In the final year of the Kia Super League, Jemimah Rodrigues placed 2nd in our KSL Batting Rankings – in the first year of The Hundred, she has gone one louder, topping the table with 249 runs at a Strike Rate of 151. During that 2019 KSL season she started slowly, with scores of 4, 20 and 2, before finding a rich vein of form which included two 50s and a 100. In The Hundred, despite her indifferent recent form for India, she was straight out of the blocks with 92 not out against Welsh Fire, going on to score two further 50s.
Unsurprisingly, with the very best Australians and New Zealanders deciding to pass on The Hundred this year, a cluster of England stars occupy many of the top spots, led by Sophia Dunkley. Since being given a regular spot, and perhaps more importantly a clearly defined role, in the England side, Dunkley looks like a woman who has found a high gear she never knew she had. When I told a group of people at a county match four-or-five years ago that I thought Dunkley would be the next permanent England captain, even her mum looked at me like I was slightly mad. At the beginning of this season, people were still saying the idea was a long call. It doesn’t feel like one now.
The highest ranked non-international is Eve Jones at No. 5. Her success isn’t quite the surprise some seem to think it is – she has 3 County Championship 100s under her belt – and yes, that’s a big number in the old County Championship, mostly played on club pitches with huge boundaries. She also placed 4th in last year’s RHF Batting Rankings. But she has certainly continued to develop her game as one of the older “new” pros, finding the boundary 37 times in the tournament’s group stages – topped only by Jemimah, who did so 42 times.
The other leading non-internationals were Georgia Redmayne, whose performances in The Hundred would have been a factor in her recent call-up to the Australian squad for their series against India… although Cricket Australia were conspicuously careful not to say so in their press release!
And then there is Dani Gibson, who has probably more than anyone else changed the course of her entire life in the last 5 weeks. Previously primarily considered a bowler, whose late teenage years were blighted by serious injury, she has set herself on a new career path as a serious batting allrounder, hitting 108 runs at 180 – the highest Strike Rate of anyone in the top 20. Heather Knight – who usually sticks quite rigidly to established hierarchy – bumped her up the order when Spirit needed quick runs in the final match, and you’d have to say she is now a shoe-in for England’s ‘A’ tour to Australia this winter, which she was probably only on the fringes of selection for a month ago.
|1. Jemimah Rodrigues (Superchargers)||7||249||151|
|2. Sophia Dunkley (Brave)||8||244||144|
|3. Nat Sciver (Rockets)||8||220||137|
|4. Heather Knight (Spirit)||8||214||130|
|5. Eve Jones (Phoenix)||8||233||119|
|6. Danni Wyatt (Brave)||8||208||132|
|7. Lizelle Lee (Originals)||7||215||124|
|8. Hayley Matthews (Fire)||8||221||119|
|9. Dane van Niekerk (Invincibles)||8||231||111|
|10. Shafali Verma (Phoenix)||8||171||143|
|11. Amy Jones (Phoenix)||8||141||160|
|12. Smriti Mandhana (Brave)||7||167||134|
|13. Laura Wolvaardt (Superchargers)||7||181||117|
|14. Georgia Redmayne (Fire)||8||187||107|
|15. Dani Gibson (Spirit)||8||108||180|
|16. Rachel Priest (Rockets)||8||138||137|
|17. Deandra Dottin (Spirit)||8||146||118|
|18. Stafanie Taylor (Brave)||8||164||104|
|19. Emma Lamb (Originals)||7||135||125|
|20. Erin Burns (Phoenix)||8||133||125|
Batting Ranking = Runs * Strike Rate
How much longer can the England selectors ignore players like Lamb and E Jones? Lamb has shown that she deserves a chance with consistent performances. England desperately need left-handed batters and if Eve Jones can’t get in the side it’s ridiculous, given her stellar displays this summer. The short format isn’t even her strongest suit.
Other England players who haven’t performed as well of late, like Wilson on the other hand must be looking over their shoulder now that their spots might be under threat from Lamb, E Jones etc. I’ve also noticed Sarah Glenn’s not been at her best in the Hundred either and there are plenty of other spinners knocking on the door.
If Gibson does get an England A spot she deserves it, I’ve been really impressed with her massive improvement. Her bowling, fielding and batting have all looked top quality. In Spirit’s final game yesterday, she even went one better than Knight’s excellent return of 34* off 19 balls and 2 wickets, by going for fewer runs. A real prospect for the future as she can contribute from anywhere and seems to be able to deal with pressure situations well.
Oh, and one final point. “Unsurprisingly, with the very best Australians and New Zealanders deciding to pass on The Hundred this year, a cluster of England stars occupy many of the top spots”. Hang on a minute Syd – let’s not assume the Perrys and Devines of this world would have automatically been at the top of the rankings. A lot of good players have struggled with the new format and I’m not entirely prepared to give that free credit to players who decided to not turn up!
James’ reference to Spirits final game in his comment gives me the excuse to make the following observation.
If Spirit had batted 1st they would have had to score 170 to generate enough of the required NRR gain (to beat Phoenix) against a team only scoring 95.
With Spirit batting 2nd they required that they score the 96 within 41 balls.
If one uses DLS for this scenario (ie team 1 scores 170 off 100 balls, then it rains and there are only 41 balls available), the DLS target is 80, yes Eighty.
If Spirit, prior to their final match had scored 1238 runs (instead of the 838) and conceded 1260 runs (instead of 868) they would still have had the same NRR of -0.33326. If they had scored 170 they would still have had to restrict Fire to 95 but
if they were chasing 96 they would have had 11.8 ‘overs’ in which to reach to target rather than the 8.4 overs their actual scores profile demanded. So the batting 1st proposition remains the same but the batting 2nd proposition changes.
NRR – don’t you just love it !
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