The top-ranked bowler in the inaugural edition of The Hundred was Amanda-Jade Wellington, who produced arguably the best performance by a Wellington since The Duke’s famous victory over Napoleon’s XI at Waterloo in 1815. With 13 wickets, Wellington was not quite the leading wicket-taker in the group stages, but her outstanding Economy Rate of well under 6 runs per (traditional, 6-ball) over lifts her above Sammy-Jo Johnson (15 wickets) and Tash Farrant (14). It is remarkable to think that Wellington wasn’t even the Brave’s first choice leg-spinner – they originally selected Amelia Kerr – but on what we’ve seen this summer you’d have to think that if she was English she’d be an automatic pick for the national team, so why she isn’t even in the Australian squad is a mystery even Columbo couldn’t solve.
With none of England’s automatic white-ball bowling picks making the “Top 10”, Tash Farrant and Kirstie Gordon were the leading English bowlers. Anya Shrubsole (11th) and Sophie Ecclestone (19th) did both make the top 20, but neither Katherine Brunt (23rd) nor Sarah Glenn (29th) did. While it is true that you might not want to read too much into a short tournament where a bowler only has 20 balls to make a mark, sometimes you’ve also just got to hand over the microphone and see who can sing, and in that sense Farrant (14 wickets) and Gordon (13) in particular do perhaps continue to make a case for themselves?
The leading English non-internationals were Lauren Bell (9th, with 10 wickets at 6.91) and Alice Capsey (10th, with 8 at 5.24). England have long bided their time on Bell, waiting for her physiological development to catch up with her talent. If she was Australian, she’d have earned her first cap years ago… but also now be on her third potentially career-threatening injury. England’s theory was always that if they waited, they’d have a superb bowler for 10 years, not just 10 months; but it finally looks like it might be time for her to step up to that next level as the wicket-taking “strike” bowler England don’t really have at the moment.
As for Capsey, her fearless performances with bat and ball, in front of these huge crowds, suggest that England have a proper gem on their hands. Although Heather Knight recently tried to pour cold water on the idea of her breaking into the England team any time soon, the calls will only grow – especially if England get smashed about by Australia this winter. My only concern is that England will end up selecting her initially as a bowler, batting her down at 7 or 8, which is not where she needs to be. Her future – and England’s – is for her to be opening the batting; and given that England are not going to change their batting line-up before the Commonwealth Games, I’d rather wait a year than see her introduced in the wrong role.
|1. Amanda-Jade Wellington (Brave)||8||13||5.30|
|2. Sammy-Jo Johnson (Rockets)||8||15||6.89|
|3. Tash Farrant (Invincibles)||8||14||6.98|
|4. Deepti Sharma (Spirit)||8||10||5.26|
|5. Kirstie Gordon (Phoenix)||8||13||7.60|
|6. Linsey Smith (Superchargers)||7||9||5.54|
|7. Kate Cross (Originals)||7||12||7.45|
|8. Hayley Matthews (Fire)||8||11||7.48|
|9. Lauren Bell (Brave)||8||10||6.91|
|10. Alice Capsey (Invincibles)||8||7||5.24|
|11. Anya Shrubsole (Brave)||8||7||5.77|
|12. Katie Levick (Superchargers)||7||7||6.92|
|13. Alex Hartley (Originals)||7||8||7.95|
|14. Dane van Niekerk (Invincibles)||8||6||6.76|
|15. Heather Graham (Rockets)||8||6||6.84|
|16. Erin Burns (Phoenix)||8||6||7.05|
|17. Charlie Dean (Spirit)||8||6||7.09|
|18. Marizanne Kapp (Invincibles)||3||4||4.80|
|19. Sophie Ecclestone (Originals)||7||5||6.04|
|20. Alice Davidson-Richards (Superchargers)||7||7||8.86|
Bowling Ranking = Wickets / Economy
Economy recalculated as 6-ball overs