Predictably, there were no West Indian women in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 Team of the Tournament after the 2016 champions faltered badly to go out in the first round.

The West Indies Women started with a seven-wicket win over Thailand before being blitzed by Pakistan and then England. Their final game against South Africa was abandoned on account of persistent showers.

But in those losses there were no individual performances of note, leaving the ICC selectors with the easy choice of leaving them out.

The selectors did have a tough time though, with five players from Australia’s victorious squad being named to the Team of the Tournament.

Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney did damage aplenty with the bat and the two reprise their roles as openers in the final XI.

They’re joined by fast bowler Megan Schutt, who took four wickets in the Final against India to finish as leading wicket-taker with 13, and left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen.

There is also a spot for captain Meg Lanning, who led Australia from the front both with the bat and in the field to guide her country to a fifth Women’s T20 World Cup title.

The side was pulled together by a selection panel featuring commentators and former international players Ian Bishop, Anjum Chopra and Lisa Sthalekar, journalist Raf Nicholson and ICC representative Holly Colvin.

 

 The team of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 (in batting order) is:

 

  1.     Alyssa Healy (wk) (Australia) – 236 runs at 39.33, seven dismissals
  2.     Beth Mooney (Australia) – 259 runs at 64.75
  3.     Nat Sciver (England) – 202 runs at 67.33
  4.     Heather Knight (England) – 193 runs at 64.33
  5.     Meg Lanning (c) (Australia) – 132 runs at 44
  6.     Laura Wolvaardt (South Africa) – 94 runs at strike rate of 149
  7.     Jess Jonassen (Australia) – 10 wickets at 14.00
  8.     Sophie Ecclestone (England) – eight wickets at 6.12
  9.     Anya Shrubsole (England) – eight wickets at 10.62
  10.     Megan Schutt (Australia) – 13 wickets at 10.30
  11.     Poonam Yadav (India) – 10 wickets at 11.9
  12.     Shafali Verma (India) – 163 runs at strike rate of 158.25

 

Healy and Mooney broke their own record set in 2018 with the most runs as a partnership in a Women’s T20 World Cup, with 352 at an average close to 60.

They also made their second century partnership in four innings while Healy lit up Melbourne to record the quickest 50 in a Final and the highest score in the showcase.

The latter was beaten by her partner a few overs later, with Mooney’s unbeaten 78 seeing her reach 259 runs - the most for one player at any edition of the tournament.

The Australian pair are followed in the team by another stellar duo, with nobody bettering the 169-run partnership made by Nat Sciver and Heather Knight against Thailand.

The middle-order batters were in inspired form throughout, Knight becoming the first England cricketer to register centuries in all three formats with her ton against the debutants.

Sciver’s consistency was remorseless in Australia, scoring half-centuries in three of England’s four completed matches to end her tournament with 202 runs and two wickets.

Ensconcing herself in the middle order is Lanning, who steered her country to a historic fifth Women’s T20 World Cup title and the first on home soil.

Her 49 in the semi-final against South Africa will be remembered as one of the most vital innings of the competition, while her tournament-defining captaincy sees her named skipper for this team.

Laura Wolvaardt only batted in two innings but certainly made her mark on the action.

The 20-year-old struck 53 not out to take South Africa beyond Pakistan, with a glorious array of straight and cover drives lighting up the Sydney Showground.

And she almost went one better in the semi-final against Australia, another eye-catching knock of 41 not out seeing her team finish just short of the Final.

As for the bowlers, few could match the feats of left-arm spinner Jonassen, who finished with ten scalps in her six matches.

The Australian took at least one wicket in each, with no better haul than the three for 20 against India in the Final which clinched a fifth title.

She’s joined in the XI by two record-breaking England bowlers in spinner Sophie Ecclestone and pacer Anya Shrubsole.

No bowler has taken more than Shrubsole’s 41 Women’s T20 World Cup wickets, with eight coming in her four matches Down Under.

For Ecclestone, meanwhile, the sky is the limit for a 20-year-old who has taken a wicket in her last 18 T20I matches.

A tournament tally of eight for 49 combines both wicket-taking ability and a stunning economy rate for Ecclestone, who now sits top of the MRF Tyres ICC T20I Bowling Rankings.

Coming in at ten is Schutt, with no player bettering the 13 wickets she took at a single tournament.

That all came to the perfect conclusion at the MCG for Schutt, finishing with four for 18 against an India line-up she had feared to win the Final for Australia.

Rounding off the XI is leg-spinner Poonam Yadav, who had Australia in knots in a dramatic opening game of the tournament.

India’s leading T20I wicket-taker took four for 19 in the opener and didn’t look back, bagging three against Bangladesh before rounding off with wickets in each match.

Taking her place as 12th is teenage sensation Shafali Verma – who broke record after record at the top of India’s order.

Fearless cricket had the opposition running scared of the 16-year-old, with her devastating 163 runs coming at a jaw-dropping strike rate of 158.25.

India and England face off in the first of Thursday’s semi-finals after finishing top of Group A and second in Group B respectively at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.

In previous ICC tournaments England have come out on top, beating India in both the 2017 50-over final and the 2018 Women’s T20 World Cup semi-final - but this time their opponents are in inspired form as the only side to win all their group matches.

One of them has the tournament’s top wicket-taker and the other the top run-scorer — but who else could be crucial in deciding their side’s final fate?

 

Shafali Verma v Anya Shrubsole

 

There’s no doubt England know who they need to remove early for their strongest chance of beating India on Thursday.

Teenager Shafali Verma has taken world cricket by storm in Australia for her fearless brand of batting has helped her become the top-ranked batter in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s T20I Player Rankings.

The 16-year-old prodigy is India’s highest run-scorer in the competition with 161 and her team will be relying heavily on their opener for another good start in Sydney.

England will take comfort in the fact that Verma’s lack of fear could make her liable to an early exit - something her more experienced opponents have cottoned onto.

Against Australia and Bangladesh, Ellyse Perry and Panna Ghosh took her crucial wicket and England will have been studying her performances in detail in order to do the same.

While England aren’t short of talented bowlers, one who just might be able to suss out Verma best is the experienced Anya Shrubsole.

Only India’s Poonam Yadav has more wickets than Shrubsole at this edition and she became the first England bowler to 100 T20I wickets when hitting the milestone against Pakistan.

With 41 scalps, Shrubsole also the most wickets in the history of the Women’s T20 World Cup and if any team are aware of her threat, it’s India.

Shrubsole’s match-winning six for 46 helped England down India to win the 50-over title at Lord’s in 2017 by nine runs - this time she’ll be keen to stop them getting anywhere near the title.

 

Harmanpreet Kaur v Sophie Ecclestone

 

While stopping Verma is the first task, the key for England will be preventing India’s batters from stepping up collectively in Sydney.

A lack of firepower in the middle order is still a concern for India and that’s exactly where their opponents will need to target.

Captain Harmanpreet Kaur is one to have underwhelmed thus far, hitting double figures in just one of their four group wins, and India will need their star players to step up now more than ever if they want to make it to Sunday’s Final at the MCG.

But England may just have the perfect weapon to keep her away.

The skipper has struggled with spin in Australia with Jess Jonassen, Leigh Kasperek and Shashikala Siriwardena all taking her wicket throughout the group stages.

And England are certainly not lacking in the spin department themselves.

England’s young triumvirate of Sophie Ecclestone, Sarah Glenn and Mady Villiers have stolen the headlines Down Under, with Ecclestone now the top-ranked bowler in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s T20I Player Rankings.

Ecclestone has taken wickets in her last 18 T20I matches and has confidence in abundance in this tournament, trusted enough to take the ball in the Powerplay.

Aged 20, she already has 50 T20I wickets to her name – eight of those coming in this Women’s T20 World Cup at the cost of just 49 runs.

 

Nat Sciver v Poonam Yadav

 

Nat Sciver has been in the form of her life in Australia.

The 27-year-old all-rounder has had an outstanding tournament so far, scoring three half-centuries to top the run-scoring charts and steer England to the knockout stages.

Judging by her past record, she’s more than capable of taking that up to four against India.

Sciver scored a half-century against Thursday’s opponents in the 2018 semi-final in the West Indies to pip them to a spot in the final showdown.

But there’s a certain India bowler who has no problems with dismantling the greats.

Poonam Yadav finished as the highest wicket-taker of the pool stages with nine after ripping through Australia’s batting unit on the opening night of the tournament.

If the tournament’s highest wicket-taker comes up against her batting equivalent on Thursday, expect to see fireworks - they’ll both be determined to come out as top dog.

Nat Sciver and England’s spinners combined to devastating effect as victory over West Indies secured their place in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 semi-finals.

All-rounder Sciver picked up from where she left off to score her third half-century of the tournament, helping England to post 143 for five on a tricky track.

West Indies’ response never got going with Lee-Ann Kirby top-scoring with 20 at the Sydney Showground.

That was largely thanks to the spin trio of Sophie Ecclestone (three for seven), Sarah Glenn (two for 16) and Mady Villiers (one for 30), helping dismiss West Indies for 97 to win by 46 runs.

England started afresh with Tammy Beaumont joining Danni Wyatt atop the order but the move didn’t work out, the new opener trapped lbw by Shakera Selman in the first over.

Wyatt then fell to a superb catch in the deep from Hayley Matthews off Anisa Mohammed but in Sciver and captain Heather Knight, England had the best duo for the rebuild job.

With more than 70 per cent of their team’s runs in the tournament, the importance of Knight and Sciver is not lost with the latter reaching her third half-century in four games in this Women’s T20 World Cup.

By then Knight (17) was run out brilliantly by Selman and Fran Wilson had holed out to Britney Cooper at deep midwicket off Afy Fletcher, with England 102 for four with four overs remaining.

Amy Jones, in a new role at No.6, found back-to-back off-side boundaries off Stafanie Taylor but had to watch Sciver finally depart for 57 in the same over to take her tournament tally to 202 runs in four matches.

Just six balls remained as Brunt joined Jones in the middle, the bowler striking boundaries from the last two balls of the innings to take England to 143 for five.

West Indies also tinkered with their top order as Deandra Dottin opened up, but her innings ended on just nine with Ecclestone having her snaffled by short midwicket.

Taylor struck two boundaries off Brunt to end the Powerplay but that was to be her last significant contribution, stretchered off in the eighth over and retiring hurt from the innings.

From there England seized the impetus as star leg-spinner Glenn got into her work, bowling Hayley Matthews with her eighth ball to leave West Indies two down in the ninth over.

It was to get even better for the spin unit, off-spinner Villiers marking her first Women’s T20 World Cup over with a wicket maiden after taking a smart return catch off Shemaine Campbelle.

At 42 for three come halfway, West Indies had work to do with 102 still required and their task was tougher still when Chedean Nation edged Glenn to wicket-keeper Jones without scoring.

Lee-Ann Kirby (20) did her best to inject some momentum with towering sixes off Glenn and Villiers but Anya Shrubsole ended her exploits when the big-hitter was held by Sciver at long-on.

England boast the best economy rate for spinners in the Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 and with each of Ecclestone, Glenn and Villiers bowling a maiden, they weren’t letting up.

Ecclestone, who has now taken wickets in her last 18 T20I matches, had Britney Cooper stumped while Villiers completed back-to-back run-outs of Afy Fletcher and Aaliyah Alleyne.

Ecclestone then had the last say, taking her 100th international wicket by bowling Anisa Mohammed to send England into the last four.

Scores in brief

England beat West Indies by 46 runs, Sydney Showground

England 143-5, 20 overs (Nat Sciver 57, Danni Wyatt 29; Anisa Mohammed 1-23)

West Indies 97 all out, 17.1 overs (Lee-Ann Kirby 20; Sophie Ecclestone 3-7, Sarah Glenn 2-16)

England spin twins Sarah Glenn and Sophie Ecclestone inspired England to a 42-run win over Pakistan as their semi-final bid strengthened at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020.

Heather Knight (62) and Nat Sciver (36) continued their fine form as England posted 158 for seven, enough to seal back-to-back wins and close the gap on South Africa in Group B.

Glenn (three for 15) and Ecclestone (two for 12) exercised unrelenting control over the Pakistan run-chase as Bismah Maroof’s side failed to back up their opening win over West Indies.

Diana Baig had terrorised the West Indies and found early movement once again as Pakistan chose to field, trapping Amy Jones (2) in front with the opener’s review unsuccessful.

Any partnership between Danni Wyatt and Sciver is attractive to watch and the former showed shades of form with three boundaries off an Aiman Anwar over.

Sciver crashed three fours to take the score to 40 for one from four but Wyatt (16) slashed at an Aiman delivery and offered a catch to Muneeba Ali.

Knight and Sciver, fresh from a record-breaking stand against Thailand, look at home batting together and the skipper took ten off an Aliya Riaz over to keep things ticking.

Reaching 74 for two at the halfway stage, England looked comfortable before a moment of brilliance from wicket-keeper Sidra Nawaz, who stumped Sciver off a wide to turn the tide.

Fran Wilson stayed with her captain for six overs, Knight showcasing her increasing range with power through cover and midwicket and Wilson bringing out the sweep.

Pakistan squandered chances in the field, Omaima Sohail dropping Knight on the boundary and return catches squandered by Aiman and Diana.

Knight cleared long-on with a six in the penultimate over but wickets tumbled late on as she was dismissed alongside Tammy Beaumont (6) and Katherine Brunt (0).

England joined the dots at the start of the Pakistan chase and when teenager Muneeba Ali tried to break the shackles, she misjudged an Anya Shrubsole cutter and was bowled.

Javeria Khan was also slow out of the blocks but took a liking to the medium-pace of Sciver, striking back-to-back off-side boundaries amid a slew of dot balls.

Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof (4) was unable to repeat her match-winning hand against West Indies, shaping to ramp and offering a tame catch to keeper Jones.

Glenn then went to work, coming back from being hit for four by Javeria (16) to bowl the experienced opener before accounting for Iram Javed (4) with a beautifully-flighted ball.

Ecclestone and Glenn proved potent in tandem and the left-armer reaped the rewards of remorseless accuracy with the key wicket of Nida Dar, plumb lbw for 5.

Knight put pace back on the ball and that suited pinch-hitter Aliya Riaz perfectly, planting Sciver over long-on for six and then taking Brunt for two boundaries.

But it didn’t last as Ecclestone bowled Sidra Nawaz (6), Aliya was castled on 41 attempting another slog and Shrubsole took her 100th T20I wicket by dismissing Diana caught and bowled.

Brunt then took the tenth and final wicket by trapping Sadia Iqbal lbw in the last over.

 

Scores in brief

England beat Pakistan by 42 runs, Manuka Oval, Canberra

 

England 158-7, 20 overs (Heather Knight 62, Nat Sciver 36; Aiman Anwar 3-30)

Pakistan 116 all out, 19.4 overs (Aliya Riaz 41; Sarah Glenn 3-15, Anya Shrubsole 3-25)

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