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 appearance 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 and in their interviews, 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 threading 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 women’s T20I 5th wicket stand, with 119* vs New Zealand at North Sydney Oval.
Since she returned from injury, Meg 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 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 that the top WBBL run-scorer, Ellyse Perry is essentially an insurance policy in case of collapse 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 Jess Jonassen through injury. She had the best ER (5.08) in the series vs New Zealand (the series average was 7.39). Molineux had a scarcely believable ODI series vs Pakistan (26.0-6-39-6), and then she and Schutt were once again the two most economical bowlers in the T20Is. 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 heavily 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 a two player side that they’ve been characterised. 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 in T20Is since the World Cup (15). The only pace bowlers with more in T20Is in that period are Australia’s Schutt and Kimmince.
New Zealand’s star bowlers on the surface at Providence, Guyana are likely to 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) only second 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 of any bowler by that age (53 – 39 ODI & 14 T20I).
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.
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).
Tammy Beaumont and Danni Wyatt, two players who struggled to establish themselves as international players, with 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 Mumabi 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 (in 10th) on that list. 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 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 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 amongst 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). Injury and bans led to South Africa changing their World T20 selection and 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 Tryon the domestic contract she 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 their 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.
As did 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 has not been in particularly sparkling T20I form herself in recent times. Her 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 Premeire cricket in 2017/18.
The brightest star on the horizon for the future of Sri Lankan cricket though is 17 year old Kavisha Dilhari. A tidy offspinner, against India on 16 September Dilhari became the youngest Sri Lanakn 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 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’s 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 in 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 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 best 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
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:
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:
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.
Of the ten sides competing at the World T20, seven have made their highest total this year (England, New Zealand, Australia, 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.
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:
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.
Preview part 2 – Group A
Preview part 3 – Group B
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)
Sri Lanka vs India – women’s T20Is
India wins: 9
Sri Lanka wins: 3
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|
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 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.
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|
Despite the overall rate of six-hitting greatly increasing in women’s T20Is over the last year (one six every 59 balls faced in matches among the top 10 nations, compared with one every 95 balls over the two previous years), Sri Lanka have managed to hit just one T20I six since the 2017 World Cup (Yasoda Mendis vs Malaysia during the Asia Cup). The last Sri Lankan woman to hit a T20I six at home was Eshani Lokusuriyage vs West Indies on 25th May 2015.
There were signs in the ODI series that Sri Lanka may be making progress in that regard that might continue into the T20I series. The seven sixes Sri Lanka hit in their win at Katunayake on Sunday were the most they had ever struck in an ODI. Importantly, they weren’t all from the bat of Atapattu, with Hasini Perera hitting two and Nilakshi de Silva, one.
De Silva’s form in the last two ODIs has been strikingly different to anything she’d displayed internationally before. In seven previous ODI innings, De Silva had 37 runs off 122 balls at a paltry SR of 30.32, having never managed an innings SR above 50.0. In her last two innings, she scored 31 off 19 and 15 off 9, hitting her first (3) international sixes in the process. Could her T20I batting fortunes, which have been similarly unremarkable up until now, be about to change too?
The real find for Sri Lanka in the ODIs looked to be Kavisha Dilhari. In the 3rd ODI, Dilahari sent down 10 overs of accurate offspin for the most economical figures among Sri Lanka’s bowlers on the day, and became her country’s youngest ever international wicket taker in the process. Dilhari then kept her cool with the bat, including dillscooping Mansi Joshi for a boundary in the penultimate over, to see Sri Lanka over the line as they wobbled in their chase.
As a bowling side, Sri Lanka look a more convincing outfit. In matches among the top ten since the World Cup, only Pakistan’s bowlers (5.88 rpo) have a better collective ER, than Sri Lanka’s (5.98 rpo).
A large factor in this though, is the opposition faced, and surfaces played on. Ninth ranked, England (7.77 rpo) have exclusively faced some of the biggest hitting sides in the world on true batting surfaces, while Sri Lanka have only played in Asia and the Caribbean, and against less explosive line-ups. Teams obviously also don’t need to score as fast vs Sri Lankan bowlers if they’re faced with the modest targets often set by Sri Lankan batters.
When the timescale is expanded to cover the last three years, Sri Lanka’s ER rises to 6.22 rpo, but that remains better than the average (6.28) for the period and still ranks them 5th, and ahead of teams like Australia, England and South Africa.
Since the World Cup, Sri Lanka’s most successful T20I bowler has been left-arm spinner Sugandika Kumari. Her 13 wickets make her the ninth highest wicket taker in women’s T20Is in that period, with an excellent ER of 3.96 rpo.
India’s stand out T20 bowler is legspinner Poonam Yadav. India may not have had a great Asia Cup, but Yadav’s 4-9 vs Bangladesh in the final were the best figures in an Asia Cup knock-out match, and saw her become the fastest Indian, and third fastest woman overall to take 50 T20I wickets.
Since the World Cup, Yadav has 19 wickets, making her the second highest wicket taker in women’s T20Is for the period. In record high-scoring series vs South Africa, England and Australia, Yadav was India’s highest wicket taker (9) and had an ER of 6.78 rpo. The average bowling ER across those two series (the two highest run-rate series India women have played in, and the 2nd & 4th highest overall in women’s T20Is) was 7.89 rpo.
Jhulan Goswami, who recently retired from T20Is, will surely be missed for India, but her record vs Sri Lanka in T20Is wasn’t overwhelming (3 wickets in 9 innings at an avearge of 54.66 and an ER of 5.46 rpo). The increasingly impressive Mansi Joshi, looks the most likely fast bowler to take up Goswami’s mantle as leader of the Indian attack.
In terms of India vs Sri Lanka T20I contests, left-arm spinner Ekta Bisht has been by far the highest wicket taker, with 19 wickets in just 8 innings. Bisht has taken at least one wicket in every T20I she’s played against Sri Lanka. Four of the seven times Bisht has taken 3+ wickets in a T20I have been against Sri Lanka.
The traditionally difficult batting conditions for women’s T20I cricket in Sri Lanka could well be ideal preparation for the low, slow surface likely to be seen in the Caribbean for the World T20 in November.
India are strong favourites for this series, but need to do more than simply come away with a series win to convince as contenders for the World T20. Sri Lanka have struggled in recent times, and don’t fare well in home conditions, while India are among the best performing sides away from home. Even in light of Sri Lanka’s ODI victory on Sunday, and the greater competitiveness that the T20 format often provides, it would be a surprise (and a major concern for their well-resourced visitors) if the hosts manage to pick up more than a one-off win during the series.
Landmarks to look out for:
Jhulan Goswami’s retirement from T20I cricket means India’s bowlers now have a set target to aim at. Poonam Yadav (53) and Ekta Bisht (50) are the closest contenders to Goswami’s India women’s record mark of 56 wickets.
Mithali Raj needs one half-century to break the record for most 50+ T20I scores in a calendar year. Raj is currently level with Elyse Villani’s mark of five, set in 2014.
Smriti Mandhana, who has thirteen sixes in 2018, needs four more to break Sophie Devine’s record for most women’s T20I sixes in a calendar year (Devine hit sixteen in 2015). Even if she does so, with the World T20 still to play, it’s possible that she, Devine, Lizelle Lee, and others could more than double that mark by year’s end.
Women’s T20I series
Sri Lanka vs India
1st T20I, FTZ Sports Complex, Katunayake, 19th September
2nd T20I, Colts Cricket Club, Colombo, 21st September
3rd T20I, Colombo Cricket Club, 22nd September
4th T20I, Colombo Cricket Club, 24th September
5th T20I, FTZ Sports Complex, Katunayake, 25th September
Sri Lanka: Chamari Attapattu (c), Yasoda Mendis, Anushka Sanjeewani, Eshani Lokusuriyage, Hasini Perera, Dilani Manodara, Shashikala Siriwardena, Nilakshi De Silva, Imalka Mendis, Sripalee Weerakkodi, Sugandika Kumari, Rebeca Vandort, Udeshika Prabodhini, Ama Kanchana, Kavisha Dilhari
India: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana, Mithali Raj, Veda Krishnamurthy, Jemimah Rodrigues, Dayalan Hemalatha, Deepti Sharma, Anuja Patil, Taniya Bhatia, Poonam Yadav, Ekta Bisht, Radha Yadav, Shikha Pandey, Mansi Joshi
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
|Win / loss bat 1st||1 / 1||2 / 3||1 / 4|
|Win / loss bat 2nd||6 / 2||4 / 0||4 / 0|
|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 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|
|Bowling team economy rate by phase of innings|
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