Top 5 Special Moments from Women’s Cricket in 2021

2021 has been quite a successful year for women’s cricket. An extraordinary display of cricket, a lot of records being made, many youngsters coming into spotlight and above all the rise in its popularity and of course the fan base which made The Hundred and WBBL|07 breaking viewership records. It was indeed a great 2021.

With such a plethora of special moments and increasing excitement, it isn’t easy to sort out the 5 best moments as each one was worth appreciation in some or the other aspects.

· Australia Women’s Cricket Team and their Dominance:

 

22 Consecutive Wins for Australian Women's Cricket Team. PC: AusWomenCricket/Twitter
22 Consecutive Wins for Australian Women’s Cricket Team. PC: AusWomenCricket/Twitter

 

Coming into 2021 with a record-equalling 21 ODI winning streak, Meg Lanning led Australia continued their outstanding performance this year as well. Though the streak which started way back in 2017/18 in India was ended by India in Australia in September this year, the most successful team of women’s cricket didn’t lose any of the two series they played and only lost one of the six ODIs, one of the six T20Is (2 were ended in no result) while the only test they played was the pink ball test which ended in a draw against India.

· Smriti Mandhana’s maiden test Century and Fastest Century in WBBL07:

 

Maiden Test Century for Smriti Mandhana
Maiden Test Century for Smriti Mandhana

 

Finishing 2021 as India’s leading run-scorer in T20I and Test for the year and second highest in ODI, Smriti Mandhana had a great 2021. The opener from Mumbai, smashed the first pink ball century by an Indian woman in October against Australia with her 127 which also was the highest individual score by a woman in a Test on Australian soil. Her ton was followed by yet another record-breaking century during WBBL|07 where she remained unbeaten 114 off just 64 balls while playing for Sydney Thunder. Her century was the first by an Indian in WBBL and also her score was the equal highest with Australia’s Ashleigh Gardner in the history of WBBL. Mandhana finished the season as the leading run-scorer for the Thunder (377 runs) and at the 10th position in the overall run tally for the season.

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· Thailand (continues to) win hearts:

 

Thailand Women's Cricket team
Thailand Women’s Cricket team

 

Though the new Covid variant forced ICC to cancel the qualifiers for the 2022 Women’s World Cup and follow the ranking criteria to finalize the remaining three spots, the team which proved their worth in the tournament and in fact in 2021 was Thailand’s Women Cricket Team.

After defeating the host on their tour to Zimbabwe, winning two out of the three T20Is with their star all-rounder Nattaya Boochatham being the Player of the match in both their victories taking 10 wickets in 3 matches with the best spell of 4/16, Thailand started off well in the qualifiers. Just beaten by Pakistan in the four matches they played, the women were so determined to reach the main tournament that their phone’s wallpaper had the image of the World Cup Trophy. A post with the photo of everyone’s wallpaper was shared by one of their players Natthakan Chantam with a heart-break emoji caption on Twitter. The top player for them once again was Boochatham who recorded a spell of 5/26 against Bangladesh and then 4/16 against the USA in the last match before the qualifiers were called off, finishing with 10 wickets in four matches.

· The Success of South African Women:

South Africa Women's Cricket Team defeat India 4-1 in ODI Series. PC: Twitter
South Africa Women’s Cricket Team defeat India 4-1 in ODI Series. PC: Twitter

Winning all three of their bilateral series, South Africa displayed sensational cricket this year. Starting with a clean sweep in the three-match ODI series hosting Pakistan and a 2-1 win in the T20Is in January, the Proteas then went on to win the ODI series in India by 4-1 and the T20 by 2-1 in March. Following this, the team visited West Indies in September where they won 4 out of the 5 ODIs with the last one going to the one-over eliminator from where WI took the game. The 3 match T20 series ended in a draw after the first one was called off due to rain and SA won the second while WI took the third. It was Lizelle Lee who finished as the top run-scorer and Shabnim Ismail as the leading wicket-taker for the team in both formats this year. Lee recorded her highest individual ODI score (132*) and also finished as the leading WODI run-scorer for the year. Former SA captain Mignon du Preez showed her class in WBBL|07 aggregating 414 runs at 31.84 (4 50s), finishing as the highest run-scorer for Hobart Hurricanes and seventh in the overall runs tally.

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· The sensational Deandra Dottin is back:

 

The lady Chris Gayle as she is called, Deandra Dottin had a magnificent comeback this year. Lying with injury and disturbed mental health just two years back, the star all-rounder from West Indies was struggling for runs. However, 2021 brought her back to the big shots she is known for. Starting the year hosting Pakistan in June/July and then the Proteas in August/September for three T20Is and five ODIs, Dottin did take time to settle on the home ground, but it wasn’t the same away from home i.e., in Karachi last month. Smashing an unbelievable 132 which is the equal highest individual WODI score for 2021, the WI team and fans were overjoyed to see their power hitter back yet again. To add to their joy was the clean sweep victory for the visitors. Despite all the struggles, Dottin finished 2021 as the third-highest WODI run-scorer with 460 runs at 38.33 and also as the most runs getter (84) from the boundaries for the year.

As the successful year 2021 comes to end, we thank all the women’s cricket teams for giving us a great display of cricket with nail-biting thrillers and a lot of enjoyment. Also, we wish each of them Good Luck for the World Year 2022.

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