This year’s World T20 has been filled with standout individual performances, both with bat and ball, but who makes our team of the tournament?
1. Alyssa Healy
It’s hard to believe Alyssa Healy entered this year’s tournament with just 24 runs from her previous six innings. Right from ball one of Australia’s first encounter with India, Healy looked like the confident, aggressive stroke-maker we’ve become accustomed to seeing in recent times. Scoring three fifties in total, Healy’s knock in the final was without question, the finest we’ve ever seen in a World-Cup final. This included five sixes in total, including three in one over, as Healy scored 75 from just 39 balls- registering her half-century (30 balls) quicker than any player, man or woman in World-Cup history. This deservedly saw her pick up the player of the match award, as husband Mitchell Starc watched on from the crowd.
2. Shafali Verma
Without question the most exciting player to watch at this year’s tournament, it’s hard to believe Verma is still just 16 years of age. Already possessing greater power than anyone else in World Cricket, Verma bludgeoned the most sixes of anyone in the competition and blasted 161 runs in her first four games. She failed to score a half-century and was dismissed cheaply for just two in the final, but for a while sat at number one in the T20 batting rankings. She will no doubt return to this very spot in the future and this World Cup will undoubtedly be the first of many.
3. Beth Mooney
Mooney started her campaign slowly, scoring just 6 as Australia fell at the hands of India. Nevertheless, after a spectacular Big Bash tournament recently, it was always assumed she would come good. In her next five matches, Mooney scored 253 runs, including three fifties and finished with an average of 64.75. Her score of 78 not out in the final, was the highest individual score in T20 World Cup final history and helped her scoop the player of the tournament award.
4. Nat Sciver
Sciver was undoubtedly England’s most valuable player this campaign. Crucial with bat and ball, she scored three half-centuries in just four innings, and boasted an average of 67.33. She may have only picked up two wickes alongside this, but without her England would have struggled to make the semi-finals.
5. Heather Knight
England’s captain certainly led from the front this tournament. She became the first English player to register a century at a T20 World-Cup as she struck the highest score of the competition with 108 not out against Thailand. This was followed up by an impressive half-century against Pakistan. A disappointing tournament for England overall, but one where Knight herself can certainly hold her head high.
6. Laura Wolvaardt
The likes of Healy and Verma may have stolen the majority of the plaudits througout the competition, but Wolvaardt was integral to South-Africa’s middle order, and a large part of why they topped Group B ahead of England. Whilst she was only required to bat twice, Wolvaardt scored 94 runs, including an unbeaten 53 against Pakistan and was not dismissed at all. South Africa will perhaps regret the decision not to push her further up the order, especially against Australia, where a few more overs at the crease may have helped the Proteas get over the line.
7. Jess Jonassen
Having bowled the most overs of any player at the World Cup- 23 in total, Jonassen was the unsung hero of Australia’s title retention. Claiming 10 wickets in total across the six matches, Jonassen claimed at least one wicket in every match she played. With the absence of Tayla Vlaeminck and Ellyse Perry from the knockout-stages due to injury, Australia needed an opening bowler and Jonassen impressively stepped up to this mantle.
8. Sophie Ecclestone
It wasn’t to be for England at this World Cup, but the biggest positive for Lisa Keightley’s team will be the performances of the two spinners, Ecclestone and Glenn. The former picked up eight wickets in four matches, at an economy rate of just 3.23. Ecclestone is also ranked as the number one T20 bowler in the world now and is still aged just 20.
9. Sarah Glenn
Unjustly absent from the ICC’s team of the tournament, Sarah Glenn was equally as impressive as her spin partner. Six wickets in 4 matches with an economy of 4.25- which was bettered only by Ecclestone, the emergence of Glenn since Keightley took over has arguably been the England coach’s greatest achievement during her tenure.
10. Poonam Yadav
Yadav set the tournament alight against Australia in Sydney, as she dismantled the Australian top-order to claim 4-19. Her constant variations and inability for the opposition to pick her googly makes her perhaps the most feared bowler in T20 cricket right now. 9 wickets in the group stage was somewhat overshadowed however, as India’s semi-final was washed out and Yadav was played with caution by Australia in the final and restricted to just one wicket. Had India won the final, Yadav would almost certainly have been named player of the tournament.
11. Megan Schutt
Schutt was uncharacteristically expensive in the first game against India, picking up no wickets and condeing 35 runs from her four overs. Since that point however, she proved why she is ranked second in the ICC T20 bowling rankings, and delivered three match winning performances in a row as the tournament reached its conclusion. Three crucial wickets against New Zealand were followed up by two against South Africa in the semi-final ,including the dangerous Dane Van Niekerk and then four in the final. She was in truth, unlucky not to scoop the player of the match award at the MCG on Sunday, but was no doubt pivotal to Australia’s success all tournament.
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