The Most Valuable Team of the Tournament has been announced after Australia’s victory over South Africa in the final of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup at Newlands on Sunday.
Unsurprisingly four Australians made the XI, with their final opponents South Africa boasting a trio of their own in the team. England, India, and West Indies were all represented in the final team, with a future Ireland star named as the 12th player.
Tazmin Brits (South Africa) – 186 runs at 37.20
The Proteas needed Brits to fire at the top of the order, and the 32-year-old delivered in spades on home soil.
The opener proved to be a revelation at the tournament, jump-starting the hosts’ batting efforts with a number of fine knocks alongside Laura Wolvaardt.
Brits primed as the tournament went on, making 45 against Australia and crucial runs in their final group game against Bangladesh (50*) to secure their semi-final spot.
On the crest of a Newlands wave Brits flourished against England with another fifty (68), to help the hosts on their way to a first T20 World Cup final.
She finished with 186 runs at an average greater than 37 and contributed strongly in the field with seven catches, by far the most of the tournament.
Alyssa Healy (wk) (Australia) – 189 runs at 47.25 and four dismissals
The ever-reliable enforcer with the bat once again showed why she is such a point of difference, hitting 189 runs well spread across her five innings.
The wicketkeeper-batter began the campaign with a half-century against New Zealand (55), also making 37 against Bangladesh before another fifty (54*) against Sri Lanka.
Healy sat out the last group game with a calf injury, before making 25 and 18 in the semi-final and final respectively.
Laura Wolvaardt (South Africa) – 230 runs at 46
When the stakes were raised, South Africa’s star with the bat turned up, making three consecutive fifties in the host’s memorable campaign.
Making 18, 13, and 19 in her first three knocks, Wolvaardt had only shown glimpses of her quality, though the Proteas’ push for higher honors came once the technical right-hander roared.
A knock of 66* against Bangladesh cemented their semi-final spot, 53 against England turned the game in her team’s favor, and a valiant 61 against the world’s best only reinforced her quality.
Nat Sciver-Brunt (c) (England) – 216 runs at 72
Even after a mini-break from the game, there was no stopping 2022 Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy winner Nat Sciver-Brunt from piling on the runs for England in South Africa.
The right-hander was the leading run-scorer before the tournament final before being overtaken by Laura Wolvaardt, finishing with 216 at 72, at a strike rate of 141.
Sciver-Brunt started with an unbeaten 40 against the West Indies in Paarl to begin her campaign, before back-to-back half-centuries against India (50) and Pakistan (81*). The middle-order batter finished with 40 (34) in the semi-final against South Africa, though the effort was in a losing cause.
Sciver-Brunt also claimed the wicket of Omaima Sohail in their meeting with Pakistan, with her 10 tournament overs going for just 6.8 runs per over.
Ash Gardner (Australia) – 110 runs at 36.66 and 10 wickets at 12.50
World-class in all three facets of the game, the 25-year-old proved her class all over again in South Africa, with a number of match-winning contributions for Australia.
First, it came with the ball, finishing with career-best figures of 5/12 against New Zealand and taking Player of the Match honors. A contribution with both ball and bat followed against Bangladesh, also in the mix of runs and wickets against South Africa in their group meeting in Gqeberha.
Gardner picked up another Player of the Match with a quick-fire 31 and a two-wicket haul in the semi-final, rounding out the tournament with 29 (21) and 1/20 (4) in the final.
Richa Ghosh (India) – 136 runs at 68 and seven dismissals
Off the back of a victorious ICC Women’s Under-19 T20 World Cup campaign, Ghosh brought her form into the senior global tournament.
On top of her 136 runs at 68 (strike rate 130.76), Ghosh led the tournament in dismissals with seven (five catches, two stumpings).
Proving to be a pivotal member of India’s team already, it certainly will not be the last time the 19-year-old’s name finds herself on a Team of the Tournament list at an ICC global event.
Sophie Ecclestone (England) – 11 wickets at 7.54
The world’s No.1-ranked T20I bowler lived up to the billing once again for England, taking 11 wickets and tying down an end with her unrelenting left-arm orthodox.
The tally was the most at the tournament, and the 23-year-old avoided a wicketless outing. She claimed a trio of three-wicket hauls (against West Indies, Ireland, and South Africa), also finishing with 1/14 and 1/11 against India and Pakistan respectively.
Karishma Ramharack (West Indies) – five wickets at 10
It may not have been a tournament to remember for a West Indies side, though Ramharack’s crafty finger spin was a positive to take out of the campaign.
The 28-year-old took five wickets in three outings, at a miserly rate of 4.16 runs per over.
Her 1/18 (4) against Pakistan was astonishingly her worst spell of the three outings, also picking up 2/14 against India and 2/18 against Ireland.
Shabnim Ismail (South Africa) – eight wickets at 16.12
In front of home fans, and all the way through the tournament, Ismail did not disappoint for South Africa.
Not only did the speedster claim eight wickets at the tournament at an average of 16.12, she was one of few bowlers to finish with an economy under a run a ball (5.86).
Her mix of pace and off-speed deliveries proved tough at the tournament, also bowling a Powerplay maiden to Australia star Beth Mooney, finished with a vicious bouncer to keep the opener in check.
Darcie Brown (Australia) – seven wickets at 15
The respite for batters who don’t turn out for Australia shall not end any time soon if Brown’s efforts in South Africa are anything to go by.
In a similar vein to Ismail for the hosts, Brown used her speed as a primary weapon, though also using slower balls and cutters to undo opponents.
She claimed one wicket fewer than Ismail (seven), though was more miserly, going at just 4.75 runs per over.
The 19-year-old will only grow to become a bigger presence in the Australian team and prove to be a constant problem in future iterations of the tournament.
Megan Schutt (Australia) – 10 wickets at 12.50
Schutt proved ever-consistent again for Australia, continually moving the ball into the right-handers during the Powerplay and canny when needed elsewhere.
The right-armer claimed wickets in every match, starting with 2/8 in her team’s opener against New Zealand, and a 4/24 performance against Sri Lanka a highlight of the campaign.
Schutt was rock-steady in the final, finishing with 1/23 (4) and claiming the key wicket of Laura Wolvaardt.
12th Player – Orla Prendergast (Ireland) – 109 runs at 27.25 and three wickets at 26.00
The word around pre-tournament was that Orla Prendergast was to enjoy a successful competition, and the young all-rounder backed both teammates and pundits.
A 17-run and 1/13 opening performance against England showed what was to come, before a half-century against the West Indies and a spell of 2/22 against India proved to the world that the 20-year-old can achieve.
|Tazmin Brits||Alyssa Healy||Laura Wolvaardt||Nat Sciver-Brunt|
|Ash Gardner||Richa Ghosh||Sophie Ecclestone||Karishma Ramharack|
|Shabnim Ismail||Darcie Brown||Megan Schutt||Orla Prendergast (12th)|
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