Our Australian women’s cricket team (formerly known as the Southern Stars) were knocked out of the World Cup by India on Thursday.
They were on the receiving end of a Harmanpreet Kaur masterclass (171 not out from 115 balls) and couldn’t rein in the target of 282. Despite the semi-final disappointment, there were plenty of highlights for Australia throughout the tournament.
With the dust now settled, let’s take a look at how the squad fared with player ratings.
Nicole Bolton – 8.5
Runs: 351 Bat ave: 50.1 Wkts: 2 Bowl ave: 9 Econ: 6
The enduring image of the group stage was Bolton charging around and grinning from ear to ear. She averaged 50 with the bat and jagged a couple of wickets for good measure. She’s a bundle of energy and star performer at the top of the order.
Beth Mooney – 6.5
Runs: 232 Bat ave: 29
Mooney didn’t cash in as much as she should have on a few starts, but she formed a solid opening partnership with Bolton. Beth started brightly with 70 against the West Indies before tapering off, but she set the platform more often than not and was reliable in the outfield.
Meg Lanning – 8.5
Runs: 328 Bat ave: 82
Meg Lanning was Captain Courageous, even playing with one arm. That she missed any games at all gives a fair indication that her right shoulder was being held together with craft glue and sticky tape.
She thumped an unbeaten 152 against Sri Lanka but was clearly not her imperious self throughout the tournament – though it feels strange to say that about someone averaging 82. Lanning would have been bitterly disappointed with a duck in the ill-fated semi-final, and she missed a trick with some of her field placement while we’re being pedantic.
Ellyse Perry – 9
Runs: 404 Bat ave: 80.8 Wkts: 9 Bowl ave: 37.3 Econ: 4.6
Ellyse was a model of consistency with the bat and scored important runs, especially in Lanning’s absence. It’s tough to argue with five consecutive half-centuries, really, but she was a little hit and miss with the ball.
Her extra pace and lack of movement made for easy pickings at times, and she looked infinitely better when she leaves out the short stuff.
Elyse Villani – 6.5
Runs: 148 Bat ave: 29.6 Wkts: 5 Bowl ave: 27 Econ: 7.1
Villani was always looking to lift the tempo but missed out a few too many times to be batting at fifth. Her rapid 75 in the semi-final gave Australia a fighting chance and her 59 against Pakistan was also eye-catching. She’s very expensive as the go-to sixth bowler, but that blame falls largely on the captain.
Alex Blackwell – 8
Runs: 203 Bat ave: 50.8
Alex was solid with the bat until she positively exploded against India with 90 off 56 balls – it’s just a shame it had to be in a losing effort. The veteran was sharp in the inner circle, saving plenty of runs, and she must have lost some bark in the process, too, diving around on abrasive wicket squares all day. Cameras captured a lovely moment before the semi-final when Blackwell gifted a young boy the cap off her head after the anthems.
Alyssa Healy – 5.5
Runs: 98 Bat ave: 32.7 Cts: 6 St: 2
Healy would be the first to admit this wasn’t her best tournament with the gloves. She picked up only eight dismissals in as many games and grassed some regulation chances. She’s had limited opportunities with the bat, but a quickfire 63 not out against Pakistan showed a glimpse of what she’s about.
Ash Gardner – 7.5
Wkts: 8 Bowl ave: 37.1 Econ: 4
Ash Gardney is probably our most consistent with ball in hand. Her off-spin deserved a few more scalps, but she was let down by the field on occasion.
Gardney didn’t get to showcase her prodigious batting talent as she qas restricted to late innings cameos, but expect her to creep up the order in years to come. The raw numbers look understated, but her reputation is enhanced.
Jess Jonassen – 7
[Wkts: 9 Bowl ave: 30.7 Econ: 4.2
Jess started brilliantly in games against West Indies, New Zealand and Pakistan but couldn’t impact the big games as much as she might have hoped. She suffered along with the rest of our lower order batting from a lack of quality time in the middle. She patrolled the backward point region with aplomb on some pretty ropey surfaces.
Megan Schutt – 7
Wkts: 10 Bowl ave: 30.2 Econ: 4.7
Schutt picked up wickets in every game, zeroing in on off-stump with her persistent inswing. She needs a few tricks up the sleeve for her second spell but she’s got the tenacity to keep improving. Still, she’s one of our most effective bowlers – and she’s undroppable for her status as team joker if nothing else.
Kristen Beams – 8.5
Wkts: 12 Bowl ave: 22.2 Econ: 4.1
Beams was our top wicket-taker and a bright spark throughout. The nature of leg-spin dictates that you often gamble on leaking runs in pursuit of wickets; impressively Beams managed to keep things tight while also finding the breakthrough. She’s less of an asset in the field, but she’s crucial as the central prong in Australia’s spin trident between Gardner and Jonassen.
Rachel Haynes – 5
Runs: 28 Bat ave: 14 Wkts: 2 Bowl ave: 6 Econ: 6
Haynes was brought in as captain for the games Lanning missed, but she didn’t set the world alight and couldn’t force the selectors’ hand to maintain her. She brought herself on against South Africa and nabbed the key wicket of Laura Wolvaardt. Haynes at a minimum proved a calming influence on the squad.
Sarah Aley – 6.5
Wkts: 2 Bowl ave: 14.5 Econ: 2.9
Sarah Aley was a good news story for finally making her debut aged 33, but she was desperately unlucky to feature only once. Aley did all that was asked of her against Pakistan, with 2/29 from her 10 overs as well as 15 not out with the bat. Her experience and precision were missed during the losses to England and India when Australia were probably a bowler light.
Belinda Vakarewa – 4.5
Wkts: 0 Bowl ave: n/a Econ: 5.5
One game, four overs, no wickets, did not bat – a low key debut for the Sydney Thunder quick against Sri Lanka, but she’s definitely one for the future. Vakarewa bowled good channels at decent pace for no reward, and she has all the natural attributes to succeed, not to mention the fact she was lively in the field.
Amanda-Jade Wellington – 5
Wkts: 1 Bowl ave: 46 Econ: 4.6
Just the one match was on offer for the back-up leggie. She gets plenty of drift and dip, but she just didn’t land them well enough to displace Beams – but at 20 years old time is very much on her side. If she can maintain form and fitness, she’s first in line to replace Beams, who is 12 years her senior.
Roarers, what did you make of the Australian performance at the Women’s World Cup?