Firstly, here’s a summary of WWC17 Round 6 action and the players who helped fantasy gamers discover loftier heights in the league table.
West Indies all-rounder Deandra Dottin's (8.5) first ODI century guided her team to 285 against Pakistan in Tuesday’s encounter in Leicester. It was always likely to be enough, with Pakistan having not made 150 in its previous four outings. Dodgy weather and quick wickets meant Pakistan’s innings was cut short on 117-3 after 24 overs – 19 short of the DLS par score. Pakistan has now lost 13 consecutive World Cup matches. Stafanie Taylor (9.5) also made 90 for the winners, while Anisa Mohammed (8.5) was the pick of the bowlers with 2-21. Pakistan’s No.3 Javeria Khan was 58 not out when the rain fell.
South Africa's bowlers blew Sri Lanka away to claim a resounding eight-wicket win in Taunton and book a semi-final berth. Dane van Niekerk's 4-24 (7.0) – it’s now three four-wicket hauls in four games for the 24-year-old leggie – and Shabnim Ismail's (8.0) 3-14 rolled Sri Lanka for 101. Eighteen-year-old opening batter Laura Wolvaardt (5.0) was 48 not out in South Africa’s successful reply.
Mithali Raj (9.0) became the all-time leading ODI runscorer and passed 6,000 career runs as she compiled 69 in India’s total of 226 against Australia, although teammate Punam Raut (5.0) was the star with 106. But Australia made light work of the chase, as Meg Lanning (10.0) and Ellyse Perry (9.5) both made unbeaten half-centuries to secure a comfortable eight-wicket win.
Nat Sciver’s (7.0) remarkable 111-ball 129 and Tammy Beaumont’s (5.5) 102-ball 93 were the heart of England’s 284-run total against New Zealand, as 16-year-old Kiwi leg-spinner Amelia Kerr (4.5) took 4-51. Regular wickets meant the New Zealand chase never quite built the necessary momentum, with Alex Hartley (4.5) the pick of the England bowlers with 3-44.
Highest point-scorers: Round 6
It was another strong week for all-rounders. This round's highest point-scorer was England’s Natalie Sciver, who continued her fantastic campaign by picking up 215 Classic Fantasy points for the 23 per cent of gamers who selected her. West Indies’ Deandra Dottin earned 186 points, but only three per cent of gamers selected her, while South Africa’s Dane van Niekerk, India opener Punam Raut and Australia’s Ellyse Perry also made the round’s top five highest point-scorers.
Highest point-scorers: overall
Natalie Sciver is the queen of the leaderboard after Round 6, having accumulated 606 points in the tournament so far. She is closely followed by Ellyse Perry (575), who has fully-justified her 9.5 price tag, with Heather Knight (8.0; 528), Sarah Taylor (7.5; 519) and New Zealand’s Suzie Bates (9.5) making up the rest of the top five tournament point-scorers. Meg Lanning and Smriti Mandhana (5.0) are also in Classic Fantasy’s 500-club. The five highest point-scorers are each all-rounders (if you include wicketkeeper Taylor, that is), with a flurry of batters then entering the top 10. You’ll have to go all the way to Ekta Bisht in 17th to find a specialist bowler.
England’s Sarah Taylor was the most popular pick for Round 6, with 2,654 (59 per cent) of Classic Fantasy entrants opting for her services, but she only picked up 34 points. Teammate Heather Knight was the second most popular, but only accumulated two more points than Taylor, with India’s Smriti Mandhana, the third most-selected player (48 per cent), picking up a paltry three points. Fourth most popular pick, Ellyse Perry, rewarded her backers with 132 points.
Top five transfer tips for Round 7:
Nashra Sandhu, Pakistan (3.0): Pakistan has its best chance of registering a win against Sri Lanka and the 19-year-old left-arm spinner is excellent value; she took 4-26 in 10 overs against India earlier in the tournament.
Dane van Niekerk, South Africa (7.0): The South Africa skipper took her third four-wicket haul of the competition against Sri Lanka and has the chance to make her mark against Australia, the world’s No.1 side.
Erin Bermingham, New Zealand (5.5): Yet to fire in this tournament, Bermingham nevertheless showed glimpses of what she’s capable of against England, finding turn with the ball and doing some smart hitting with the bat. In a nip-and-tuck match against India, which is effectively a play-off for a semi-final spot, she’s the sort of player who could make the difference.
Punam Raut, India (5.0): Anyone rated at 5.0 who can make a hundred against the Aussies has to be worth picking, especially when India’s next match versus New Zealand is for a place in the last four.
Katherine Brunt, England (8.5): The England quick’s most telling contribution so far in the tournament has been an unbeaten 45 with the bat against Australia, and Brunt is due a few wickets. The struggling top order of knocked-out West Indies could provide the perfect opposition.
Top transfer tip:
The only game affecting qualification is the crucial India-New Zealand fixture, so that’s a game to focus on, where you know full-strength sides will be selected. The experience of captains Suzie Bates and Mithali Raj – though both expensive options – could determine the outcome, so picking at least one of them would be a good call. Meanwhile the Pakistan-Sri Lanka match will also have some well-motivated players seeking a consolation victory. Could Chamari Athapaththu (6.0) repeat her Australia heroics?