As the year 2019 wound to a close, we saw some international cricket action in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where Pakistan faced England in 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is. England ended up winning the ODI series 2-0 and the T20Is 3-0 to build some momentum going into the World T20 in Australia in February 2020. The other series of note was India A’s tour of Australia where they faced Australia A in 3 unofficial ODIs and 3 unofficial T20Is. India A won the opening ODI but lost all remaining games for Australia A to take the ODI series 2-1 and T20I series 3-0.
The month of December also saw the conclusion of the Women’s Big Bash League where Brisbane Heat won back-to-back titles in an exciting finish. The New Zealand Super Smash also begun.
Here are the top performers of December 2019:
Bismah Maroof (Pakistan)
Pakistan’s Bismah Maroof was the leading run-scorer of the ODI series against England in Kuala Lumpur. She scored 140 runs in 3 ODIs scoring 2 consecutive half-centuries – 69 runs in the first ODI and another 64 in the second. She also scored a total of 80 runs in the T20I series that followed, scoring 60 off 58 deliveries in the first T20I hitting five boundaries.
Heather Knight (England)
England’s skipper Heather Knight was again productive with both bat and ball during the series against Pakistan. In the opening ODI, she scored a 44-ball 40 to haul England to a strong total which Pakistan could not chase. In the second ODI, she scored another 86 off 100 balls taking her run tally to 127 for the series. She took 2 wickets as well. She also scored a quickfire 31-ball 43 in the third T20I to set up a stiff target for Pakistan.
Tammy Beaumont (England)
England’s swashbuckling opener, Tammy Beaumont scored a century (107 runs) in the first ODI. In that match, she combined with Danielle Wyatt to bring up an excellent stand of 188 runs. Their partnership helped England reach a match-winning total of 284/6 in their 50 overs.
Danielle Wyatt (England)
England’s Danni Wyatt had an excellent series in Pakistan. She scored her first ODI century in the first ODI, making 110 runs. She was the perfect partner for Tammy Beaumont as they ground Pakistan putting up a stand of 188 runs and winning the match easily. She also scored 86 runs in the T20I series, making 55 runs in just 36 balls hitting 8 boundaries and 2 sixes to help England reach a commanding 185/5 in their 20 overs.
Sarah Glenn (England)
English bowler Sarah Glenn picked up the most wickets in the ODI series. She took a total of 8 wickets in the ODI series, picking up a four-for in the third ODI. She also picked up 2 wickets each in the first and second ODI. She also contributed in the T20I series against Pakistan picking up 4 wickets in the three-match series.
Amy Jones (England)
England’s wicket-keeper Amy Jones was the most prolific run-scorer in the T20I series against Pakistan by a long way. She comfortably led the run-charts scoring 179 runs in the three T20Is compiling 2 half-centuries. She started the series with 53 runs off 39 deliveries in the first T20I hitting 10 fours. She went even better in the second T20I match by scoring 89 runs off 52 balls hitting 11 boundaries and 3 sixes. She contributed in the third T20I match as well scoring a 35-ball 37.
Shafali Verma (India A)
India’s emerging opener continued her red-hot form after the tour of West Indies. Representing India A on a tour of Australia, she scored 170 runs in 3 ODIs (unofficial). She scored 124 off just 78 balls in the first match hitting 19 fours and 4 sixes to power her team to 312/9 in their 50 overs which they managed to win against Australia A. She followed it up with a 36-ball 46 to build a promising stand with Priya Punia in the second match.
Veda Krishnamurthy (India A)
India’s veteran batter, Veda Krishnamurthy shone with the bat during India A’s tour of Australia. She top-scored in the ODI series scoring a total of 188 runs in the three matches – 113 runs off 99 balls in the first match, 40 off 58 balls in the second and another 35 off 61 balls in the third.
Georgia Redmayne (Australia A)
Australian A team’s opener had a promising run in the unofficial ODI series against India A. She scored 174 runs in the 3 matches. She scored a century (113 runs) in the second match and was involved in a fifth-wicket partnership of 149 runs to set up a strong total of 315/5 in their 50 overs winning the encounter comfortably. She also scored 41 runs in the third match.
Erin Burns (Australia A)
Just like her compatriot Redmayne, Erin Burns also showed her talent by scoring 175 runs in the three-match ODI series. She scored 107 runs in only 59 balls in the second match hitting 13 boundaries and 5 sixes and another 53 runs off 52 balls in the third match to haul her team out of trouble and score a win.
The year 2020 is sure to be an exciting and action-packed one for women’s cricket with the Women’s T20 World Cup coming up in February. But before that, India will tour Australia for a T20I tournament that will also involve England in what is expected to be a riveting brand of cricket serving as a nice preparation for the teams heading into the World Cup. On the domestic front, three teams – India A, B, and C will play the tournament dubbed the Women’s Senior T20 Challenge, which will help some players gain match-time and improve their chances for being considered for representing India. The New Zealand Super Smash, New Zealand’s premier franchise cricket tournament for women also will draw to a close.
Tri-series fixtures (All matches are Twenty20 internationals)
Jan 31 India v England, Canberra (03:10 GMT)
Feb 1 Australia v England, Canberra (03:10 GMT)
Feb 2 Australia v India, Canberra (03:10 GMT)
Feb 7 India v England, Melbourne (Junction Oval) (03:10 GMT)
Feb 8 Australia v India, Melbourne (Junction Oval) (03:10 GMT)
Feb 9 Australia v England, Melbourne (Junction Oval) (03:10 GMT)
Feb 12 Final, Melbourne (Junction Oval) (02:40 GMT)
How are the squads shaping up?
Australia: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Erin Burns, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy (wk), Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
England: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Freya Davies, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Sarah Glenn, Amy Jones (wk), Nat Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Mady Villiers, Fran Wilson, Lauren Winfield, Danni Wyatt
India squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harleen Deol, Veda Krishnamurthy, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Deepti Sharma, Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav, Arundhati Reddy, Rajeshwari Gaekwad, Richa Ghosh
Stay tuned to Female Cricket for all the updates.