England won’t be taking any gold medals home from the T20 World Cup in Australia, but perhaps these gold stars will make up for them?
(I mean… they won’t… but I’m handing them out anyway – wear them with pride!)
⭐ They Achieved Their Goal
Going into the World Cup, England set themselves a goal of making the semi-finals. Realistically, that’s all you can do in these short, sharp tournaments – after that, it’s all a bit of a lottery, even if it doesn’t rain. And not only did England achieve their semi-final goal – they didn’t even lose their semi-final, technically, which means…
⭐ They Only Lost Once
Through the tournament, England only lost once – that’s exactly the same number of losses as the eventual champions Australia. (Because, let’s face it, they are going to win it, aren’t they?) Overall, they came away with three victories to one loss… and even that loss was a close one to eventual semi-finalists South Africa.
⭐ Ecclestone Soared
It was rather appropriate that it was during this tournament that Sophie Ecclestone clambered to the top of the greasy (and admittedly at times slightly unfathomable) pole of the ICC Rankings, because this was the tournament that confirmed that she is the best bowler in the world right now. Our own Bowling Rankings tell the story – 8 wickets at an economy rate of just 3.23 runs-per-over. The leading economy rate in these tournaments usually goes to the part-time spinner who bowls one over in a dead match; but Ecclestone bowled basically her full compliment of overs in four matches, and still had the best economy over everyone that bowled in the group stages.
⭐ Glenn Nailed It
Sarah Glenn came into the World Cup vying for a spot in the roster with seamer Freya Davies, with the expectation that England would pick one or the other according to tactics and conditions. But having been selected at the WACA on those terms, Glenn made herself impossible to drop with the consistency of her stump-to-stump leg-spin, consigning the unlucky Davies to the bench for the entire tournament. Glenn ended up 3rd in the Bowling Rankings, which for a twenty-year-old in her first big tournament under the spotlight of international scrutiny is very, very impressive.
⭐ Nat’s a Natural at 3
The retirement of Sarah Taylor last summer left a big hole at Number 3 in England’s batting order – the spot Taylor had made her own. Nat Sciver, who has spent 80-odd-percent of her career batting down the order at 4, 5 or 6, ended up landing in that role almost by default, but she has excelled in it during this tournament, scoring quickly and consistently, with a lowest score of a still-useful 36, so hopefully this is a major “problem position” solved for England going forwards.