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WT20 champions Australia dominate WT20I team of the year

2018 awards

With Australia lifting the ICC Women's World T20 for the fourth time in November, it’s little surprise that members of the champion side dominate the ICC Women’s T20I team of the year.

Four of eleven spots in the side are taken by the No. 1 ranked side in the world. India also feature prominently with three players in the mix, while players from New Zealand, England and Bangladesh complete the rest of the XI.

Smriti Mandhana

Like most left-handed batters, India’s 22-year old is a treat to watch when in full flow. She was pivotal in India’s run to the semi-finals of the World T20, finishing with 178 runs in the tournament at an average of 35.60. The highlight of her time in the Caribbean was a staggering 83 against Australia in the final game of Group B, in what was to be the eventual winners’ only defeat of the tournament.

Video cwc19 17 Nov 18
AUS v IND: Smriti Mandhana innings highlights

Alyssa Healy (wk)

It was quite simply, a monumental year for Australia’s wicket-keeper. Her 578 runs across 17 matches came at a fantastic strike-rate of 145.95. Furthermore, her dominance of the World T20 was phenomenal to watch, as she led the run-scoring charts to help her side to glory and grab herself the Player of the Tournament award in the process. Australia’s loss to India during the tournament came when Healy was unable to bat, forced off the field with a concussion. It highlighted just how significant she is to the Southern Stars.

Video cwc19 25 Nov 18
WT20: Alyssa Healy, Player of the Tournament

Suzie Bates

No-one scored more runs that Bates this year in women’s T20 Internationals, her 670 runs from 17 matches coming at an average north of 50. A brilliant unbeaten 124 from 66 balls against South Africa in June was at the centre of her efforts for the White Ferns, helping her side set a world-record innings total of 216/1. While the score, the highest in women’s T20Is was broken the very same day by England, the fact that Bates anchored it was no surprise, such is her status as one of the greatest cricketers of her generation.

Harmanpreet Kaur (c)

While she was unable to lead her side to WT20 glory, Kaur put on quite the show in the Caribbean with some incredible ball-striking. She got the tournament off to a flier with a stunning 103 against New Zealand in the opening game, undoubtedly one of the innings of the year in women’s cricket. Coming in at five in the batting order, Kaur was keen to take the aerial route against the opposition attack, hitting eight monumental sixes in her 51-ball stay at the crease. It was her first hundred in T20Is and one would assume that it is unlikely to be her last.

Video cwc19 25 Nov 18
NZ v IND: Harmanpreet Kaur's fantastic 103

Nat Sciver

Sciver is England’s beating heart, a solid presence with the bat and a highly effective presence with the ball. She started the year off in style; 2/29 from her medium-pace and an unbeaten 68 when batting saw her lead England to victory over Australia in the second match of the tri-series with India in March. Her talents were on show in the World T20 as well - a haul of 3/4 against South Africa helped England to the semi-finals, while her unbeaten 52 against India took the side to their final showdown with Australia.

Ellyse Perry

Perry’s current domination of the Women’s Big Bash League has been primarily with the bat, but it was with the ball that Perry did the bulk of her damage this year for Australia, finishing with 20 wickets at an average of just 17.40, eight of those coming in the World T20. Victory over England saw Australia’s premier all-rounder lift the trophy for the fourth time in her illustrious career.

Ashleigh Gardner

She may be just 21 years of age, but Ashleigh Gardner seems immune to pressure. A strong World T20 with the ball was to be topped with a Player of the Match performance in the final against England, collecting career-best figures of 3/22 to help bowl England out for just 105. Her evening didn’t stop there however, coming in at three in the batting line-up to hit an explosive 26-ball 33 to help Australia to the most comfortable of victories.

Video cwc19 25 Nov 18
AUS v ENG: Player of the Match – Ashleigh Gardner

Leigh Kasperek

Kasperek is a wily off-spinner, and batters on the international stage have struggled to deal with her flight and guile since she made her New Zealand debut in 2015. She was the White Ferns’ most potent bowling weapon in 2018, taking 27 wickets from just 15 matches. A haul of 3/25 in New Zealand’s loss to Australia in the WT20 signified just how tricky a customer she can be to deal with for even the world’s best.

Megan Schutt

Australia’s premier seamer, Schutt’s 28 wickets in 2018 came at an average of just 11.50, and like many of her team-mates, she saved her best for the WT20, collecting 10 wickets in the tournament. While consistent throughout her time in the Caribbean, her figures of 3/12 against New Zealand were her most eye-catching, and there are few bowlers in women’s cricket who can match her pace. It is no wonder that she is ranked No. 1 in the MRF Tyres ICC Women's T20I Rankings for Bowling.

Rumana Ahmed

Bangladesh’s most prized asset, Rumana Ahmed’s leg-spin caused plenty of batters discomfort this year, as she produced some startling numbers with the ball. Her 30 wickets came at an average of just 12.13, while conceding just 4.78 runs an over, as she helped Bangladesh win the Women's Asia Cup for the first time in their history before dominating the Women's World T20 Qualifier. Simply phenomenal.

Poonam Yadav

Poonam Yadav’s leg-spin proved bamboozling in 2018, as she finished the year as the leading wicket-taker in the format: 35 scalps from 25 matches is rather impressive to say the least, as batters couldn’t handle her dangerous loop. She was typically brilliant at the WT20, her eight wickets in the tournament coming at an average of 15.75.

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