T20 WORLD CUP: Batting Rankings

If tournament cricket is about your in-form players peaking at the right time, then England are in a very healthy position going into the knockout stages of the T20 World Cup, with two of the top 3 ranked players in both batting and bowling.

With the bat, Heather Knight is the top-ranked player, after two match-winning contributions of 108* and 62 at the Manuka Oval in Canberra, against Thailand and Pakistan; whilst Nat Sciver is ranked third, having scored more runs but at a lower strike rate. Sciver has been Ms Consistent for England, with three 50s and a lowest score of 36 – still a significant innings in T20 cricket.

Wedged between them is Shafali “Did you know she’s only 16?” Verma – the sixteen-year-old teenage wonder-kid who is only sixteen. [Ed: Ok – you’ve made the point!]

Shafali has it all in her armoury – the big slog and the elegant drive, and she’s been getting India off to a series of flying starts, at a strike rate that puts the “power” in powerplay. And even though her strike rate dropped-off slightly in her two bigger innings, against New Zealand and Sri Lanka, it was still touching 150 on both occasions.

Ranked 4th is Chamari Atapattu, who has once again held Sri Lanaka together with the bat and kept them competitive against the bigger sides. With the retirement of Shashikala Siriwardene, Sri Lanka will be even more dependent on Atapattu going forwards, and that has to be a worry for a side who are already ranked bottom of the “Top 8”, though bringing Bangladesh and (probably – sorry Ireland) Thailand into the ICC Championship will help them to get some more competitive matches over the 2021-25 cycle.

Australia’s top-ranked batter is Alyssa Healy, who has rediscovered some form after a dismal Tri-Series, closely followed by Beth Mooney. Interestingly, Meg Lanning doesn’t make an appearance until No. 25 – only just ahead of much-criticised Amy Jones – though as @_hypocaust has observed, she tends to save it for the knockout stages in these big tournaments, so there could be more of her to come.

Player Played Runs Strike Rate
1. Heather Knight (ENG) 4 193 137
2. Shafali Verma (IND) 4 161 161
3. Nat Sciver (ENG) 4 202 113
4. Chamari Atapattu (SL) 4 154 135
5. Alyssa Healy (AUS) 4 143 144
6. Beth Mooney (AUS) 4 153 119
7. Lizelle Lee (SA) 3 109 143
8. Sophie Devine (NZ) 4 132 104
9. Rachael Haynes (AUS) 4 85 135
10. Maddy Green (NZ) 4 92 112
11. Sune Luus (SA) 3 74 137
12. Nigar Sultana (BD) 4 114 88
13. Aliya Riaz (PAK) 4 80 123
14. Katy Martin (NZ) 4 72 129
15. Javeria Khan (PAK) 4 82 106
16. Nattakan Chantam (THI) 4 103 84
17. Ashleigh Gardner (AUS) 4 78 107
18. Deepti Sharma (IND) 4 83 97
19. Laura Wolvaardt (SA) 3 53 147
20. Jemima Rodrigues (IND) 4 85 90
21. Marizanne Kapp (SA) 2 69 106
22. Chloe Tryon (SA) 3 46 153
23. Shemaine Campbelle (WI) 3 69 101
24. Stafanie Taylor (WI) 3 84 82
25. Meg Lanning (AUS) 4 67 97
26. Amy Jones (ENG) 4 48 123
27. Amelia Kerr (NZ) 4 41 137
28. Rachel Priest (NZ) 4 60 88
29. Nannapat Koncharoenkai (THI) 4 65 78
30. Danni Wyatt (ENG) 4 47 102

Batting Ranking = Runs * Strike Rate

T20 World Cup: Jones Closes The Deal As England Grab Semi-Final Spot

England made it through to the semi-finals of the Twenty20 World Cup by bowling out a slumping West Indies, after posting a solid total on a low, slow pudding at the Sydney Showground.

Earlier in the day South Africa had laid down a marker for what was possible on what was clearly a tough track to bat on – posting 136 against Pakistan, thanks to a brilliant “Closing” half century from Laura Wolvaardt, who hit 53* off just 36 balls at the death. They were runs South Africa really needed – had she struck at a run-a ball, South Africa would have totalled only 119 – exactly the score Pakistan eventually made in their chase.

So with Wolvie’s heroics to live up to, England elected to bat first having won the toss, and sent in Tammy Beaumont instead of Amy Jones to open the innings and get them off to a flying start. It didn’t quite work out as planned up-top – the pressure was all on Beaumont after everything that’s been said in the media, and she found herself walking back after just two balls, LBW to Shakera Selman.

So had the new plan failed?

Initially, yes, but there was a twist in the tale to come!

After Danni Wyatt, Heather Knight and Nat Sciver all contributed, England found themselves with 3 overs remaining on 107-4 – heading for a score of around 126. Then came the twist – Amy Jones, having been dropped down the order, effectively swapping with Beaumont, smacked a vital 23 off 13 balls. With the help of Katherine Brunt (10 off 4) England succeeded in “Closing” the innings even harder than South Africa had done, hitting 12, 11 and 13 off those last 3 overs to finish on 143 – bettering South Africa by 7 runs.

We know how much of an up and down side the Windies can be, so those last 3 overs must have been devastating – they certainly didn’t come in looking like a team that believed they were capable of chasing that total, and so it proved. They played out more dots than the Morse Code… and with very few dashes between the wickets either, they slumped to 97 all out, with Stafanie Taylor retired hurt.

Sophie Ecclestone finished with 3-7 from 3.1 overs; but the Play of the Day for me was Mady Villiers wonderful Caught & Bowled to dismiss Shemaine Campbelle. It was Villiers first outing of the tour, and England emphasised afterwards that it was a tactical change to add another spin option for this particular track, so we may or may not see her again, but she’s taken a special wicket here that will live long in the memory.

England and South Africa now both move across Sydney to the SCG for the semis; but their respective opponents won’t be settled until South Africa take on the Windies – if South Africa win that game, they will face New Zealand or Australia; but lose and they play Group A winners India. They will obviously be going all-out to win, because momentum is so important in a short tournament; but I’m not sure they will be toooooo disappointed if they lose, especially if it turns out to be Australia they end up handing to England in the semis.