Women’s cricket has only grown in 2019. This has been a year of memorable knocks and bowling spells. Old records were broken and new milestones were reached. While Alyssa Healy of Australia hit the highest individual T20I score by a woman, Nepal’s Anjali Chand registered the best bowling figures in women’s T20Is. Here we present 10 memorable moments of women’s cricket in 2019 –
1. Meg Lanning’s 133* against England
Meg Lanning was at her explosive best in the 2nd T20I against England at Chelmsford. The match which was a part of the multi-format Women’s Ashes between Australia and England saw a Lanning masterclass. The Southern Stars captain remained not out on 133 off 63 in a T20I match, hitting 17 fours and 7 sixes. Her strike rate was above 211 in that game as she made the record of the highest individual score in women’s T20Is. The record was to be broken by her teammate Alyssa Healy later in the year.
Meg Lanning was at her explosive best in the 2nd T20I against England at Chelmsford. The match which was a part of the multi-format Women’s Ashes between Australia and England saw a Lanning masterclass.
2. Ellyse Perry’s 7-wicket haul
Australian all-rounder Ellyse Perry took 7 wickets against England in the 3rd ODI of the Ashes. Perry took 7 wickets giving only 22 runs in her 10-over spell. She returned with the figures of 10-4-22-7 which is the best by an Australian in women’s ODIs. She dismissed Amy Jones, Sarah Taylor and Sophie Ecclestone on ducks as she took the wickets of the top four England batters. No other female bowler has taken more wickets in an ODI innings than Perry. It was a day of 7’s for her as she scored 7 runs with the bat as well.
3. Thailand qualifies for T20 World Cup
Thailand Women made history by becoming the first cricket team of their country to qualify for any ICC global tournament. Thailand, along with Bangladesh, qualified for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup to be held in Australia next year. They delivered some good performances in the Qualifier held in Scotland with the star being Chanida Sutthiruang. Sutthiruang who took 12 wickets in the tournament, was also named as the Emerging Cricketer of the Year by ICC.
4. Chamari Athapaththu’s T20I century
Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu hit all parts of the ground as she made her as well as her country’s maiden individual T20I hundred. It came in the first T20I against Australia which was the first game of the tour as well. Though the game was won by the hosts courtesy Beth Mooney’s hundred, the match will be remembered for Chamari’s fighting knock in the second innings. Athapaththu reached her century in 60 balls, finishing on 113 off 66. She entertained the crowd with 12 boundaries and 6 maximums as well.
5. South Africa’s Masabata Klaas takes the first women’s ODI hat-trick of the year
A total of 2 hat-tricks were taken in 2019 in women’s ODIs. South Africa’s Masabata Klaas and Australia’s Megan Schutt were the two bowlers who achieved the feat. The first ODI hat-trick of the year came in May when South Africa met Pakistan for the 2nd ODI of the series. Klaas took the hat-trick in the 39th over when she dismissed Aliya Riaz, Umaima Sohail and Sidra Nawaz. She became only the second Proteas Woman to take an ODI hat-trick after Dane Van Niekerk in 2013.
6. Mithali Raj’s 100 international wins as captain
India’s ODI captain Mithali Raj added another feather to her illustrious cap when she became only the second woman cricketer to have secured 100 international wins for her country as a captain. She achieved this feat when India won over South Africa in the 3rd ODI at home. Under Mithali Raj’s captaincy, India has won 3 Tests, 80 ODIs and 17 T20Is. Mithali thus became the second most successful captain in women’s cricket, just behind Charlotte Edwards of England who has 142 victories under her belt. Mithali Raj also completed 20 years of her international career in 2019, joining the list of elite players such as Sachin Tendulkar, Sanath Jayasuriya and Javed Miandad.
7. Ellyse Perry’s test match hundred in Ashes
England and Australia played one test match as part of the Ashes series. Perry, who already had an Ashes double century to her name, again showed her class in the longest format of the game. In the first innings, Australia declared on 420/8, with major contributions from Ellyse Perry and Rachael Haynes. Perry occupied the crease for 349 minutes, making a well-composed 116 facing 281 balls. She hit 16 boundaries as well. Perry remained not out on 76 in Australia’s second batting innings as the test match was drawn. She was the player of the match and also the player of the multi-format Ashes series. The prolific all-rounder was the top scorer as well as the leading wicket-taker of the series, during which she became the first player – man or woman, to reach the double of 1000 runs and 100 wickets in T20Is.
8. Anjali Chand of Nepal registers best T20I bowling figures
Nepal’s Anjali Chand etched her name in the history books as she registered the best bowling figures in women’s T20Is. The bowler took 6 wickets and did not give away any runs while bowling against Maldives Women in Pokhara. The match which formed a part of the South Asian Games, saw Chand returning with the figures of 2.1-2-0-6, the best in women’s T20Is. Chand also took a hat-trick in that match.
9. Alyssa Healy hits the highest T20I individual score
Alyssa Healy broke the record of captain Meg Lanning for the highest individual score in women’s T20Is in the 3rd T20I against Sri Lanka at home. Healy was unstoppable in Sydney that day, as she plundered the Sri Lanka bowling. She rushed to her hundred in 46 balls – the second-fastest for a woman in T20Is. The opener carried her bat as she remained not out on 148. The mammoth score of 148 runs comprised of 19 fours and 7 sixes which she hit during her 61-ball stay, hitting at a strike rate which went above 242!
10. Megan Schutt becomes the first Australian woman to take ODI hat-trick
In September, Megan Schutt became the first Australian bowler to take a hat-trick in women’s ODIs. She took three wickets in three balls in the 3rd ODI against West Indies as the Southern Stars whitewashed the series 3-0 against the hosts. Schutt, who was the first Aussie bowler to claim a hat-trick in women’s T20Is, repeated the feat in ODIs as she dismissed Chinelle Henry, Karishma Ramharack and Afy Fletcher in the last 3 balls of the 50th over.
Image Credit: Female Cricket/ESPN/Hindustan Times
This article was first published on Female Cricket.