Let’s take a look at five players that stamped themselves on the tournament, producing some memorable efforts along the way:
Alyssa Healy – Australia (225 runs)
The Player of the Tournament was instrumental in her team’s charge to the title, scoring 225 runs with an impressive strike-rate of 144.23. She was the Player of the Match in 4 of the 5 games she batted in, and Australia’s sole loss of the tournament came when Healy was unable to play due to a slight concussion she suffered while keeping against India.
The Australian started the tournament with a bang, scoring 48 off just 29 deliveries against Pakistan, with her aggressive approach putting the pressure on the bowlers. Healy upped the ante against the Irish side with a 31-ball 56 and continued her good form against Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand as well, before taking the charge on a tricky wicket at Antigua in the semis against West Indies. She struck a composed 38-ball 46, and focused on holding her end up instead of going for her shots straightaway.
What stood out in Healy’s batting in the tournament was the way she led her team forward - on tracks that were not easy she eased the pressure on the batsmen to follow by giving them runs on the board, which then allowed the rest of the unit to go for their shots in the death overs.
Harmanpreet Kaur – India (183 runs)
The Indian skipper started off the tournament in electrifying fashion, ripping apart the experienced Kiwi attack in the first game. Combining with rookie Jemimah Rodrigues after India had lost two quick wickets, Harmanpreet attacked every ball that had width on offer. She waltzed down the track against spin and was severe on Jess Watkin, who erred in her line repeatedly.
Though the player from Moga managed just 80 runs in the other four games, she looked assured but couldn’t capitalise on the starts. Against Australia, she managed a 27-ball 43 in the company of Smriti Mandhana, and versus England she looked at ease in her knock of 16 on a tough track, but without much support she was unable to tackle the pressure.
Natalie Sciver - England (82 runs and 4 wickets)
Twitter/ ICC World Twenty 20
In the absence of Katherine Brunt, the responsibility of leading the pace attack fell of Sciver’s shoulders, who had impressed in the 50-over World Cup last year with twin centuries. Thus, it was pleasing when the 26-year-old, coming into the tournament with a new action, made a mark almost immediately, returning with figures of 1 for 7 against Bangladesh.
Bowling around the 70mph-mark, Sciver was able to make the most of the swinging conditions against South Africa in the next game, as she finished with staggering figures of 4-1-4-3. Though she was unable to pick a wicket in the next three games, she managed to keep things tight. In the semis, her effort with the bat stood out - a crucial 52 on a two-paced pitch that helped the English team over the line.
After India had managed just 112 runs, Sciver ensured that she did not repeat the same mistakes that the Indian batsmen had committed, and by playing deep into her crease rather than dancing down on every ball, she was her side’s hero in the run chase.
Deandra Dottin – West Indies (121 runs and 10 wickets)
A lot was expected from Dottin in the tournament, and she did not disappoint. Starting the tournament with an electrifying bowling spell of 5 for 5 against Bangladesh, the premier all-rounder ended the tournament with 10 wickets from five games. With an economy rate of just 5.63, the Windies cricketer troubled every opponent in the league games. By sticking to a tight line, she cramped the players for room, which inevitably increased the pressure on them.
If she was not creating waves with the ball, Dottin was impressing with her skills with the bat. The opener first raced away to a 35-ball 49 against the Sri Lankans and then steered the chase with a calm knock of 46 against England. Instead of attacking every ball, she looked to play the ball on its merit. Her efforts though weren’t enough to guide the defending champions into the final.
Ashleigh Gardner – Australia (90 runs and 10 wickets)
Gardner just about pips compatriot Ellyse Perry to make it to list due to the maturity she displayed in the finals, where she won the Player of the Match award. Both Gardner and Perry impressed throughout the tournament with the ball - the latter scalped 9 wickets conceding runs at a rate of 5.56, whilst Gardner picked up 10 at an economy rate of 5.94.
It was the off-spinner who initiated the English collapse in the summit clash by taking full advantage of the slowness of the track. After ending with figures 3 for 22, she returned with the bat and struck an unbeaten 33 after Australia’s match-winner Healy was sent back early.
Though the run-chase of 106 hardly looked tricky on paper, the dual-nature of the track made it anything but easy. If a player got in, she had to take on the responsibility of finishing off the match, which is exactly what Gardner did with ease.
Ashleigh GardnerDeandra DottinElysse PerryHarmanpreet KaurICC Womens World T20 2018Natalie SciverWWt20
First Published: November 26, 2018, 9:20 AM IST