Three smashing openers and a handy all-rounder make the final four of ICC Women's T20I Player of the Year shorlist. We take a look at their performances this year.
The ICC Awards 2021 will recognise the outstanding achievements and feats in cricket over the past year – here's everything you need to know about it.
Gaby Lewis – Ireland
325 runs at 40.62 in 10 T20Is with a strike rate of 128.45, with one century and a half-century
The year that was
Twenty-year-old Gaby Lewis had a smashing 2021 in the shortest format of the game, finishing as the second-highest run-scorer in T20Is this year. She played a major role in Ireland's two series wins, bagging the Player of the Match award twice in Ireland's 3-1 series win over Scotland at home. In both games, she put on scores of 40+ but missed out on much-deserved fifties by the barest of margins.
She finally got to the milestone against the Netherlands, scoring her first T20I fifty of the year. The 52* helped Ireland win the series with a game to spare.
She made history at the ICC Women's T20 World Cup Europe Qualifier in August, becoming the first female cricketer from Ireland to score a T20I hundred.
Lewis made history with a scintillating knock of 105* in just 60 balls against Germany.
She raced off to a flying start with the fielding restrictions, smashing seven boundaries. She got to her half-century with a six, bringing up the milestone in just 28 balls.
Lewis continued to take the attack to the German bowlers, even though the boundaries didn't come as frequently in the second half of the innings. She got to her hundred in 55 balls and finished on 105*, taking Ireland's total to 196 in 20 overs.
Tammy Beaumont – England
303 runs in nine matches at an average of 33.66 with three half-centuries
The year that was
Tammy Beaumont was England's highest run-getter in the year in T20Is, and third-highest overall in the world.
In a low-scoring series against New Zealand away from home, Beaumont was the top scorer and was awarded the Player of the Series for 102 runs in three matches. Her 53-ball 63 in the second match put England in a winning position after they lost two wickets in the Powerplay.
She scored a brilliant fifty against India, though it went in vain after a lower-order collapse.
Beaumont continued to make merry against New Zealand, this time when they visited England for a limited-overs tour. She once again finished as the highest run-getter in the series with 113, which included a stunning 97 in the opening game of the series.
Beaumont's 97 in the series opener against New Zealand at home propelled England to their highest T20I total in 2021.
Beaumont took the attack to the New Zealand bowlers from the word go, smashing two boundaries in the very first over of the innings. After a slight lull in the middle overs caused by Dani Wyatt's dismissal, Beaumont cut loose, whacking four consecutive boundaries to bring her fifty up in 40 balls.
There was no respite for the New Zealand bowlers as the England opener continued to find the boundaries regularly before eventually falling off the penultimate ball, just three runs short of a hundred.
255 runs in nine matches at an average of 31.87 with two half-centuries
The year that was
In a year that saw India win only two of the nine T20Is, Smriti Mandhana was one of their few bright spots.
She played a major role in the first of the two wins, smashing 48 off just 28 balls against South Africa, chasing 113 in the final T20I. The win saved India the blushes, as they managed to avoid the sweep.
Mandhana was India's top run-scorer in the T20I series against England with 119 runs but didn't find enough support from the rest of the batters. She was India's top-scorer in both the matches that India lost, including a 51-ball 70 that went in vain in the final T20I.
Mandhana scored her second T20I half-century of the year against Australia in the final match of the series, but India fell short by 14 runs.
Mandhana's 70 against England might have come in a losing cause but the circumstances of the innings make it quite special.
India lost two wickets inside the Powerplay, forcing Mandhana to curb her natural game despite fielding restrictions in place. The southpaw finally started to take the attack to England in the middle overs, smashing four boundaries in a span of eight deliveries as she brought up her fifty in 42 balls.
Her innings came to an end in the 17th over, helping India to a respectable total of 153.
Nat Sciver – England
153 runs in nine matches at an average of 19.12 with one fifty; 10 wickets at an average of 20.20 and an economy rate of 6.51
The year that was
Nat Sciver played a prominent role in all three of England's series wins this year, finishing as their third-highest run-getter and wicket-taker in T20Is in 2021.
In the first T20I on the tour of New Zealand, Sciver landed two early blows by dismissing Sophie Devine and Amy Satterthwaite inside the Powerplay. Later, walking in at No.3, she batted through and got England across the line while chasing a modest total of 97.
In the second game, she helped clean up the tail with two wickets to reduce New Zealand to 123. She finished the series with five wickets, the joint-highest with three other players.
She produced a Player of the Match-winning performance in the first T20I when India came touring, scoring a half-century and picking up a wicket in England 18-run win. She also played a crucial knock of 42 in the decider to help her side clinch the series 2-1.
Sciver's all-round brilliance helped England take a 1-0 lead in the rain-curtailed first T20I against India.
Walking in to bat at No.3 in the eighth over of the innings, she took the attack to the bowlers immediately, hitting two boundaries and a six in the next three overs. Despite wickets falling at the other end, she kept her foot on the accelerator. She smashed Arundhati Reddy for three consecutive boundaries and got to her fifty in just 24 balls.
She eventually perished in the 19th over but not before laying the foundation for a huge score.
With the ball, she got the all-important wicket of Smriti Mandhana in the last over of the Powerplay. The scalp proved to be very crucial later as it started raining in eighth over of the innings and India eventually fell 18 runs short of the DLS par score.
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