The 2022 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup was done and dusted on April 3 at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch when Australia beat the defending champions England by 71 runs to clinch their seventh World Cup title. The fiercely fought competition saw some impressive performances. Here are the top five performances by the World Cup debutants:
Sophie Ecclestone (England):
This left arm spinner from England missed out on playing the 2017 World Cup due to her school exams. However, going into the 2022 World Cup, she made the most of the opportunity in hand. With 21 wickets in nine matches, she was the top wicket-taker in the World Cup. Her best bowling figures of 6-36 in eight overs came against South Africa in the semi-finals. In the process, she registered her maiden five-wicket haul in ODIs, her ODI career best figures to date and best bowling figures for England in Women’s World Cups.
Sophia Dunkley (England):
Making her ODI debut in 2021, this right handed middle order batter of England took some quick strides in the 50-over format. She looked good during the World Cup as she muscled 291 runs in eight innings at a healthy average of 36.38 and a competitive strike rate of 86.87. She scored a couple of half-centuries, including the best of 67 against Bangladesh in a winning cause. She played all around the ground and loved playing her paddle sweeps. Dunkley could change her gears as per the match situation exceedingly well and more often than not acted as the perfect cushion for the top order to play freely.
Alana King (Australia):
The wily leg spinner from Australia made her international debut in 2022 itself and in a matter of few months was already seen playing the World Cup. With 12 wickets in nine matches, she was the second highest wicket-taker for Australia behind her spin twin Jess Jonassen and fourth overall. She bowled as many as 65 overs during the tournament and conceded 294 runs at an economy of 4.52. Her best bowling figures of 3-59 came against England, which was her maiden World Cup match.
Charlotte Dean (England):
The right arm off spinner was the second highest wicket-taker for England with 11 wickets in six matches. Her best bowling figures of 4-23 came against India in a winning cause. It was a do or die match for England, given that they had lost their first three matches. Apart from her bowling, in the finals against Australia, she showed some fight with the bat. A top order batter in her domestic team, she stitched a 65-run partnership with Natalie Sciver for ninth wicket giving some hope to England to chase down 357 set by Australia.
Fargana Hoque (Bangladesh):
This right handed top order batter was arguably the most impressive from Bangladesh, who was playing their first 50-over World Cup. She top scored for Bangladesh with 173 runs in seven matches at an average of 24.71. She registered a couple of half-centuries and was the lone batter to muster 50+ scores in the World Cup. Her highest score of 71 came against Pakistan in a winning cause when Bangladesh snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, as they beat Pakistan by just nine runs. This was Bangladesh’s first win in the World Cup.
I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.