Following Pakistan’s Sidra Ameen on the list of ‘Player of the Month‘ award is Australian all-rounder, Ashleigh Gardner. The 25-year-old outnumbered English all-rounder, Charlie Dean and New Zealand veteran, Suzie Bates and was named, the ‘Player of the Month’ for December 2022.
The Australian women’s team got their lead-up to the upcoming, senior Women’s Twenty20 World Cup underway later last month with their 5-match, T20 bilateral series, which the tourists went on to celebrate with a commanding 4-1 margin.
Ashleigh Gardner in the initial couple of games didn’t have a lot to do as the top 3 got the job done for Australia with the bat in hand. Contributing to Australia’s bowling efforts in the opener, Ashleigh Gardner, put a full stop to Richa Ghosh’s carnage on the score of 36(20) and went wicketless in the 2nd T20I.
In the 3rd T20I, Australia was asked to bat first and Ashleigh Gardner failed to make an impact with the bat having departed early on the score of 7(10) but stepped up with the ball having struck crucial wickets those of Devika Vaidya and Richa Ghosh off her 3 overs.
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During the 4th T20I, Ashleigh Gardner found her mojo as she ignited a counterattack against the Indian bowling unit who were riding high on confidence having struck a couple of early wickets. Gardner played a handy, 27-ball 42 knock, that included 3 boundaries and as many maximums which helped Australia gain momentum. Continuing on her fine bowling form, Ashleigh Gardner closed the night out with valuable wickets of Smriti Mandhana and Devika Vaidya.
A confident Ashleigh Gardner when took the field for the 5th and final T20I, smashed a 32-ball 66 at a strike rate of 206.25 which saw her score as many as 11 boundaries and a lone maximum. Gardner’s quick-fire helped Australia post a competitive total of 196 that India in reply fell way short off and playing her role in India’s collapse was Ashleigh Gardner who yet again bagged a couple of wickets and again, at an impressive economy rate.
Gardner scored 115 runs in 3 innings at an average of 57.50 and finished equivalent to her teammate, Heather Graham who finished as the highest wicket-taker with 7 wickets to her name off 5 innings at an average of just over 18. For an all-round effort, Ashleigh Gardner bagged the player of the series award and a couple of player of the match awards which is now topped with the ICC Player Of The Month (POTM) award.