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ICC Women’s T20 World Cup: Trademark Shots And Deliveries

Cricketing skills when executed well or innovatively not only win matches, but leave behind a legacy.

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India captain Harmanpreet Kaur plays her trademark sweep shot.
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A revolution is on the horizon in women's cricket and it is called the Women's Premier League (WPL). Adding to the excitement around women’s cricket is the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, starting on February 10.

But women’s cricket itself is not new. In fact, the first women’s World Cup (1973) was played two years before the first men’s World Cup. Over the years, women have displayed some great skill with bat and ball. Here are some singular moments of brilliance.

Nat Sciver-Brunt (England) – ‘Natmeg’ vs New Zealand, 2017 Women’s World Cup

The prolific batswoman has a shot named after her called ‘Natmeg’. While batting against New Zealand’s Holly Huddleston, Sciver tapped a full-length delivery towards fine leg from between her legs, the way a footballer ‘nutmegs’ a defender. When asked about the improvisation after her team’s 75-run victory in the match, Sciver-Brunt said, “Basically, as my stance is quite wide, I get into a position where I can’t move my front foot again. If it is really full then all I can really do is hit it like an axe. Luckily, I hit it.”

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Shabnim Ismail (South Africa) – Caught & Bowled vs Pakistan, 2022 Women’s World Cup

Few bowlers in women’s cricket love bowling the bouncer as much as Shabnim Ismail. And she does it with aplomb. Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma can vouch for it. Nicknamed ‘The Demon’ for her raw pace and ferocity, Ismail pulled off one of the best caught and bowled dismissals ever against Pakistan at the 2022 World Cup. Keeping batter Diana Baig guessing, Ismail, on this occasion, bowled a slower delivery, which Baig tried to send over the boundary ropes, but could only manage a flick with the ball seemingly headed into a safe zone. The seamer made sure she covered the distance, and then latched on to the ball for a spectacular combination of bowling and fielding.

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Laura Wolvaardt (South Africa) – Cover Drive vs Australia, 2020 Women’s T20 World Cup Semi-Final

The debate as to which player has the best cover drive in cricket is never-ending, especially in men’s cricket. Australia’s Megan Schutt had a definitive answer when she replied on ICC Twitter post with a picture of South Africa batter Laura Wolvaardt. And why not? Wolvaardt’s cover drive against Australia in the 2020 Women’s T20 World Cup semi-final showed intent and was executed with panache. ICC, in fact, shared the video captioning it, ‘Is it possible to marry a cricket shot?’ as well as a tribute video ahead of the 2022 Women’s World Cup labeling Wolvaardt the ‘queen of cover drive’.

Amelia Kerr (New Zealand) – Googly vs England, 2018 New Zealand Women Tour of England, 1st ODI

Every time Amelia Kerr takes the pitch, she is determined to stay one step ahead of the batter. Her bowling variations help her do just that. As soon as the ball is handed to her, it makes the batter wonder if she is a leg-spinner or ‘googly bowler’, as Kerr’s childhood coach Ivan Tissera called her. Kerr is also known for her quick arm action, which enables her to bowl flat while managing to zip the ball in either direction. Her googly against England opener Amy Jones in a 2018 bilateral series spun so much that it not only missed the batter, but also the stumps. Lucky for Kerr, wicketkeeper Katey Martin stumped Jones.

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Harmanpreet Kaur – Sweep vs Australia, 2022 Women’s World Cup

Harmanpreet Kaur has an array of shots in her arsenal, but it’s when she whips out the sweep that opponents dread what’s coming. Australia, especially, are well aware of Kaur’s sweep, a series of which she unleashed during her 171* during the 2017 World Cup semi-final. The shot can often times feel undersold when pundits and fans attach the prefix ‘slog’. She disproved them by striking one of the finest sweep shots seen in cricket, this time against Alana King – perfectly dropping on to her back knee, head steady, and bat forming a full circle after connecting the ball sweetly midway.

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