The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday announced England cricketers Tammy Beaumont and Nat Sciver, Indian opener Smriti Mandhana and Ireland`s Gaby Lewis as the nominees for the ICC Women`s T20I Player of the Year.
In a year that saw India win only two of the nine T20Is, opening batter Smriti Mandhana was one of their few bright spots. She played a major role in the first of the two wins, smashing 48 off just 28 balls against South Africa, chasing 113 in the final T20I. The win saved India the blushes, as they managed to avoid the sweep.
Mandhana was India`s top run-scorer in the T20I series against England with 119 runs but didn`t find enough support from the rest of the batters. She was India`s top-scorer in both the matches that India lost, including a 51-ball 70 that went in vain in the final T20I.
Overall, Smriti scored 255 runs in nine matches at an average of 31.87 with two half-centuries.
Meanwhile, Ireland all-rounder Gaby Lewis also had a smashing 2021 in the shortest format of the game, finishing as the second-highest run-scorer in T20Is this year. She scored 325 runs at 40.62 in 10 T20Is with a strike rate of 128.45, with one century and a half-century.
Twenty-year-old Lewis played a major role in Ireland`s two series wins, bagging the Player of the Match award twice in Ireland`s 3-1 series win over Scotland at home. She scripted history at the ICC Women`s T20 World Cup Europe Qualifier in August, becoming the first female cricketer from Ireland to score a T20I hundred.
On the other hand, opener Tammy Beaumont was England`s highest run-getter in the year in T20Is and third-highest overall in the world. She scored 303 runs in nine matches at an average of 33.66 with three half-centuries.
In a low-scoring series against New Zealand away from home, Beaumont was the top scorer and was awarded the Player of the Series for 102 runs in three matches. Her 53-ball 63 in the second match put England in a winning position after they lost two wickets in the powerplay.
Another England cricketer Nat Sciver played a prominent role in all three of her team`s series wins this year, finishing as their third-highest run-getter and wicket-taker in T20Is in 2021.
In the first T20I on the tour of New Zealand, Sciver landed two early blows by dismissing Sophie Devine and Amy Satterthwaite inside the Powerplay. Later, walking in at No 3, she batted through and got England across the line while chasing a modest total of 97.
In the second game, she helped clean up the tail with two wickets to reduce New Zealand to 123. She finished the series with five wickets, the joint-highest with three other players.
She also produced a Player of the match-winning performance in the first T20I when India came touring, scoring a half-century and picking up a wicket in England`s 18-run win. She also played a crucial knock of 42 in the decider to help her side clinch the series 2-1.
Overall, Sciver scored 153 runs in nine matches at an average of 19.12 with one fifty; 10 wickets at an average of 20.20 and an economy rate of 6.51.
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