lucy O’Reilly became just the second Irish woman to take a T20I 4-fer.
All women’s sport still involves an element of activism, and that’s particularly true of largely amateur teams such as Ireland. With the whole tournament being televised for the first time, Ireland have a chance for unprecedented worldwide exposure. A win or even a hard fought loss on such a stage could do wonders for Ireland women, in a similar manner to Ireland men’s win vs Pakistan at the 2007 World Cup, and their famous victory vs England in 2011.
Now that the ICC have confirmed both Ireland and Bangladesh will be a part of the ICC Women’s Championship following the 2021 World Cup, youngsters like Lewis can look forward to regular fixtures against the world’s best, which will be crucial in improving Ireland’s competitiveness. That’s still three years away though, so Ireland’s performance at this tournament could still be key to forcing positive change in the interim.
While they are under-resourced compared with the other sides at the tournament, Ireland boast three players with experience of playing in the WBBL, which is more than Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh combined.
Isobel Joyce has played in the WBBL for Hobart Hurricanes, alongside Australian born Celeste Raack, who will make her debut during the tournament. Kim Garth was so successful in two championship winning seasons with the Sydney Sixers that she prompted a change of the rules for international ‘rookies’.
Perhaps the Irish player with the most notable T20 achievement is Clare Shillington, who is one of just four women to have made three or more T20 career centuries:
5 Danni Wyatt (151 innings)
4 Suzie Bates (251)
3 Clare Shillington (90); Rachel Priest (200)
No Irish woman has made a half-century at the World T20. Shillington or Lewis are Ireland’s best hope of changing that record.
In 2018, Ireland have been on the receiving end of world records in ODIs and T20Is. A win against Pakistan is not out of the question. The first fully televised Women’s World T20 is an opportunity for Ireland to make the headlines for their own achievements, rather than the opposition’s.
SQUAD: Laura Delany (c), Kim Garth, Cecelia Joyce, Isobel Joyce, Shauna Kavanagh, Amy Kenealy, Gaby Lewis, Lara Maritz, Ciara Metcalfe, Lucy O’Reilly, Celeste Raack, Eimear Richardson, Clare Shillington, Rebecca Stokell, Mary Waldron
Squad T20I stats
Stats derived from ESPNcricinfo statsguru.
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:
Statistics are for matches played between the top ten sides only.
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:
|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|
|Pace / seam||1418.4||384||25.47||6.89||22.2|
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
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|
|West Indies||33.00||5.79||South Africa||17.61||7.53|
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.
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
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).
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
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
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