Round seven of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 saw Pakistan, New Zealand, West Indies and Sri Lanka all depart the tournament after the group stage, but who were the highest point-scorers in Classic Fantasy and which stars should you pick for the semi-finals?
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India secured qualification for the knockout stages with a huge 186-run victory over New Zealand, in what was effectively a quarter-final. Mithali Raj (9.0) confirmed her status as one of the greats of the game with a vital century, while a blistering 70 off 45 balls from Veda Krishnamurthy (5.0) provided the final flourish. New Zealand collapsed to 79 all out in reply, with Rajeshwari Gayakwad (7.0), playing her first Women’s World Cup game, taking 5-15.
England thumped West Indies by 92 runs to ensure the tournament hosts topped the group. On a tricky surface, captain Heather Knight’s 67 underpinned her side’s total of 220/7, before a team effort with the ball restricted West Indies to 128 all out. Nat Sciver’s 3-3 off four overs were the headline figures, making up for her duck!
Australia sealed second place with a hard-fought 59-run victory over South Africa. Half-centuries from three of Australia’s top four – Beth Mooney (5.0), Nicole Bolton (6.5) and Ellyse Perry (9.5) – set the platform for a healthy total of 269. Although South Africa – and Laura Wolvaardt in particular – battled hard in the chase, the Proteas eventually succumbed to 210.
Sri Lanka avoided the wooden spoon by winning a thriller against Pakistan. Dilani Manodara (4.0), who made 84, laid the foundations and then accelerated as Sri Lanka posted 221-7. Pakistan’s chase seesawed, with a fifty from Syeda Nain Fatima Abidi (5.0) and a punchy 38 from Amavia Iqbal Khokhar (4.5) the driving force. But the decisive contribution came from Chandima Gunaratne’s (2.5) who returned figures of 4-41, dismissing both openers and Pakistan’s captain Sana Mir (8.0) to seal victory and the Player of the Match award.
Highest point-scorers: round seven
It was a good week for Classic Fantasy big guns, as popular picks Mithali Raj (9.0), Ellyse Perry (9.5) and Heather Knight (8.0) raked in the points. India’s influential batsman and captain, Raj, was the highest point-scorer of Round 7 with an impressive 180 points, rewarding the 2,222 gamers who opted for her services. Australian all-rounder Perry (162) and England all-rounder Knight (146), who was also picked by more than 2,000 in the round, were the second and third highest point-scorers respectively.
Supporting three of the game’s biggest stars in the top five highest point-scorers of round seven were Rajeshwari Gayakwad (7.0; 145), who featured in fewer than one per cent of Classic Fantasy teams, and Chandima Gunaratne (2.5; 141), who almost doubled her campaign points-tally in this round.
Highest point-scorers: overall
Ellyse Perry has lived up to her 9.5 price tag, accumulating a stunning 737 points thus far. England’s hugely impressive Nat Sciver (7.0) is in second place with 689, followed by her teammate Knight with 674. Australia’s Nicole Bolton (6.5; 579) and India’s Deepti Sharma (6.0; 531) also feature in the top five highest point-scorers of WWC17 Classic Fantasy. Half of the top eight belong to England, with Tammy Beaumont (5.5; 520) and Sarah Taylor (7.5; 519) also performing admirably, while four of the top five are all-rounders.
Sarah Taylor was the game’s most popular gun for hire in Round 7, with 57 per cent placing their faith in England’s wicket-keeper-batsman. Mithali Raj, Ellyse Perry and Heather Knight rewarded the 48 per cent of gamers who selected them. India opener Smriti Mandhana (43 per cent) – priced at 5.0 – also snuck into the top five most popular picks of the round.
Top five transfer tips for the semi-finals:
Ellyse Perry, Australia (9.5): Pricy, but a must-have. Perry is the tournament’s top points-scorer by some margin, her runs and wickets reaping 737 points overall from the group stage. Perry’s team are favourites to overcome India and make the final. With her batting No. 4 and opening the bowling, you can’t afford to leave her out.
Smriti Mandhana, India (5.0): Perhaps the tournament’s best-value choice, left-hand batter Mandhana is the seventh-most productive fantasy pick overall with 520 points. She started the tournament in wonderful form, hitting 90 and 106* against England and West Indies respectively, but has struggled since. Could the semi-finals signal a return to form?
Nat Sciver, England (7.0): The tournament’s second-best fantasy pick so far, all-rounder Sciver has already hit two centuries and invented a new shot, the ‘Natmeg’. Get her in your side before England takes on South Africa!
Nicole Bolton, Australia (6.5): The Australian left-hander has been in stunning form and is the fourth-best fantasy pick of the tournament. She scores big, scores quick and is good value, too.
Sarah Taylor, England (7.5): Likely to take the gloves in the majority of fantasy teams because she also bats in the top three, Taylor has had two consecutive low scores but hit 147 against semi-final opponent South Africa in the group stage.
Top transfer tip:
Unlimited transfers up to the first semi-final mean you can pack your team with players from the final four – with a maximum of six from any one nation. But with only five transfers between semis and final, you’ll want to focus on players from the two teams you think likeliest to qualify! Who will it be?