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5 impressive players from the 2018 Women's World T20

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Harmanpreet_Kaur_India_Cricket_T20Awaiting the final of the 2018 Women's World T20, the feeling is that most of the tournament has gone as expected, barring a couple of surprises. Most recently in the semi-finals, both the unbeaten teams from the Groups, India and West Indies, were eliminated by England and Australia respectively.

South Africa Women were not good enough and got knocked out, unable to get past Windies and England. Bangladesh, who some hoped might give a scare or two to one of the established sides, having shown their superiority in winning the 2018 Women’s T20 Asia Cup, are also out.
 
But the strangest outcome of the 2018 Women's World T20 has been the poor form of the White Ferns. Apart from Suzie Bates, the performance of big names like Sophie Devine, Amy Satterthwaite and Amelia Kerr have been ordinary.

That said, who are the players who have done the most to drive their sides thus far?

India looked strong and seemed on course to reach the third final of a major ICC event in the last 2 years, before defeat in the semi-final to England, who beat them in the final of 2017 Women’s World Cup. England, contending without Katherine Brunt and Sarah Taylor, made headlines for their consistently outstanding bowling displays.

Australia are perennial favourites as excellence is a part of their cricketing DNA. Their rise hasn't been that surprising, though the loss to India in the group stage was. They bounced back well to achieve victory over the hosts, the West Indies, in the semi-final. The West Indies showed impressive consistency with both bat and ball, topping their group but losing out to the Aussies in the knockout game.

Ellyse Perry (Australia)

A smiling assassin who remorselessly eliminates opponents without compromise, there's never really a dull moment in Ellyse Perry's life.

Is there anything this Australian's dictionary can't do? After striking the only double-hundred in a Day-Nighter so far, she's been taking her game a few extra notches further skyward, given her economical figures in the ODIs in India. In the current tournament, with 4 unbeaten scores and 8 wickets so far, Perry is clearly the best all-rounder in the T20 bonanza.

In the semi-final against the West Indies, Ellyse Perry provided the key breakthrough with the early wicket of the dangerous Deandra Dottin, finishing with 2 wickets from 2 overs – one was a maiden and just 1 run was conceded in the other.

In Perry, Australia have a reliable batswoman who can be sent in at number three or keep the runs flowing in the lower order when the chips are down.

Harmanpreet Kaur (India)

Even before the team set foot in the Caribbean, the verdict, according to this fan, was that Smriti Mandhana would be the key batswoman for India. While Mandhana, despite being in good form, took three innings to score her maiden fifty in the Caribbean, Harman's knock of 103 off 51 balls catapulted the Women's World T20 to the attention of everyone.

Since then, Kaur, a thinking captain, has been providing the goods with the ball and scoring vital partnerships in the middle overs, often an underestimated skill in T20s.

Alyssa Healy (Australia)

Forget Meg Lanning's steely resolve, Ellyse Perry's all-round excellence and Megan Schutt's incisive medium pacers.

The key ingredient for Australian success, thus far, is their ace wicketkeeping-batswoman Alyssa Healy.

The right-hander, who had suffered an injury in the final group stage game against India, returned to face the Windies in the semi-final to continue her excellent run of form in T20s: 48, 56*, 53, and 46 in the semi-final victory.

None can deliver flying starts to Australia quite as well as Alyssa Healy.

Anya Shrubsole (England)

A bowler par excellence and someone who knows how to keep the runs in check. When Anya Shrubsole, arguably England’s most valuable bowler, is bowling to batswomen, there's a sort of a red-alert warning that you can almost see flashing beneath their helmets.

Her 81 T20 wickets have come from just 58 games. 7 of these 81 scalps have come from just 4 games in this World T20, including a priceless hat-trick that destroyed the Proteas Women and ensured they were knocked out of the tournament. For Anya had delivered a knockout punch.

A passionate cricketer, she and Nat Sciver form the sturdy spine of the modern English women's cricket: one that is dedicated to hard-fought, disciplined and economical bowling.

Deandra Dottin (West Indies)

Whether you’re a teammate playing in her side or an opponent, it’s hard not to dote on Deandra Dottin.

Cricket is in her DNA; it oozes from every pore. And this being of cricket is entrusted with one task and one alone- to uphold the might of her West Indies. Her wicket was a key moment in their semi-final loss to Australia.

Interestingly, while she is praised for smashing those muscular pulls and cuts à la Chris Gayle and DJ Bravo, it's her useful medium pacers that have made the biggest impact in the ongoing World T20.

The reliable Barbadian all-rounder has taken 10 wickets in the tournament, including her personal best of 5 for 5 in the hosts’ opening game against Bangladesh.

This is not to discount the effectiveness of her rasping cuts and meaty strikes with the bat, as seen in the useful 40s that she conjured up to win games against Sri Lanka and finalists England.



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