There was a massive build-up to the final of the 2020 edition of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup. Australia faced India at the MCG in front of a massive crowd. It was expected to be a cracking game but the pressure got to the Indian team as they crumbled under pressure. Australia lifted their fifth T20 World Cup title.
England and South Africa were the other semi-finalists. While the former were knocked out because of rain, South Africa crumbled in yet another knockout game. The likes of West Indies, Pakistan and New Zealand did play well and threatened to challenge the other four teams but fell short. In the end, Australia showed their dominance and defended their title yet again.
Thus, with the tournament coming to an end, here’s a look at the best XI from this 2020 edition of the Women’s T20 World Cup.
1. Shafali Verma
There was one constant question that went around, what were you doing when you were 16 years old? Shafali Verma was leading the charge with the bat for her country in the T20 World Cup at that age. She might’ve failed in the big final but she was outstanding throughout this tournament.
The 16-year-old Indian opener scored 163 runs at a strike-rate of 158.25 which is the best by any player in this tournament. She smoked nine sixes in this T20 World Cup which is the joint-most in this tournament. Verma was a star for the Indian team and was one of the reasons why India reached the final.
2. Alyssa Healy
There was a lot of talk about Alyssa Healy ahead of this T20 World Cup. She wasn’t in the best of forms and had registered a string of single-digit scores. However, she saved her best for the big tournament and was absolutely magnificent.
The Australian wicket-keeper batsman scored 236 runs at an average of 39.33. She had a strike-rate of 156.29 in this tournament. Moreover, she was the difference-maker in the final. Healy walked out and scored a fine 39-ball 75 which included seven fours and five sixes. Hence, with three fifties from six games, she makes it to the best XI as the second opener.
3. Beth Mooney
If it was Alyssa Healy doing all the hitting at one end, it was Beth Mooney calming things down at the other end. The formed a potent opening pair for Australia and one of the reasons why Australia went all the way in this T20 World Cup was the form of their two openers. Mooney was consistent throughout the tournament.
No other player scored more runs than Mooney in this T20 World Cup. The left-handed opener scored 259 runs at an average of 64.75 and had a strike-rate of 125.12. She had a poor start to the tournament but she picked up pace and was Australia’s best batter. However, with Shafali Verma and Alyssa Healy already in the side, Mooney is slotted in at No. 3 in this best XI for the T20 World Cup.
4. Nat Sciver
Heather Knight may have stolen the show with the bat with a couple of blazing knocks but it was Nat Sciver who displayed great consistency. The 27-year-old all-rounder was really the rock at No. 3 for England in this T20 World Cup. She may not have smashed it around but she got three fifties in four innings.
Sciver scored 202 runs at an average of 67.33 with a top score of 59 not out. Her lowest score was 36 with her three other scores being 50, 59 not out and 57. She even picked up two wickets in this tournament. Hence, she was England’s best player in this tournament and comfortably makes it to this XI.
5. Laura Wolvaardt
Not a lot of people would’ve noticed but Laura Wolvaardt was brilliant for South Africa in the middle order. She batted in just two games and returned with excellent numbers. She was never dismissed even once in this tournament but scored 94 runs. Every time South Africa were in trouble, Wolvaardt came to the rescue.
She stroked a fine unbeaten 53 off 36 balls against Pakistan where she took the Proteas from 54/3 to 136/6. In the semi-final, she was the only hope and she gave it her all as her unbeaten 41 went in vain. She was striking at 149.20 in this tournament which is one of the best in this T20 World Cup.
6. Shashikala Siriwardene
When you look at the Sri Lankan stats for this tournament, there is hardly any notable performances barring Shashikala Siriwardene who was very good with the ball. The 35-year-old all-rounder didn’t have the best of starts to the tournament as she went wicketless and was out for a duck.
However, she came back strongly, especially with the ball. She returned with figures of 2/20, 1/42 and 4/16 in the next three games to end the tournament with seven wickets. Siriwardene also announced her retirement ahead of Sri Lanka’s final group stage game against Bangladesh. She signed off in style as she picked up four wickets.
7. Hayley Jensen
While all the spotlight was on the likes of Sophie Devine, Amelia Kerr and others, Hayley Jensen was quietly going about her job. The seam-bowling all-rounder looked in very good rhythm throughout the tournament. She picked up seven wickets at an average of 10.42.
She had a couple of excellent games where she picked up three-fers. Jensen started the tournament with 3/16 against Sri Lanka and took 3/11 against Bangladesh to put in a couple of match-winning performances. She bowled an economical spell against India but struggled against the Aussies. However, overall, she had a good tournament.
8. Diana Baig
Pakistan didn’t have a great tournament and they were able to win just one game. There weren’t too many positives. But if there was one shining light then it was the bowling of Diana Baig. The 24-year-old pacer was consistent throughout this T20 World Cup and picked up at least one wicket every game.
Baig picked six wickets from four games at an average of 14.16. Moreover, she had an economy of 5.31. In fact, only in one game did she concede over 6 runs an over and that was against England. Hence, she is the only Pakistan player in this line-up.
9. Sophie Ecclestone
Sophie Ecclestone is only 20 years old and she’s already featured in 30 T20I games and 24 ODIs before this T20 World Cup started. She was leading the way for the England spinners and was one of the key members of the bowling attack. She even showed why she’s rated so highly.
The left-arm spinner was simply brilliant right through this tournament as she picked up eight wickets from four games. Ecclestone had a ridiculous economy of 3.23 and never conceded more than 20 runs in a single game in this tournament. She was one of the reasons for England’s success in this tournament. Ecclestone returned with figures of 2/19, 1/11, 2/12 and 3/7.
10. Megan Schutt
Megan Schutt was the leader of the Australian attack and she was simply brilliant throughout this tournament. She didn’t have the best of starts as she returned with figures of 0/35 against India but the way she came back and delivered was remarkable. She led the bowling attack beautifully.
Despite a disappointing first game, Schutt finished as the leading wicket-taker of this T20 World Cup. She had figures of 1/15, 3/21, 3/28, 2/17 and 4/18 since that game against India. Overall, the ace Australian women’s pacer took 13 wickets at an average of 10.30 and struck once every 10 deliveries. Hence, she was at the forefront of all the Australian wins and was a big reason for their success.
11. Poonam Yadav
If it was Shafali Verma with the bat, it was Poonam Yadav with the ball for India. The leg-spinner was one of the big shining lights from this T20 World Cup for the ‘Women in Blue’. Barring the final, she bamboozled almost every opposition she faced.
Yadav was out with an injury in the lead up to the World Cup but she returned with a bang as she picked up 4/19 in the opening game against Australia. The premier Indian spinner picked up 10 wickets at an average of 11.90. She had a strike-rate of 12.0 with the ball and an economy of 5.95. She was one of the standouts for India in this World Cup.
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