Alyssa Healy, Sana Mir, Smriti Mandhana, Tammy Beaumont, Megan Schutt. ©ICC

There were many players who put on memorable performances in 2018; from Meg Lanning’s seamless return to international cricket to Amelia Kerr’s record-shattering 232*.

Women’s CricZone looks back at five players who stood out for both their entertainment value and consistency.

Smriti Mandhana in action. ©ICC

Smriti Mandhana in action. ©ICC

Smriti Mandhana

ODI Innings: 12; Runs: 669; Best: 135

T20 Innings: 20; Runs: 591; Best: 83

After stellar performances in South Africa and then against Australia and England at home, Mandhana showed why she is arguably one of the best openers in women’s cricket currently. Her consistent performances throughout the year made her a threat.

During the year, she also scored her maiden T20 ton for Western Storm, in the KSL and finished as the third-highest run-scorer in the World T20.

She caps off her year in fitting fashion, being named in both ICC’s ODI and T20 Teams of the Year, and also as ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year and also winning the Rachel Heyhoe-Flint Award for ICC Player of the Year.

Tammy Beaumont hit consecutive centuries to take her side home. ©England Cricket

Tammy Beaumont hit consecutive centuries to take her side home. ©England Cricket

Tammy Beaumont

ODI Innings: 09; Runs: 452; Best: 105

T20 Innings: 15; Runs: 430; Best: 116

Though she misfired in the World T20, Beaumont had a memorable year. Not only did she score her maiden T20 century against South Africa, coming off 47 balls, it was her third consecutive century across both formats. Her T20 century, which fell just 10 runs short of becoming the highest individual T20 score, also led England to post the record T20 total in women’s cricket; a mammoth 250-3.

Beaumont experienced a purple patch in her career during South Africa and New Zealand’s tour of England. She followed the 212 runs she scored in three ODI’s against South Africa with a further 160 runs in three matches. Beaumont’s ominous ODI form was recognized, with her being named in ICC’s ODI Team of the Year.

Alyssa Healy in action. ©ICC

Alyssa Healy in action. ©ICC

Alyssa Healy

ODI Innings: 06; Runs: 329; Best 133

T20 Innings: 16; Runs: 578; Best: 67*

Healy has just been named the ICC T20 Player of the Year, but it was not only in the shortest format of the game that the wicketkeeper-batter excelled. As shown by the fact that she was one of the few named in both, ICC T20 and ODI Teams of the Year.  Healy scored her maiden ODI ton during Australia’s tour of India, amassing 133 runs. She then repeated her destructive performance against Pakistan, where she scored 97 in the third match. She scored 329 runs across six ODI’s, which is impressive enough, but her performance in the shorter format far exceeded her heroics in the longer one.

After a disappointing start to T20’s in 2018, where she could only score 83 runs in five innings during a tri-series featuring India and England, Healy bounced back against New Zealand and Pakistan. This form led into the World T20, where she finished as the highest run scorer and was named Player of the Tournament. During this time, Healy scored three consecutive half-centuries.

Sana Mir secures the top spot in ODI Bowling Ranking. ©ICC

Sana Mir in action. ©ICC

Sana Mir

ODI’s: 07; Wickets: 19; Best; 4-27

T20’s: 18; Wickets: 13; Best: 2-7

Mir made waves throughout Pakistan and brought women’s cricket to the forefront there when she became the top-ranked ODI bowler in the ICC Rankings. Although she has been playing for almost a decade not, Mir remains one of the most threatening bowlers in women’s cricket, especially in the longer format. She has an unparalleled knack for taking wickets at the most crucial moments of a game, and did so throughout the year, following which her performances were acknowledged as she was named in ICC ODI Team of the Year.

Though she was not as effective in the World T20 as she would have liked to have been, Mir bowled two very economical spells. These came against Ireland and India. Against Ireland, she took 2-20, while against India, she remained wicket-less, but gave just 22 runs. She remains an economical bowler in the T20 format. A fitting example of this would be in the Asia Cup match against Malaysia, where, though she took only one wicket, she gave just two runs off her three overs.

Megan Schutt in action. ©Pakistan Cricket

Megan Schutt in action. ©Pakistan Cricket

Megan Schutt

ODI’s: 05; Wickets: 09; Best: 3-17 (4 maidens)

T20’s: 17; Wickets: 28; Best: 3-12

Schutt’s 2018 got off to the perfect start in India. Though she bowled economically in the ODI leg of the tour, and took four wickets across three matches, it was during the tri-series that Schutt shone. She became the first Australian woman to claim a T20 hat-trick when she dismantled India’s top order, to finish with match figures of 3-31. Her wicket-taking ways continued through a series where batters dominated. So impressive was she with the ball, that after Australia won, Schutt was named Player of the Series for taking nine wickets, across five matches, with an economy of just 6.37.

Schutt’s form continued against New Zealand and Pakistan. Her ODI best figure of the year, 3-17, come against Pakistan, when she bowled 7.4 overs, of which four were maidens! This form carried into the T20’s against Pakistan- where she took five wickets across three matches- and from there, to the World T20. She was the leading wicket-taker of the competition, with six scalps to her name, at a strike-rate of 13.00.

Schutt’s year comes to fitting close with her being named in ICC’s T20 Team of the Year.

Leave a Reply