Austria v Germany: A lookback at the record-breaking series

Shajin Mohanan S
New Update
Janet Ronalds, Emma Bargna demolish Austria; Germany take 2-0 series lead

Germany players celebrate their win. © ICC/Twitter

Germany traveled to Austria for a five-match T20I series. Considering the low-key nature of the series, no one was talking about riding the momentum after the high of the T20 World Cup 2020 final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Yet the series generated a fair bit of curiosity since it was the first women's international tournament to be played under the new ICC protocols that came into place owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

High fives and hugs gave way to elbow bumps, while the fields surrounding the Seebarn Cricket Centre turned out to be the bio-secure environment in which the series was held. Once the matches began, we witnessed a lot of action on the field: record partnerships, centuries, five-wicket hauls, multiple hat-tricks, and much more.

Women’s CricZone looks at some of those major happenings.

German domination, Austria’s struggles

If the 5-0 scoreline wasn't enough proof of Germany's superiority, the margins of defeat painted a clearer picture of the one-sided nature of the series. Victories by 82 runs, 138 runs, 10 wickets, 137 runs, and 79 runs underlined Germany's sheer dominance. Austria's struggled were made clear by the fact that they failed to take a wicket in three matches and failed to bat out their quota of overs on three occasions as well. Both the batting and bowling charts were ruled by the Germans with only one Austria batter making the top five list. Germany scored 738 runs from their five innings losing only five wickets at 8.38 RPO, while Austria could only muster 301 runs at only 3.36 RPO from the five matches losing 47 wickets in the process.

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Open the batting, fill the boots

Christina Gough, Janet Ronalds, Anuradha Doddaballapur, Sharanya Sadarangani, and Anne Bierwisch all had one thing in common: they opened the batting for Germany at some point in the series, and it wasn’t because the visitors were in search of the right combination. The changes at the top of the order was more a case of, if you wanted to have an opportunity with the bat, you had to open. Each batter, ti seemed, wanted to outdo the other. Gough, Ronalds and Doddaballapur finished as the top three run-getters in the series.

The left-handed Gough scored a 62-ball 72 in the first match, before Ronalds bettered it with a century in the second. Doddaballapur and Sadarangani didn’t have much to do, but shared an unbroken opening partnership to take the team home in the third T20I, after which Gough blasted a century in the fourth match to join Ronalds as the country's second centurion. Unfortunately, Bierwisch was the only one German opener who failed to make a big impact with the bat.

Records galore

Germany's dominance was such, that it seemed they wrote and rewrote the record books until they ran out of pages! Ronalds became the first German to score a century in T20Is during the second match, before her partner Gough emulated her with a hundred in the fourth match. If that wasn't enough, the pair broke their own record for the highest partnership for Germany during the second game with their unbeaten 191-run stand. In match no. 4, they went one step better, sharing a 198-run stand. They thus created a new record for the highest T20I total without losing a wicket.

With the ball, 15-year-old Emma Bargna took Germany’s first-ever T20I five-wicket haul during the second match and her captain Doddaballapur became the first woman to take four wickets in four balls in T20Is during her spell in the fourth game. Doddaballapur’s figures 5 for 1 are the best by a captain in T20I cricket. Earlier, during the third match of the series Anne Bierwisch wrote her name in the record books as the first bowler to take a hat-trick for Germany. Unsurprisingly, Bargna, Doddaballapur, and Bierwisch topped the bowling charts.

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Austria’s captain cool

For Austria, the series was little more than a nightmare in which nothing went right for them. Skipper Andrea-Mae Zepeda looked their best player by a fair distance. The seam bowling allrounder managed to keep her calm while the rest of her team seemed to crumble under the pressure applied by Germany. She bowled some incisive deliveries while other bowlers missed their length, played a few attractive shots when she got the opportunity to bat and finished the series as the fourth-highest run-getter in the tournament. She was also Austria's best fielder through the series, often seen diving at the deep mid-wicket boundary to save as many runs as possible.

The most fascinating sight, however, was to see the medium-pacer wearing a cool shade while bowling. Although she had to ditch it in the fourth match thanks to the cloudy conditions, pace bowlers bowling with their shades on is something we can get behind.