Anitha Madikizela digs into the stats to profile the top performers in the Women’s Super League 2018.
With the Kia Super League recently concluded and the Surrey Stars claiming the title after a dominant performance during finals day, we take a look at the top five performers throughout the season as the players prepare to represent their countries at the 2018 ICC Women’s World T20 tournament in November.
Best batter – Smriti Mandhana (Western Storm)
The world’s best batters were on show at the 2018 KSL and we got a chance to witness India’s stars alongside them as they participated in the KSL for the first time. Mandhana flew the Indian flag high as she exhibited all her power and skill to finish top of the overall runs leaderboard. The left-handed opener starred for the Western Storm throughout, finishing with 421 runs in her 10 matches at an average of 60.14, including a tournament-leading 21 sixes.
The English pair of Heather Knight (368 runs, ave 46.00) and Natalie Sciver (362 runs, ave 45.25), along with South African Lizelle Lee (352 runs, including 18 sixes), challenged for the mantle, but Mandhana deservedly takes the accolade after performing consistently all season long.
Best bowler – Kirstie Gordon (Loughborough Lightning)
The 20-year-old Scot impressed this season with her consistency and her ability to pick up wickets regularly. Gordon was an instrumental part of the Lightning attack and her 17 wickets in 11 matches helped them qualify automatically for the final on Monday, only for the team to fall short at the last hurdle. Her performances throughout the tournament had a lot of people stop and take notice as she proved to be one of the promising young talents to look out for in the future.
Fellow teammate Sophie Devine (16 wickets) and Lancashire Thunder’s Sophie Ecclestone (15 wickets) were close contenders but Gordon topped both of them with her wickets tally as well as being tight-fisted with runs conceded off her bowling.
Best Allrounder – Natalie Sciver (Surrey Stars)
This one was a tough call. It was a toss-up between New Zealander Devine and Sciver, but the Surrey Stars’ captain just nicked it as she led her team to the title. Sciver was a woman on a mission and, leading from the front with both bat and ball, her 362 runs along with 10 wickets proved instrumental in the Stars’ successful campaign, along with a Player of the Match performance in the semi-final against the Storm that showcased her courage under pressure. The dangerous English allrounder will hope to carry her form into the T20 World Cup in November.
Devine’s performances throughout the tournament can’t be forgotten. Her skill with the bat and ball was one of the main reasons that the Lightning were so dominant in the group stages. Although she just missed out, her 269 runs and 16 wickets in 11 matches showed exactly why she will be a force to be reckoned with in November.
Best Strike Rates (min. 3 innings): Smriti Mandhana (Western Storm)
Mandhana makes another appearance on our top five list with her impressive accumulation of runs and how quickly she got them. Her remarkable tournament strike rate of 174.68 ― along with a no-fear game style ― made her a crowd favourite as she smashed the ball to all parts. She hit an astounding 66 boundaries (45 fours, 21 sixes) in a masterclass batting display. A dangerous combination of consistency and power hitting will serve her and India well in the West Indies during the World Cup.
Best Economy Rates (min. 10 overs): Marizanne Kapp (Surrey Stars)
The South African veteran pace bowler is always in the mix when discussing frugal, economical bowling. Known for her accuracy and reliability, Kapp’s intelligence and experience were at the forefront as the Stars won their maiden KSL trophy. Picking up 11 wickets at an economy rate of 5.66 in her 11 matches, she was a vital part of the Stars’ bowling attack in their bid for the championship. The Proteas will be hoping to see her take that form into the Caribbean ahead of South Africa’s West Indies tour, and ultimately, the T20 World Cup in November.
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