Shafali Verma regains top spot in ICC Women’s T20I Rankings

Shafali Verma had grabbed the top position in the last year ICC Women’s T20 World Cup

India opener Shafali Verma is back at the top of the ICC Women’s T20I Player Rankings after a fine show in the first two matches of the ongoing three-match series against South Africa in Lucknow.

The 17-year-old big-hitter, who had grabbed the top position for the first time after helping her side reach the knockout phase of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup last year in Australia, has leapfrogged Australia’s Beth Mooney with scores of 23 and 47. South Africa opener Lizelle Lee is another one to gain in the T20I rankings even though the big-hitting opener lost her top spot in the ODI rankings within a week of replacing England’s Tammy Beaumont. Lee has gained three slots to reach 11th position among T20I batters after a match-winning 70 helped South Africa to a winning 2-0 lead.

Laura Wolvaardt has risen five places to 24th after guiding her team to victory with an unbeaten 53 in the second match while captain Sune Luus (up five places to 38th) and Nadine de Klerk (up three places to 74th) are the other South Africans to advance in the batting list.

De Klerk, who bowls medium pace, has also moved up five places to 68th among bowlers while seamer Ayabonga Khaka (up two places to 35th) and left-arm spinner Nonkululek Mlaba (up 14 places to 75th) have also progressed in the latest weekly update to the women’s rankings, carried out on Tuesdays.

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For India, Deepti Sharma has moved up four places to 40th and teenager Richa Ghosh has rocketed 59 places to 85th among batters while young all-rounder Harleen Deol has progressed in both lists, up 262 places to 99th among batters and up 76 places to 146th among bowlers. Left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad has advanced from 34th to 25th.

There have also been some notable changes in the ICC Women’s ODI Player Rankings apart from Lee’s second short tenure at number one after her three days at the top in June 2018.

In the update to the longer format, which considered performances in the last match of the preceding ODI series between the two sides, Marizanne Kapp has moved from fourth to second among bowlers and overtaken West Indies’ Stafanie Taylor to second in the list of all-rounders led by Elysse Perry of Australia.

Mignon du Preez has gained four slots to reach the 16th position after her knock of 57 while Anne Bosch has progressed in both the batting and bowling lists. She has gained 58 slots to reach 70th among batters and five places to 85th among bowlers. Tumi Sukhukhune has advanced eight places and is 37th.

For India, captain Mithali Raj, a formerly top-ranked batter, has moved up one place to eighth after an unbeaten 79 while Priya Punia has moved up to five places to 53rd. Gayakwad is up eight places to 38th among bowlers. The 4-1 series win sees South Africa overtake England to the second position in the ICC Women’s ODI Team Rankings while India remains fourth. 

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