It is believed that the shorter the game, the more batter-friendly it is. Thus, it was thought that white-ball cricket would sound the death knell for red-ball cricket as well as bowlers. Though over the years Tests have disappeared from the women’s game – they are only restricted to the Ashes – T20Is were to be the end of road for the spinners. However, there are so many who have proved the old concerns futile.
And there are those, who began their white-ball careers at the highest level with a bang! This week, Women’s CricZone looks at those bowlers, who picked up five or more wickets on their ODI or T20I debuts.
Tina Macpherson (Australia)
12-7-14-5 vs Young England, 1973
It was the first women’s ODI, the second match of the World Cup in 1973 – the first game was washed off. Young England had opted to bat first at Dean Park in Bournemouth. Little did they know about what was to come. Tina Macpherson opened the bowling for Australia and put the hosts under pressure. The right-arm seamer ran through Young England’s line up, picking up two of the first three wickets to fall. Young England could never recover from the rampage and ended up being dismissed for 57. Macpherson picked up five wickets, becoming the first ODI player to do so. Australia then romped home to a seven-wicket win.
Glenys Page (New Zealand)
6.2-0-20-6 vs Trinidad & Tobago, 1973
In the fourth match of the Women’s World Cup in 1973, New Zealand were facing Trinidad and Tobago in their first ODI. After being put in to bat, the Kiwis were bowled out for 197 – almost playing out the entire quota of 60 overs – with Lynda Prichard top-scoring with 70. However, Trinidad and Tobago couldn’t even get to her score as they were bowled out for 61, thanks to Glenys Page’s spell.
Page was the fifth bowler used by New Zealand, but she stifled the opposition and helped her team to comfortable win. The left-arm orthodox bowler earned four of her wickets by bowling out the batters, while the other two victims were stumped by wicket-keeper Bev Brentnall. Incidentally, it still is the second-best bowling performance by a Kiwi bowler in ODIs.
Purnima Choudhary (India)
8-0-21-5 vs West Indies, 1997
India were put in to bat in their World Cup clash against West Indies in 1997. Thanks to a 68-run fifth wicket stand between Anju Jain (42) and Smitha Harikrishna (34), India recovered from 49 for 4 to post 145 for 7 in their 40 overs, after rain delayed the start.
Purnima Chaudhary took the new ball and immediately made and impact. She dismissed both the openers Marlene Needham and Roselyn Emannuel to peg West Indies back. She had the middle order in check as well and hastened the end as she trapped Ann Browne in front to complete her five-wicket haul. These are still the best figures on debut by an Indian in ODIs.
Laura Harper (England)
8.4-2-12-5 vs Netherlands, 1999
It’s a tendency of humans to save the best for the last. England, perhaps, did just that in 1999 against Netherlands, who were batting first. Laura Harper, the off-spinner, was the sixth (and the last) bowler introduced into the attack by captain Ella Donnison. There were nine debutants for them including Donnison and Harper.
With Netherlands placed comfortably at 52 for 3, Harper’s bowling seemed to set the cat amongst the pigeons, as they were eventually bowled out for a mere 92. The off-spinner ended up picked up five wickets, giving little away. The run-chase was a stroll in the park for England.
Felicity Leydon-Davis (New Zealand)
8.2-1-18-5 vs West Indies, 2014
It was the final ODI of the series and New Zealand were already 2-0 up. They opted to bat first at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln. A steady batting performance throughout and a half century by Rachel Priest saw them post 221 for 8.
West Indies began cautiously and were careful not to lose early wickets. That is till Felicity Leydon-Davis was given the ball. The right-arm seamer started West Indies’ slide by first dismissing Natasha McLean and then sending back Shemaine Campbelle a couple of balls later. Merissa Aguilleira was the next to fall, before Leydon-Davis dismissed Vanessa Watts and Tremayne Smartt to finish her fifer. West Indies were bowled out for 114.
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Botsogo Mpedi (Botswana)
2.3-1-8-6 vs Lesotho, 2018
The ICC had given international status to all associate members nations in April 2018, meaning the T20s played between those teams would be recognised as international games. Botswana and Lesotho were playing their first T20I in Gaborne. Put in to bat, Botswana rode on an unbeaten 64-run stand between Thandiwe Legabile (42 n.o.) and Goabilwe Matome (32 n.o.) to post a strong 164 for 4.
Lesotho’s start was a bad one as they lost their first three wickets inside ten runs. It only got worse with the introduction of Botsogo Mpedi. The right-arm seamer picked up a hat-trick and ran through the opposition’s batting, dismissing them for 40. She picked six of the last seven wickets to fall, with the remaining one being a run out. She finished with outstanding figures of 6 for 8, which was the best in T20Is before it was twice eclipsed in 2019.
Anjali Chand (Nepal)
2.1-2-0-6 vs Maldives, 2019
In the South Asian Games in Pokhara, Maldives were making their debut. They had opted to bat first in their first match against Nepal. Maldives had a poor start as they lost four wickets inside the powerplay. Anjali Chand, who was making her debut, was then brought into the attack. She continued to peg the Maldives batters back, picking up three wickets in her very first over. In her next over, she then sent back Eashal Ibrahim and Kinaanath Ismail back off consecutive balls and then cleaned up Shamma Ali to complete her hat-trick. Maldives were bowled out for just 16. Chand’s 6 for 0 are the best figures in T20Is.
Agung Lakshmi (Indonesia)
3-0-5-5 vs Philippines, 2019
With the tag of international status in the bag, Indonesia toured Philippines towards the end of December for a four-match T20I series. The hosts were batting first and had lost their top three for just seven runs when Agung Lakshmi came to bowl. She continued to pile misery on Philippines as she struck with her third ball. The seamer never let the batters settle and Philippines were bowled out for just 15 in 11 overs. Lakshmi ended up with five wickets for just five runs.
Other lists can be accessed here.