Three brilliant openers and one up-and-coming all-rounder makes the shortlist of ICC Women's ODI Player of the Year award. We take a look at the feats that led to their nomination.
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.
Lizelle Lee – South Africa
632 runs in 11 matches at an average of 90.28 with one century and five half-centuries
The year that was
Lizelle Lee was in a league of her own in ODIs this year, finishing as the highest run-scorer in 2021 in the 50-over format.
Lee's year got off to a less-than-ideal start, getting out for a duck in the first ODI against Pakistan, but she came back strongly with two scores of 40+ and played a vital role in South Africa's sweep.
She was unstoppable on the tour of India thereafter, racking up big runs in the Proteas' 4-1 series win. With 288 runs, including a hundred and two fifties, she ended the series as the highest run-scorer and was awarded the Player of the Series.
She carried her form over to the series against West Indies as well and was once again the top run-getter in the series.
Lee scored the highest individual ODI score of her career in the third match of the series against India.
In South Africa's chase of 249, Lee mixed caution with aggression and kept building partnerships, first with Laura Wolvaardt and then with Lara Goodall. She kept scoring boundaries regularly and soon brought up her fifty.
She then strung a 97-run partnership with Mignon du Preez, during the course of which she brought up her third ODI century. It looked like they would take South Africa home, but India came back into the game by picking up two wickets.
With rain around the corner, Lee hit three fours and a six in three overs to put South Africa ahead of the DLS par score. South Africa eventually ended up winning the match by 6 runs on the DLS method, thanks to her stunning 132* off 131.
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Tammy Beaumont – England
503 runs in 11 matches at an average of 62.87 with one century and four half-centuries
The year that was
Tammy Beaumont was the joint second-highest run-scorer in ODIs in 2021, tied on 503 runs with India's Mithali Raj.
Beaumont had a dream start to the year, scoring four consecutive fifties in her first four ODIs of the year. She was the leading run-scorer in the ODI series when England travelled to New Zealand and carried her form over to the series against India at home, where she scored a brilliant 87* in the first match.
She scored her eighth ODI century and the first of the year in the final ODI against New Zealand at home, helping England post a mammoth 347.
It was a happy homecoming for Beaumont, who scored a brilliant century in front of her home crowd in the fifth ODI against New Zealand. It was a particularly sweet outing, given she hadn't lived up to the billing in the first four ODIs, her highest score being 44.
Beaumont started positively and scored at a brisk pace, stringing a solid 95-run partnership with Lauren Winfield-Hill. She continued to bat with intent even after the quick wickets of Winfield-Hill and Heather Knight, and soon brought up her half-century in just 54 balls.
Once Sciver fell, it was Amy Jones who took the attack to New Zealand, while Beaumont kept things ticking. She got into her nineties after smashing Lea Tahuhu for three boundaries in an over, and soon brought up her century in the 42nd over. Her 102 helped England post 347/5 and emerge with a 203-run victory.
Hayley Matthews – West Indies
380 runs in 14 matches at an average of 29.23 with one century and one half-century. 18 wickets at an average of 22.44 and an economy rate of 3.33.
The year that was
Hayley Matthews was brilliant both with the bat and the ball, finishing in the top 10 ODI run-getters and wicket-takers in 2021.
She was the Player of the Series in the ODI leg when Pakistan came touring. She scored 168 runs, which included a century, and scalped seven wickets in a series that West Indies won 3-2.
After a quiet tour of South Africa where Matthews scored only 71 runs and picked up two wickets in five ODIs, she came roaring back to form when West Indies toured Pakistan.
She started the series with a half-century and three wickets in the first ODI and followed it up with a four-wicket haul in the second game. She capped the series off with a knock of 49 in the final match, which helped her side complete a whitewash.
Matthews produced a stunning all-round display in the opening match of the series against Pakistan at home.
After being put in to bat first, Pakistan recovered from early strikes, thanks to a brilliant 87-run stand between Omaima Sohail and Nida Dar. Brought back into the attack, Matthews struck in the second over of the new spell to remove Dar. She then scalped the wicket of Aliya Riaz as well.
The wicket of Dar triggered a collapse as Pakistan only managed to add 39 more runs as they were bowled out for 182.
Chasing a paltry 183 for the win, Matthews put the game to bed early on, getting off to a brisk start in the Powerplay. She added 56 runs for the first wicket with Kyshona Knight.
Even after Knight was dismissed, Matthews continued to take the attack to the West Indies bowlers and brought up her half-century in 54 balls. With the game in the bag, Matthews decided to slow down and play till the very end and finished with an unbeaten century.
20 wickets in 13 matches at an average of 24.90 with one five-wicket haul. 132 runs at an average of 14.66.
The year that was
Having made her debut in May 2019, Fatima Sana had played only two ODIs before the start of the year, but the 20-year-old showed tremendous maturity throughout the year and was one of the few bright spots for Pakistan.
She showed glimpses of her brilliance on the tour of South Africa, where she picked up two wickets in three games and also made handy contributions with the bat. In the second ODI, she picked up a wicket and scored an unbeaten 22 as Pakistan fell narrowly short by 13 runs.
In the five-match series against West Indies, Sana ended as the second-highest wicket-taker with 11 wickets, which included a maiden ODI five-for. She continued her fine form in the home series against West Indies and the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup Qualifier, with four and three wickets respectively.
When West Indies were in Pakistan in 2019, @fatimasana_14 attended training sessions as a net bowler. Today our rising star opened the bowling for Pakistan against them.#PAKWvWIW | #BackOurGirls pic.twitter.com/HGdo8n7MTu— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) November 8, 2021
Sana was sensational with the bat and ball, winning the Player of the Match for her all-round brilliance against West Indies in the final ODI away from home.
In a rain-curtailed match, Pakistan were 150/6 when Sana came out to bat. With five overs remaining, Pakistan needed some quick runs and Sana provided the team with some much-needed impetus, smashing a boundary each in the last four overs. She remained unbeaten on 28 off just 19 balls, taking Pakistan to 190/8 in 34 overs.
Chasing 191, West Indies managed to recover after losing Hayley Matthews, with Deandra Dottin and Britney Cooper taking control of the chase. Sana broke the partnership in her very first over by removing Dottin and then removed the other set batter, Cooper, six overs later.
She hit the final nail in West Indies' coffin in the penultimate over, picking up the wickets of Chinelle Henry, Rashada Williams and Anisa Mohammed to register her maiden five-for in ODI cricket.
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