Star all-rounder, Tahlia McGrath overtook fellow nominees in Beth Money and Jemimah Rodrigues to win the International Cricket Council’s (ICC’s) Player of Month Award (POTM) in August and for the following month’s award, September, ICC has revealed three contenders in Nigar Sultana Joty, Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana.
Nigar Sultana – Bangladesh
Nigar Sultana Joty, the captain got her side to finish as champions in the recently concluded, ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Nigar Sultana, the batter played a significant role in Bangladesh finishing as champions. In the opening game against Ireland, she scored a 53-ball-67 that helped Bangladesh post a competitive total of 143 that the side went on to defend by 14 runs. She then top-scored for her team while chasing a low score of 78 against Scotland and in the final, league stage game, against the United States of America got a brilliant 40-ball-56. With the bat in hand, she couldn’t close out the tournament the way she would have wished, but the championship win topped her low scores from the knockouts.
Harmanpreet Kaur – India
Harmanpreet Kaur, India’s all-format skipper, during the sides tour of England didn’t have the best of starts but ignited a turnaround that helped her side get a 3-0 series win in England during the One-Day International (ODI) series for the first time since 1999. In the opening ODI, Harmanpreet Kaur put on a special inning of 74* that helped India chase down 228 for a win. She followed that up with a blistering, 111-ball-143* in the 2nd ODI that helped India put on a 300+ total, and in the final and 3rd ODI, a 4(9) got her to finish the series as the highest run-scorer with 221 runs at an average of 221 and a strike rate of 103.27.
Smriti Mandhana – India
Smriti Mandhana, the prolific opening batter, during her sides recent tour of England, made the most of her start from the 1st T20I in the second with a stunning 53-ball-79 that helped India chase down England’s total of 142 and squared the series to keep India alive. Smriti then in the opening ODI game, brought forward a mature 99-ball-91 inning that guided India home chasing England’s total of 227 and followed her score of 91, with a 40 and a very crucial 50 in the 2nd and 3rd ODI respectively.
Both Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana are shortlisted for the very first time for POTM Awards.
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