Dubai, Feb 4 : Indian opener Shafali Verma and England spinner Sophie Ecclestone go into the semifinals of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 as the top ranked batswoman and bowler according to latest MRF Tyres ICC Women’s T20I Player Ranking. Verma’s explosive batting at the top of the order has seen her score 161 runs in four innings including knocks of 47 and 46 against Sri Lanka and New Zealand respectively, which helped her become only the second India batswoman after Mithali Raj to top the Women’s T20I batting rankings.
Verma, 16, takes over from New Zealand’s Suzie Bates, who had been the top batswoman since October 2018 after wresting the spot from West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor. Ecclestone, who has taken eight wickets in four matches including her personal best of three for seven against the West Indies, is the first England bowler to be number one since Anya Shrubsole in April 2016 and the first England spinner at the top since Danni Hazell in August 2015. Some fine performances across teams saw a number of batswomen and bowlers move up the rankings including those who could not make it to the knockout-stage of the 10-team tournament.
Some valiant performances from Sri Lanka skipper Chamari Athapaththu see her move from 18th to 14th spot among batswomen. England’s Nat Sciver is again in the top 10 and captain Heather Knight in the top 15 for the first time, South Africa opener Laura Wolvaardt has advanced 23 places to 44th, Pakistan’s Aliya Riaz has gained 24 places and is 48th while New Zealand’s Maddy Green is in the top 100 after advancing 28 slots. Among the bowlers’, leg-spinners Amelia Kerr of New Zealand (up two places to fourth), India’s Poonam Yadav (up four places to eighth) and Australia’s George Wareham (up nine places to 10th) have all made significant gains in the latest rankings update.
Other bowlers to advance include new-ball bowler Diana Baig of Pakistan (up 34 places to 13th), Shashikala Siriwardena of Sri Lanka (up seven places to 14th), Anya Shrubsole of England (up five places to 17th), Dane van Niekerk of South Africa (up 12 places to joint-22nd) and Shikha Pandey of India (up 23 places to joint-22nd). New Zealand captain Sophie Devine is now the sole number one all-rounder after coming into the tournament as a joint number one along with Australia all-rounder Ellyse Perry.
India’s Deepti Sharma has advanced nine places to seventh, the first time that she is among the top 10 in the all-rounders’ list after also moving up to 53rd among batswomen. Australia remain at the top of the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s T20I Team Rankings with 290 points and England in second position with 278. MRF Tyres ICC Women’s T20I Player Rankings (as of March 4 after the league phase of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020). (UNI)