List of Most Popular Matches in Women’s Cricket History

Discover the 11 matches in women’s cricket history where moments of brilliance and unforgettable performances have defined the game’s legacy.

List of Most Popular Matches in Women's Cricket History
List of Most Popular Matches in Women’s Cricket History

1. England vs Australia, the 1973 World Cup Final

Taking place at Edgbaston, Birmingham, the 1973 World Cup final between England and Australia marked a historic moment for women’s cricket. England, needing a win to claim the top spot, won the toss and elected to bat. A magnificent 118-run knock by Enid Bakewell and a sturdy 64 from Rachael Heyhoe-Flint propelled them to a formidable total of 273 runs for just 3 wickets. Australia’s chase faltered against England’s accurate bowling and sharp fielding, eventually falling short by 92 runs.

This victory not only secured England’s place as the first-ever Women’s Cricket World Cup champions, but it also held immense historical significance. The match served as a catalyst, proving the global appeal of women’s cricket and inspiring future generations of players. The impact of the 1973 final went beyond the game itself, solidifying women’s cricket onto the world stage and paving the way for its rise to prominence.

2. 1991-92 Women’s Ashes Series

In the historical women’s Ashes series of 1991-92, England and Australia clashed in a riveting battle that would forever write their name in cricketing history. The significance of this series was profound, as it marked the first time in Women’s Ashes history, after ten seasons, that a series ended without a single drawn match, ultimately resulting in Australia’s triumph.

The match commenced with high anticipation and excitement as both teams sought to assert their dominance. Batting first, England, captained by Helen Plimmer, showcased resilience and determination. Despite facing a daunting task in challenging conditions, England’s batters, including Plimmer and Wendy Watson, displayed commendable grit, fighting to reach a respectable total. However, they faced formidable bowling attacks from Australia’s Charmaine Mason, Isabelle Tsakiris, and Lee-Anne Hunter, who consistently applied pressure and secured crucial breakthroughs. The visitors could only manage a 146-run total.

Australia, led by their captain Lyn Larsen, displayed exceptional batting prowess, with standout performances from Denise Annetts, who notched an impressive 148 runs in the first innings of the opening match. Belinda Haggett and Belinda Clark also made significant contributions. The powerful display of batting, saw the hosts take a 200-run lead before declaring their innings at 346.

England in their second innings struggled against Australia’s formidable bowling attack. Helen Plimmer and Wendy Watson showed resilience. However, consistent breakthroughs by the Australian bowlers, particularly Isabelle Tsakiris, limited England’s total to just 115 runs. Charmaine Mason and Karen Brown also made significant contributions. Despite efforts from Debra Stock and Lisa Nye, England fell short, unable to withstand the pressure exerted by Australia. Being dismissed for just 115 runs, England faced a shocking defeat by an innings and 85 runs.

The 1991-92 Ashes series will be remembered not only for its fiercely contested matches but also for the significance of Australia’s triumph, marking a pivotal moment in Ashes history. It was a testament to the enduring spirit of cricket and the unwavering determination of both teams to leave a lasting legacy on the sport.

3. India vs New Zealand 2005 World Cup Semi-Final

The 2005 Women’s Cricket World Cup semi-final between India and New Zealand marked itself into history as India, for the first time ever, booked their place in the final. Chasing a crucial victory, India faced initial setbacks with early dismissals.

However, Mithali Raj stood tall, anchoring the innings with a magnificent unbeaten 91 runs, later being declared Player of the Match. Anjum Chopra’s valuable contribution of 44 further boosted the score, taking India to a challenging total of 204 for 6 wickets. New Zealand’s chase faltered under the pressure of the target. Amita Sharma’s exceptional bowling spell, claiming 3 crucial wickets for just 24 runs, dismantled the batting line-up, bowling New Zealand out for 164 and sealing a glorious 40-run victory for India.

The win’s significance extended far beyond the final score. It signified a defining moment for Indian women’s cricket, showcasing their talent and resilience on the global stage. The 2005 World Cup semi-final transformed into a powerful symbol of inspiration, igniting a passion for cricket in countless young girls across India. It empowered them to believe that they too could one day represent their nation on the world stage.

4. Australia vs England 2014 T20 World Cup Final

In a display of their unwavering dominance, Australia secured their third consecutive Women’s T20 World Cup title in 2014, defeating England in a closely contested final. This victory cemented their position as the undisputed dominant force of the shortest format.

Opting to bowl first, Australia restricted England to a modest 105 runs. It is safe to say the Australian bowling attack did their job effectively. Chasing a relatively low target, Australia themselves faced a minor hiccup early on, losing opener Jess Jonassen cheaply. However, captain Meg Lanning (44 runs off 30 balls) steadied the ship with a composed knock, peppered with four boundaries and two sixes. Ellyse Perry (31 runs off 32 balls) provided valuable support with a handy contribution, forming a crucial 60-run partnership with Lanning.

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Despite a brief stutter with the dismissals of Lanning and Alex Blackwell in quick succession, Australia ultimately chased down the target comfortably with 29 balls to spare, with Natalie Sciver (2-12) being the only English bowler to find some success. This historic win was not just about the trophy, but of Australia’s triumph that marked a hat-trick of World Cup titles. A historic feat that showcased their exceptional cricketing talent, strategic skill, and unwavering mental strength under pressure.

5. The 2017 Women’s World Cup Semi-Final, India vs Australia

In a highly anticipated clash between India and Australia, held at a fan-filled stadium, India emerged victorious in a thrilling semi-final of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017

Winning the toss, India elected to bat first. Smriti Mandhana provided an amazing start, scoring 6 runs. Despite early dismissals, the team rallied on the back of a brilliant innings from captain Mithali Raj, who scored 36 crucial runs. However, it was Harmanpreet Kaur’s stellar performance that stole the show, smashing an unbeaten 171 runs off just 115 deliveries, guiding India to a competitive total of 281/4 in 42 overs.

Chasing a target of 282, Australia faced early setbacks, losing key wickets at regular intervals. Despite valiant efforts from Elyse Villani and Alex Blackwell, who scored 75 and 90 runs respectively, Australia fell short of the target. India’s bowling attack, led by Jhulan Goswami and Deepti Sharma, proved too strong for the opposition, restricting them to 245 runs in 40.1 overs.

India’s comprehensive victory was a testament to their all-round performance, with both batting and bowling units delivering under pressure. The win marked a significant achievement for India, boosting their confidence as they continue their campaign in the tournament.

6. 2020 T20 World Cup in Melbourne

In a display of the surging power of women’s cricket, the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) became a historic occasion. Played on International Women’s Day, March 8th, 2020, the match drew a record-shattering crowd of 86,174 – the highest attendance ever for a women’s sporting event in Australia and the second highest globally for women’s sports.

Australia’s Meg Lanning won the toss and elected to bat first. The decision proved to be a masterstroke as Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney unleashed a magnificent opening partnership, amassing a staggering 151 runs – the highest partnership for any wicket in a Women’s T20 World Cup match. Healy continued her blistering knock, reaching 75 runs off just 39 balls, while Mooney remained unbeaten on 78.

India’s bowlers struggled to contain the onslaught, with Deepti Sharma managing just two wickets. Chasing a daunting target of 185, India’s batting faltered under pressure. Australia’s bowlers struck early, restricting them to a mere 4/30 after the powerplay. Despite Smriti Mandhana’s quick-fire 33, India was eventually bowled out for just 99 runs, handing Australia a dominant 85-run victory and their fifth T20 World Cup title. This was not just a sporting triumph; it was a cultural milestone. The record-breaking attendance shattered notions about the popularity of women’s cricket, showcasing its growing fanbase and igniting excitement for the future of the sport.

7. Australia vs India 2021, 3rd ODI

In an exciting contest between Australia and India, the latter secured a nail-biting victory in a high-scoring encounter.

Winning the toss, Australia opted to bat first. Despite early setbacks, Beth Mooney’s composed knock of 52 runs and Ashleigh Gardner’s explosive innings of 67 runs pushed Australia to a competitive total of 264/9 in their allotted 50 overs. Pooja Vastrakar and Jhulan Goswami starred with the ball for India, claiming three wickets each.

Chasing a target of 265 runs, India got off to a solid start, courtesy of Shafali Verma’s impressive knock of 56 runs. Contributions from Yastika Bhatia (64) and Deepti Sharma (31) kept India in the hunt. However, wickets fell at regular intervals, leading to a tense finish. With just two runs needed off the final over, Jhulan Goswami held her nerve to secure a thrilling victory for India with two balls to spare. Annabel Sutherland and Tahlia McGrath were the pick of the bowlers for Australia, claiming three wickets each. Despite their efforts, India managed to cross the finish line, reaching 266/8 in 49.3 overs.

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India’s triumph was a testament to their resilience and determination, showcasing their ability to perform under pressure. The win marked a significant milestone for India as they put an end to Australia’s 26 ODI match winning streak.

8. India vs Australia T20 World Cup semi-final 2023

The 2023 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup semi-final between India and Australia was a nail-biting encounter that showcased the growing competitiveness of the sport. Chasing a target of 173, India started poorly, losing their top order cheaply.

However, captain Harmanpreet Kaur, battling illness, defied the odds with a brilliant 52-run knock. In partnership with Jemimah Rodrigues, she steered India back into contention, building a crucial 69-run stand within a short time frame. With victory seemingly within reach and just 40 runs required, disaster struck. Harmanpreet was unfortunately run out in a heartbreaking moment, her bat getting stuck in the turf as she attempted a crucial run.

This turning point shattered India’s momentum, and the remaining batters crumbled under pressure, eventually falling short by five runs. While Australia secured their place in the final, the match served as a testament to India’s fighting spirit and Harmanpreet’s leadership. The close contest and India’s near upset highlighted the narrowing gap between the top teams in women’s cricket, leaving fans eager to see future clashes between these powerhouses.

9. South Africa vs Sri Lanka, 3rd T20I, 2024

Sri Lankan Women’s Cricket rewrote history on April 3rd, 2024, clinching their first-ever T20I series victory over South Africa in a thrilling encounter at East London. This capped a three-match series that showcased Sri Lanka’s growing strength.

Electing to field first, Sri Lanka restricted a strong South African batting line-up to 155/6, with Sugandika Kumari’s three wickets proving crucial. Chasing a par target, Sri Lanka’s experienced opener Chamari Athapaththu blazed a trail with a rapid 73 runs, while Harshitha Samarawickrama’s unbeaten 54 ensured a comfortable four-wicket victory with four balls to spare.

This win was not just about the result as it marked a significant moment for Sri Lanka. The series victory served as a major confidence boost for the Sri Lankan team and a powerful symbol of the increasing competitiveness in women’s cricket, where established teams are no longer guaranteed success.

10. Vanuatu vs Zimbabwe 2024 in Qualifiers

The 2024 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifiers got off to a sensational start with a historic upset in Abu Dhabi. Vanuatu, entering the qualifiers for the first time ever, stunned cricketing powerhouse Zimbabwe in a dominant all-around display.

Zimbabwe, who won the toss and elected to bat first, were dismantled by Vanuatu’s bowlers for a trivial 61 runs in just 13.3 overs. Spinner Nasimana Navaika emerged as the wrecker-in-chief, claiming a spectacular 4 wickets for just 13 runs, while the rest of the Vanuatu attack chipped in with wickets to restrict Zimbabwe’s scoring. Chasing a modest target, Vanuatu showcased their batting depth as well. Navaika, continuing her brilliance, top-scored with a crucial 21 runs.

Openers Apolinaire Anis (17 runs) and Selene Solman (15 runs) provided handy contributions as Vanuatu comfortably chased down the target with six wickets and 3.3 overs to spare. This result was more than just a win; it was a giant leap for Vanuatu women’s cricket. It signified the program’s progress on the international stage, sent shockwaves through the established cricketing nations by highlighting the growing threat of developing teams, and served as a beacon of inspiration, proving that hard work and dedication can challenge even the most experienced teams.

11. Scotland vs Ireland 2024 T20 World Cup Qualifier

In a historic match during the 2024 Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier, Scotland achieved a momentous milestone by securing their first-ever qualification for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup with a pivotal 20-run victory over Ireland.

Batting first, Scotland posted a competitive total of 145/6, bolstered by stellar performances from Sarah Bryce, who scored 52 runs off 38 balls, and Kathryn Bryce, who added 34 runs off 29 balls. Ireland, known for their resilience, struggled against Scotland’s disciplined and strategic bowling attack. Katherine Fraser led the charge with the ball, taking 3 wickets for just 18 runs, effectively restricting Ireland’s scoring and taking crucial wickets at regular intervals.

Despite great efforts from Ireland’s Gaby Lewis, who scored 48 runs off 42 balls, they were unable to reach the target, finishing at 125/8. This victory not only highlighted Scotland’s growth and development in women’s cricket but also marked a significant turning point in their cricketing history. The achievement of qualifying for their first World Cup has a profound impact, elevating the status of Scottish women’s cricket on the global stage and inspiring future generations of cricketers in Scotland.

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