Smriti Mandhana, Ireland’s Gaby Lewis among nominees for ICC Women’s T20I Player of the Year

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Dubai: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday announced England cricketers Tammy Beaumont and Nat Sciver, Indian opener Smriti Mandhana and Ireland’s Gabby Lewis as the four nominees for the ICC Women’s T20I Player of the Year.

The ICC Awards 2021 will recognize outstanding achievements and exploits in cricket over the past year. In a year when India won only two out of nine T20 matches, Smriti Mandhana was one of their few bright spots.

He played a major role in the first of the two victories, chasing 113 runs in the final T20I against South Africa scoring 48 off just 28 balls. The win saved India from blushing, as they managed to avoid a sweep.

Mandhana was India’s top run-scorer in the T20I series against England with 119 runs, but she did not get enough support from the rest of the batsmen. She was India’s top scorer in both the matches India lost, including 70 off 51 balls which went in vain in the final T20I.

Mandhana scored her second T20I half-century of the year against Australia in the final match of the series, but India missed out on 14 runs.

Twenty-year-old Gaby Lewis, on the other hand, had a stellar 2021 run in the shortest format of the game, ending this year as the second highest run-scorer in T20Is.

He played a major role in two of Ireland’s series victories, winning the Player of the Match award twice in Ireland’s 3–1 series win over Scotland at home. In both the games, she scored 40+ but missed out on scoring half-centuries by a very small margin.

She eventually reached the milestone against the Netherlands, scoring her first T20I half-century of the year. 52* helped Ireland win the series with one game remaining.

She made history in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Europe Qualifier in August, becoming the first woman cricketer from Ireland to score a T20I century.

Tammy Beaumont was England’s highest run-scorer of the year in T20Is, and the third highest run-scorer in the world.

In a low-scoring series against New Zealand away from home, Beaumont was the top scorer and was awarded Player of the Series for 102 runs in three matches. His 53-ball 63 in the second match put England in a winning position after losing two wickets in the powerplay.

He scored a scintillating half-century against India, though it went in vain after a lower-order collapse.

Beaumont continued to play against New Zealand, this time to England for a limited overs tour. She once again finished as the highest run-scorer in the series with 113, including an impressive 97 in the opening game of the series.

Nate Sciver played a major role in all three of England’s series wins this year, finishing as their third highest run-scorer and wicket-taker in T20Is in 2021.

In the first T20I on the tour of New Zealand, Sciver struck two opening blows inside the powerplay, dismissing Sophie Devine and Amy Satterthwaite. Later, moving to No. 3, he batted and chased down a modest total of 97 to put England on the line.

In the second game, he helped clear the tail with two wickets in hand to reduce New Zealand to 123. He finished the series with five wickets, the joint highest with three other players.

When India toured, he produced the Player of the Match-winning performance in the first T20I, scoring a half-century and winning England by 18 runs. He played a crucial innings of 42 runs in the decider to help his team win the series 2-1.

First Published:December 31, 2021, 4:12 am

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