Australia return to the top of rankings

Defending champions Australia’s 2-1 victory over England in the Women’s Championship series has not only helped them garner four useful points but also regain the top spot in the Women’s Team Rankings.

Australia opened the series with a two-wicket win in Brisbane and increased the lead with a 75-run victory on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method in Coffs Harbour before England won the final match by 20 runs at the same venue, also by the DLS method.

England had displaced Australia from the top ranking for the first time after the annual update earlier this month, starting the series ahead on decimal points with both teams on 128 points. But Australia made the most of the home conditions to prevail despite the absence of first-choice captain and leading batter Meg Lanning, going up to 129 points and ensuring a two-point lead in the process.

Teams get two points for each win, one point for a tie or no-result and no points for a loss in the ICC Women’s Championship, which will see ICC Women’s World Cup 2021 hosts New Zealand and the three other top teams gain direct qualification to ICC’s pinnacle women’s 50-over event.

The remaining four sides will get a second chance through the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier event. India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the Windies are the other sides in the ICC Women’s Championship, which runs till 2020.

In the first series of the ICC Women’s Championship, the Windies completed a 3-0 triumph over Sri Lanka to notch a full six points and lead the points table, Pakistan go head to head with New Zealand from Tuesday, while South Africa will play at home against India from 5 to 10 February 2018.

Australia captain Rachael Haynes was happy to secure four points from the high-profile series but did not expect an easy road ahead, especially playing in India later in the championship.

Australia captain Rachael Haynes: It (the win) was obviously pretty important given that the points will contribute to qualifying for the World Cup. To come around, beat England, the World Cup champions 2-1 – we are very happy with that!

“India are obviously a really strong team, they played in the World Cup final. I think any team at home these days in international cricket is a bit of a challenge. No doubt, when we get to that series, it will be pretty tough.

“Our bowling has been really outstanding, they have responded really well. We’ve seen some really great partnerships with the bat, Nicole Bolton and Alyssa Healy coming together at the top have done a great job, so overall I think we are in a good place.”

England captain Heather Knight was happy to have salvaged a couple of points after losing the opening two games.

England captain Heather Knight: “Obviously it’s a start to get to the World Cup. The first two games we came away with nothing but to get two points on the board is lovely.

“There are lots of challenges in the ICC Women’s Championship – we have to play every team in a series and get enough points to qualify for the World Cup in New Zealand.

“There have been lots of learnings – we tried to wrest the momentum back, we got rid of those cobwebs. We managed to get over the line, there is relief I guess, that we have done that. There was a lot of pressure on us.”

“The first two games we came away with nothing but to get two points on the board is lovely.”

Meanwhile, in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s ODI Player Rankings, Lanning has dropped from first to fourth place after missing the series due to injury. India captain Mithali Raj has moved to number one position while Ellyse Perry of Australia and Amy Satterthwaite of New Zealand now occupy the next two places.

For Australia, opener Alyssa Healy’s 145 runs have lifted her from 44th to a career-best 28th position, captain Haynes has gained 26 places to reach 42nd place after scoring 128 runs in the series while pace bowler Megan Schutt has moved up 13 places to a career-best fourth position after finishing with 10 wickets in the series, including two four-wicket hauls.

England captain Knight has moved up two places to 12th place with an aggregate of 139 runs in the series, wicketkeeper-batter Sarah Taylor has moved up two places to 10th rank after scoring 129 runs while Tammy Beaumont has gained two places to reach a career-best 15th place.

Among their bowlers, Jenny Gunn’s seven wickets have lifted her one place to 19th position, Alex Hartley’s six scalps have seen her benefit by nine slots to reach a career-best 18th position while Anya Shrubsole has gained one slot to reach a career-best sixth position.

Scores in brief:

1st IWC ODI: Australia won by two wickets

England 228-9 in 50 overs (Lauren Winfield 48, Natalie Sciver 36, Sarah Taylor 34, Ashleigh Gardner 3-47).

Australia 231-8 in 49.1 overs (Alex Blackwell 67 not out, Elyse Villani 38, Rachael Haynes 30).

2nd IWC ODI: Australia won by 75 runs (DLS)

Australia 296-6 in 50 overs (Rachael Haynes 89 not out, Elyse Perry 67, Nicole Bolton 66, Alyssa Healy 56, Jenny Gunn 4-55).

England 209 all out in 42.2 overs (Katherine Brunt 52, Fran Wilson 37, Heather Knight 36, Megan Schutt 4-26).

3rd IWC ODI: England won by 20 runs

England 284-8 in 50 overs (Heather Knight 88, Tammy Beaumont 74, Sarah Taylor 69, Megan Schutt 4-44).

Australia 257-9 in 48 overs (Alyssa Healy 71, Nicole Bolton 62, Alex Blackwell 37, Alex Hartley 3-45).

ICC Women’s Team Rankings (as of 30 October 2017, after the Australia-England ODI series)

Rank   Team             Points

Australia               129
England                 127
New Zealand         118
India                       116
West Indies           103
South Africa            93
Pakistan                   72
Sri Lanka                 65
Bangladesh             37
Ireland                    30

(Developed by David Kendix)

MRF Tyres ICC Women’s Player Rankings (as of 30 October 2017, after the Australia-England ODI series)

BATTING (top 10)

Rank    ( /-)       Player             Team    Points  Avge   Highest Rating

1       ( 1)      Mithali Raj         Ind        753      51.58   839 v Aus at Baroda 2004

2       ( 1)      Ellyse Perry      Aus      725      50.27   749 v SA at Taunton 2017

3       ( 1)      A.Satterthwaite  NZ        720      38.63   756 v Aus at Bay Oval 2017

4       (-3)       Meg Lanning     Aus      718      54.52   834 v NZ at Bay Oval 2016

5       ( – )       Suzie Bates       NZ        703      42.43   775 v Aus at Bay Oval 2016

6       ( – )       H. Kaur              Ind       677      36.81   679 v SA at Bangalore 2014

7       ( – )       Alex Blackwell   Aus      672      36.00   694 v Eng at Brisbane – AB 2017

8       ( 1)      Lizelle Lee         SA        625      30.82   687 v Ind at Leicester 2017

9       (-1)       Natalie Sciver    Eng      609*     41.80   642 v NZ at Derby 2017

10       ( 2)      Sarah Taylor      Eng      604       40.70   803 v Aus at Chelmsford 2009

BOWLING (top 10)

Rank    ( /-)      Player              Team    Points  Avge    Eco.    Highest Rating

1       ( – )       M. Kapp           SA        656      24.92    3.64     689 v Ind at Potchefstroom (N 2017

2       ( – )       J. Goswami       Ind        652      21.95    3.24     796 v Eng at Chennai 2007

3       ( 1)      Stafanie Taylor  Win       626      18.94    3.15     768 v NZ at Kingston 2013

4       ( 13)     Megan Schutt    Aus      619*!    23.91   4.46     619 v Eng at New South Wales 2017

5       (-2)       Jess Jonassen  Aus      616       24.10   4.19     658 v SA at Taunton 2017

6       ( 1)      A. Shrubsole     Eng      595!     26.82   4.24     595 v Aus at New South Wales 2017

7       (-1)       A. Khaka           SA        578*!    29.95   3.95     578 v Eng at Bristol 2017

8       ( – )       D. van Niekerk  SA        573       17.66   3.52     591 v SL at Taunton 2017

9       ( – )       Shibnam Ismail  SA        565       20.27   3.61     641 v Eng at Johannesburg 2016

10       (-5)       Katherine Brunt  Eng      563       23.80   3.46     796 v Ind at Mumbai 2013

ALL-ROUNDERS (top five)

Rank    ( /-)      Player              Team    Points Highest Rating

1       ( – )       Ellyse Perry      Aus      405      446 v NZ at Bay Oval 2016

2       ( – )       S. Taylor           Win       377      559 v NZ at Kingston 2013

3       ( – )       D. van Niekerk  SA        281      298 v SL at Taunton 2017

4       ( – )       M. Kapp           SA        272      328 v Ire at Potchefstroom 2017

5       ( – )       A.Satterthwaite  NZ        266/*    294 v Win at Taunton 2017