2021 saw several historic moments being scripted in the world of women’s cricket. We have handpicked some of the Top 10 moments that created the loudest noise and were applauded and appreciated by the majority of cricket fans.
1. Smriti Mandhana’s maiden Test and WBBL century
India’s women’s cricket team opener, Smriti Mandhana made history and slammed her maiden Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) century while playing for Sydney Thunders on Wednesday. Smriti Mandhana fetched an undefeated score of 114 off 64 balls in the match against the Melbourne Renegades as her team raced for a sturdy goal of 176 runs. Sydney Thunder’s Smriti Mandhana hit thirteen boundaries and three sixes in her innings. She slowly paced toward building the innings and came to the final push where she slammed 4,6,4,6,2, making her the highest ever individual to score in WBBL for Sydney Thunder.
2. Ball of the Century by Shikha Pandey
India’s right-arm pacer, Shikha Pandey, delivers an unreal in-swing delivery during the 2nd Australia vs India women’s T2oI match, earning the honour of being called ‘Ball of the Century’ on 9th October 2021. The action left everyone present—including the opener of Australia’s team, Healy—in bewilderment as the ball inhumanly cut back and crashed into the stumps.
3. 16 years old Amy Hunter became the Youngest to ODI century
Teenager Amy Hunter from Ireland became the youngest ODI centurion on her 16th birthday. After striking an unbeaten 121 against Zimbabwe, she became the youngest centurion in one-day internationals on 11th October. Hunter overtook the previously held record by India’s Mithali Raj, who held the women’s record with an unbeaten 114 against Ireland in 1999 at the age of 16 years and 205 days. She is the fourth woman to hit an ODI century for Ireland and the first since 2000.
4. Ellyse Perry- The most Capped Australian Woman
Ellyse Perry surpassed Alex Blackwell to become Australia’s most capped woman player across all formats. Australia’s cricket ‘legend’ and all-rounder Perry, overtook Blackwell’s record of 251 appearances for the Australian national women’s team after she grabbed the field against India Women for the second of three T20I games at the Carrara Oval. It is the 30-year-old’s 252nd match across all formats since her debut in 2007. Perry is also the first woman who has achieved the double delight of 5000 runs and 300 wickets in international cricket. The all-rounder has earned 9 Test caps, 118 ODI caps, and a whopping 124 T20I caps, the most by an Australian woman cricketer.
5. Harmanpreet’s WBBL Player of the Tournament performance
India’s T20I captain Harmanpreet Kaur, top-scored for Melbourne Renegades with 399 runs in 11 innings while striking at 135.25. The fierce right-hander was named the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) Player of the Tournament on Wednesday. The 32-year-old has also been the leading wicket-taker for the Renegades with 15 wickets at an economy of 7.46.
6. Record-breaking viewership for The Hundred and WBBL|07
A whopping crowd of half a million tuned in on TV and other streaming platforms to watch WBBL, with a combined crowd of 535,000 surpassing the previous record of 506,000 amidst the challenges imposed by Covid-19. For the first time in the league’s history, every match of the season was broadcast on TV or streaming services. Perth Scorchers won their maiden Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) title on November 29th at the Opus Stadium in Perth, Australia, with an attendance of 15,511 people, the biggest in the history of WBBL.
7. Harleen Deol’s phenomenal catch in T20I v England
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) July 9, 2021
The phenomenal catch by Harleen Deol has earned the appreciation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Deol dismissed the hit by Amy Jones who tried to clear the boundary off Shikha Pandey’s delivery. The 23-year-old’s perfect timing and her stance blocked Amy’s ball which was presumed to sail over the fence for a maximum. Deol knew that if the ball crossed the boundary, it would earn the opposing team a six, so she caught the ball and threw it mid-air before she crossed the boundary and regained her balance in time to dismiss Amy’s hit.
8. Netherland’s Frederique Overdijk recorded the best spell of WT20I- 7/3 in 4 overs ( 2 maidens) against France.
In the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifiers Europe, Netherlands’ Overdijk became the first pacer-male or female to scalp 7 wickets in international cricket. In her 4 overs, she recorded 2 maidens along with 6 bowled outs and 1 lbw. This was recorded in Spain’s La Manga Club Ground in which France was bowled out for a cheap 33 in 17.5 overs which the Netherlands chased down in just 3.4 overs, with 9 wickets in hand.
9. For the first time at Wankhede, Women Pair as test match Scorer Kshama Sane and Sushma Sawant
45-year-old Sane and 50-year-old Sawant scripted history became the first female pair to score in an international match at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium during the 2nd test between India and New Zealand. When asked about their experience, they quoted:
“On my personal front, I’m the only child of my parents. My mother was the one who was keen on getting me into cricket from a young age of 11 years. I used to go for practice at Mrs. Surekha Bhandare’s coaching club from age 11 to 15. My mother worked for the Maharashtra government and father is a musician, who plays drums,” Kshama told PTI over the phone.
“I enjoy cricket and I am excited for it and for the first time I am doing a Test match. Women have a lot of scope in scoring,” an elated Sushma told PTI.
10. Comeback of Deandra Dottin
Deandra Dottin- or as some call her- lady Chris Gayle, has finally returned to her donning ways as she announced her remarkable return in her first international assignment in 2021. This was a journey or rather a battle for her, both physical and mental as it involved her not only recovering from a painful shoulder surgery but the depression she was spiraled into due to this major setback amongst. However, with her scintillating comeback, she showed that it is possible to come out of any situation if you have the right support-externally and from within yourself.
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