Five of the six highest totals in women’s T20Is have come since the start of the year – South Africa’s 205/1 against the Netherlands in 2010 is the other. Here is how they happened.
India, 198/4 v England, 25 March, Mumbai
Smriti Mandhana sparkled at the top of the order and left senior partner Mithali Raj in the dust – the youngster contributed 76 to an opening stand of 129 – before Pooja Vastrakar added a 10-ball 22 to push India to the second-highest T20I total of all time, and the brink of 200. Never before had a team got close to chasing so many…
England, 199/3 v India, 25 March, Mumbai
…not that that was going to deter this England side, who made a mockery of the steepest of asks. Danni Wyatt was the star, adding a second hundred in consecutive T20I knocks, and both in record chases. Smashing 124 off just 64 balls – 105 of which came in boundaries – just 59 of England’s runs while she was at the crease came via another source. England made history and did it with more than an over to spare.
Australia, 209/4 v England, 31 March, Mumbai
Just six days after the melee in Mumbai, Australia bettered both India and England in the final of the T20 tri-series involving the three sides, and this time there would be no Wyatt rescue act. Meg Lanning was the main architect, as she so often is, striking 16 fours in a brutal unbeaten 45-ball 88. She received able support from Elyse Villani, whose 30-ball 51 pushed Australia to the highest total in T20I history.
New Zealand, 216/1 v South Africa, 20 June, Taunton
With this list starting to read like a who’s who of greats of the game, it was only natural White Ferns legend Suzie Bates got involved. She made 124 off just 66 balls, adding 182 for the first wicket with Sophie Devine, a record for any wicket in men’s and women’s T20Is. A further 29 added with Katey Martin (11*) helped New Zealand to 216/1, meaning Australia’s record had stood for less than three months…
England, 250/3 v South Africa, 20 June, Taunton
…a period of time which looked colossal compared to how long New Zealand’s would stand for, more like three hours than three months. You’d expect Danni Wyatt to play a big role, but though she made a quick half-century, she was largely reduced to a supporting role by the belligerence of Tammy Beaumont, who razed the Proteas with a 47-ball century, the second-fastest in women’s T20Is. Even after she fell England kept coming, as Nat Sciver and Katherine Brunt added 64 in 26 breathless balls. After the former fell, captain Heather Knight strode to the wicket to face a solitary delivery, chipped a single, and brought up England’s 250. Based on what we’ve seen this year, expect the mark to stand for about five minutes.