The ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 is the eighth edition of the biggest tournament for women cricketers in the shortest format. It began on February 10, 2023, with hosts South Africa playing Sri Lanka in the opener. The opening game was a shocker as the women in green, favoured by odds and cricket pundits, were defeated by the Lankan lionesses unprecedentedly.
The tournament’s group stage, which had 10 teams playing in two groups of five each, has culminated with four teams, the top two from each group going through to the semi-final. Australia and England have gone through to the semis unbeaten from Group 1 and Group 2 respectively. The other two teams to meet them are hosts South Africa from Group 1 and India from Group 2.
South Africa went through because of a better net run rate as they alongside New Zealand and Sri Lanka had a similar number of points (4). India, on the other hand, were defeated only once in their group and that was against England. Now in the semi-final, they will face Australia while England will play South Africa.
What has been interesting in this World Cup is that not even a single game has been washed out due to rain. In the previous World Cups held in South Africa, at least one game was marred by rain.
England post the highest total ever recorded in the Women’s T20 World Cup
The English side, led by Heather Knight, recorded the highest ever T20 World Cup total by any team in the history of the competition as they scored 213-5 against Pakistan in their last group game. They won the match by a huge 114 runs, the highest margin of victory as well in the competition’s history. Vice-captain Nat Sciver, Amy Jones and Katherine Brunt hit a fifty each.
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Ayesha Naseem has the highest strike rate and Nat Sciver most runs
Ayesha Naseem of Pakistan has recorded the highest strike rate in the competition among the batters who have faced more than 10 deliveries. The Pakistan right-hand bat has hit 49 runs in just 27 balls with a best of 43*. Her strike rate is 181.48.
On the other hand, England’s Nat Scivcer has hit the most runs (176) with an average of 88. She is followed by India’s Smriti Mandhana who has hit 149 runs in just three innings with an average of 49.66.
Muneeba Ali becomes second Pakistani to hit a century in T20 World Cups
It might sound odd but Muneeba Ali has joined Ahmed Shehzad in a short list of Pakistanis who have hit a century in a T20 World Cup. While Ali is the first-ever Pakistani women centurion in the World Cups, Ahmed Shehzad achieved the feat in 2014 when he had hit 111* against Bangladesh in 2014.
Among women cricketers, Muneeba's 102* against Ireland has earned her a spot alongside legendary batters like Deandra Dottin, Meg Lanning, Lizelle Lee and Harmanpreet Kaur. These are the only five women who have hit a century in a T20 World Cup.
Mandhana leads the list of most sixes
India’s Smriti Mandhana is not someone known for her six-hitting abilities. She is someone known for her elegance and beautiful drive. However, she leads the chart of most sixes with four sixes to her name in three matches. Three of those four came in one inning against Ireland.
The bowling stats: Sophie Ecclestone, Renuka Singh and Nida Dar make headlines
England’s Sophie Ecclestone has turned out to be unplayable once again as the left-arm orthodox has picked up eight wickets in four innings with a stunning average of 7.62. Australia’s Ash Gardner also has eight wickets from four games.
India's Renuka Singh Thakur and Gardner are the only two bowlers who have picked up a five-wicket haul in an inning in this World Cup so far. Renukla though ended up on a losing side even after finishing with figures of 5-15 against England. Grander picked up 5-12 against New Zealand.
It is interesting to note that among players conceding the most runs in an inning, the top four spots have been occupied by Pakistani players. While Nida Dar conceded 47 against England, in the same game, Fatima Sana conceded 44 and Sadia Iqbal conceded 41. Fatima Sana also conceded 42 against India.
South Africans recorded the highest partnership
Hosts Laura Wolvaardt and Tazmin Brits recorded a partnership of 117 for the first wicket against Bangladesh. This is the highest partnership in the competition so far.
Impressive Richa Ghosh
Richa Ghosh of India, a makeshift wicket-keeper now has the most dismissals among all keepers at the end of the group stage. She has taken five catches and effected one stumping.