RHF TROPHY: 2021 Bowling Rankings – It’s Got To Be Gordon

After finishing The Hundred as the second-ranked English bowler, Kirstie Gordon put the cherry in the cocktail of her best season since 2018 (when she topped both the KSL and County Championship rankings prior to her England debut) as the leading wicket taker and top ranked bowler in the RHF Trophy. Gordon’s attacking style does mean that she can be less economical than some of her peers, but even in The Hundred we saw scoring rates dropping off when wickets fell, which obviously doesn’t necessarily show up in the wicket-taker’s own stats.

Last season’s leading wicket-taker, and Player of the Match in the final, Charlotte Taylor, ranked 2nd this year. After Taylor’s success last year, some thought she’d be “found out” this season, and to a certain extent that did happen. The availability, and perhaps more importantly accessibility, of analysis footage has improved in the RHF, and you can (as Marie Kelly did) go back and look at every dismissal Taylor made last season; but I think what Taylor’s continued success shows is that in regional cricket there’s still value in the middle overs in simply bowling tightly at the stumps and waiting patiently for the inevitable mistakes to do their work.

Team-wise, Northern Diamonds dominate the upper reaches of the chart, with 4 placings in the Top 10, which I’m pretty sure even the Beatles never managed! Katie Levick continues to be a wicket-taking threat, as she was for years in the County Championship. (Don’t forget to catch up with her hilarious appearance on Women’s Cricket Chat… and not just because she says nice things about us!!)

Beth Langston has also been in excellent form, and she’s probably right when she says that she’s a better cricketer now than when she played for England – her new ball spell in the RHF Final was a masterclass, dismissing both Vipers openers for quackers, and there must be a chance she makes the England A squad this winter in the “senior pro” role, though there is quite a lot of competition in the fast bowling department, with Issy Wong, Lauren Bell and Emily Arlott all likely to feature.

Other likely selections for that ‘A’ squad are Thunder’s Hannah Jones and Stars’ Bryony Smith, who could be a good shot for captaining the side; though not Tara Norris, who has pledged herself for the moment to the country of her birth – the USA.

Player Played Wickets Economy
1. Kirstie Gordon (Lightning) 7 16 3.5
2. Charlotte Taylor (Vipers) 8 13 3.3
3. Katie Levick (Diamonds) 8 12 3.2
4. Beth Langston (Diamonds) 9 13 3.6
5. Katherine Brunt (Diamonds) 3 9 2.8
6. Linsey Smith (Diamonds) 8 12 3.9
7. Issy Wong (Sparks) 8 14 4.7
8. Hannah Jones (Thunder) 7 14 4.8
9. Charlie Dean (Vipers) 4 10 3.5
10. Bryony Smith (Stars) 6 12 4.4
11. Georgia Adams (Vipers) 8 12 4.6
12. Kathryn Bryce (Lightning) 7 10 3.9
13. Jenny Gunn (Diamonds) 6 9 3.7
14. Georgia Davis (Sparks) 4 9 3.8
15. Alex Hartley (Thunder) 7 10 4.3
16. Emily Arlott (Sparks) 7 11 4.7
17. Tara Norris (Vipers) 8 11 4.8
18. Kelly Castle (Sunrisers) 7 10 4.4
19. Teresa Graves (Lightning) 6 9 4.0
20. Sophie Ecclestone (Thunder) 3 8 3.9

Bowling Ranking = Wickets / Economy