SACricketmag.com picks its Team of the Tournament from the recently-concluded Women’s World Cup.
1. Lizelle Lee
Matches: 7 Runs: 269 HS: 92 Average: 44.83 SR: 103.46
Lee was a terrifying force at the top of the order, smashing a record 12 sixes throughout a campaign that saw her score three fifties. Her partnership at the top of the order, with the classy Laura Wolvaardt, was vital to South Africa’s cause, and rattled the opposition attack on more occasions than not.
2. Tammy Beaumont
Matches: 9 Runs: 410 HS: 148 Average: 45.55 SR: 76.92
Beaumont was the Player of the Tournament after topping the run-scoring charts. Her opening partner Laura Winfield struggled, but Beaumont gave the side stability against the new ball, highlighted by her massive 148 against the Proteas in the group stages.
3. Sarah Taylor (WK)
Matches: 9 Runs: 396 HS: 147 Average: 49.50 SR: 99.00 C/S: 4/2
Taylor is well and truly back after spending a year out of the game due to her battle with anxiety. She was as sharp as ever behind the stumps, and it wasn’t only the runs she scored, but their importance, with her 54 and 45 in the semi-final and final vital to getting England over the line.
4. Meg Lanning
Matches: 6 Runs: 328 HS: 152* Average: 82.00 SR: 92.13
Few will argue with the fact that Lanning is the best batter in the world, and the Australian skipper proved that once again in this tournament, as the 24-year-old notched up her 11th ODI century. She played through the pain, with a shoulder injury in the semi-final, and it’s no coincidence that the side struggled without a full-strength Lanning.
5. Ellyse Perry
Matches: 8 Runs: 404 HS: 71 Average: 80.80 SR: 77.54 Wickets: 4 BB: 3-47 Average: 37.33 Economy: 4.60
Not only do Australia have the best batter in their side, but they have the best all-rounder in the world too. Perry was on top of her game, as she always is, finishing six runs shy of Beaumont’s tally. Not at her best with the ball, but five half-centuries made up for that.
6. Mathali Raj (C)
Matches: 9 Runs: 409 HS: 109 Average: 45.44 SR: 70.15
The Indian skipper and the game’s all-time leading run-scorer became the first woman to pass 6 000 ODI runs in this tournament on her way to leading her side to their first World Cup final since 2005. Came agonisingly close to winning the title for the first time, but Raj was a rock throughout.
7. Natalie Sciver
Matches: 9 Runs: 369 HS: 137 Average: 46.12 SR: 107.58 Wickets: 7 BB: 3-3 Average: 28.57 Economy: 4.87
Sciver made a name for herself as one of the most dangerous batters in the game, with two crushing centuries. The first one, against Pakistan, saw her score 137 off just 92 balls, before smashing 129 off 111 balls against New Zealand. She also top-scored in the final, as well as proving handy with her medium pace with the ball, which included a best of 3-3.
8. Marizanne Kapp
Matches: 7 Wickets: 13 Average: 19.38 BB: 4-14 Economy: 4.46
Kapp went into the tournament with a fair bit of expectation as the No 1-ranked bowler in the world, and she delivered with her deadly accurate late swingers. She was run out three times, which meant a disappointing campaign with the bat, but the Proteas’ excellent starts with the ball were largely down to her.
9. Dane van Niekerk
Matches: 7 Wickets: 15 Average: 10.00 BB: 4-0 Economy: 3.46
Van Niekerk came agonisingly close to leading her side to a first-ever World Cup final, and her leg-spinners certainly played their part throughout. The pace bowlers left the middle-order exposed in the middle overs, and Van Niekerk cleaned up, becoming the first cricketer in history to take four wickets without conceding a run. She took four-wicket hauls on two other occasions, as well as scoring a half-century against Australia.
10. Anya Shrubsole
Matches: 9 Wickets: 12 Average: 25.33 BB: 6-46 Economy: 4.62
Shrubsole has propelled herself into Team of the Tournament, courtesy of her performance in the final, which saw her completely blow the contest out of the water with India seemingly cruising towards victory. Needing 47 runs from the last eight overs, with seven wickets in hand, Shrubsole was introduced into the attack and took 5-20 from her last four overs to finish with Player of the Match figures of 6-46.
11. Kristin Beams
Matches: 7 Wickets: 12 Average: 22.16 BB: 3-23 Economy: 4.09
Despite the English pitches being more suited to pace, it was a tournament which saw the leg-spinners rise to prominence, and one of them was Beams, who frustrated the opposition batters with her awkward lengths and variations. She was the highest non-South African wicket-taker, with an excellent economy rate of 4.09.
12th: Laura Wolvaardt
Matches: 7 Runs: 324 Average: 64.80 HS: 71 SR: 68.21
Only misses out on the 1st XI due to Lizelle Lee’s firepower, but Wolvaardt’s classy shot-making and steely nerves were among the highlights of an excellent campaign for the Proteas. She struck back-to-back half-centuries against world champions England and scored two more against Pakistan and then Australia, all at the age of 18.