South Africa’s Women On The ICC Rankings Rise

South Africa has moved to second place in the ICC Women’s Championship after defeating India 2-1 in the second round clash, which concluded in Bangalore on Friday.  The ICC Women’s Championship is a qualifying tournament for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 with the top four sides earning automatic qualification for the event to be staged in England.  South Africa claimed the first spoils in the three-ODI series when it defeated India by two wickets in a game, which saw Dane Van Niekerk and Marizanne Kapp claim four wickets apiece to dismiss the hosts for 114 in 38.5 overs.  Number-seven batter Chloe Tryon then scored 50 as South Africa recovered from 31/5 to achieve victory with two wickets and 8.5 overs to spare.

Jhulan Goswami led India’s fight back with three for 22, while Harmanpreet Kaur and Shubhlakshmi Sharma equally shared four wickets between them.  India bounced back in the second ODI to level the series with a six-wicket victory.  Tryon continued her fine run of form with the bat when she made 49 not out as South Africa scored 186/8 in 50 overs.  For India, Shikha Pandey (three for 19) and left-arm spinner Ekta Bisht (three for 28) shared wickets.

In turn, Pandey (59), Poonam Raut (47) and Kaur (42 not out) guided their side home with 32 balls and six wickets remaining.  In the series finale on Friday, South Africa bowled India out for 180 in 47.3 overs with Pandey finishing as the top scorer with 59.  For South Africa, Sunette Loubser (three for 28) and Marcia Letsoalo (three for 46) were the pick of bowlers.  In the run chase, Nadine Moodley (54) and skipper Mignon Du Preez (46) put on 108 runs for the third wicket to steer South Africa to victory with four wickets and 12 balls to spare.

As a consequence, in the latest Reliance ICC Women’s ODI Player Rankings for Batters, Harmanpreet Kaur has moved up two places to a career-high fifth position, while South Africa’s Du Preez has moved up two places to 18th.  However, the biggest movers were Chloe Tryon in 54th spot (up 60 places) and India’s Shikha Pandey 62nd position (up by 113 places).  Australia’s Meg Lanning has now become the number-one batter after India captain Mithali Raj dropped three places to fourth, following scores of four, six and 23.

In the Reliance ICC Women’s ODI Player Rankings for Bowlers, South Africa bowler Dane Van Niekerk has moved up seven places to a career-high eighth position, while Loubser has gained two places and is now in 11th spot, one ratings point behind team-mate and 10th ranked Shibnam Ismail, who has slipped three places.  Jhulan Goswami has cemented her third position and is now 17 ratings points adrift of England’s Jenny Gunn. India’s Bisht is another upward mover, nine places, to a career-high 27th place.  Stafanie Taylor of the West Indies leads the bowlers’ table.

Twenty-one-year-old Van Niekerk has moved up one place to a career-high number-four in the all-rounders’ rankings, 11 ratings points and one place behind her team-mate Kapp, while West Indies’ Stafanie Taylor continues to lead the way.  The ICC Women’s Championship is a qualifying tournament for the ICC Women’s World Cup with the top four sides progressing to the 2017 event to be staged in England.  The bottom four sides will get a final chance of qualification through the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier in 2017.

The tournament structure will see each team will play each other in one home or away series that will include three ODIs over a two and a half year period.  As such, each side is guaranteed at least 21 ODIs over the tournament period.  Pakistan will play host to Sri Lanka in the third series of the second round. T he series will take place in Sharjah in January. In the fourth and final series of the second round, fourth-placed England will travel to New Zealand in February with all three ODIs taking place in Mount Maunganui.