Records tumble in inaugural championship
60Pakistan sunk to the lowest score in Twenty20 internationals against England at Taunton. They were not expected to challenge the hosts, but had done a reasonably good job with the ball to restrict England to 123. However, they were shut out in their reply, as only two batsmen reached double-figures. Just three days earlier, they had been bowled out for 75 - now the third-lowest total - against India, while Sri Lanka had limped to 69 for 8 in England's previous game.
World champions England inflicted a ten-wicket defeat over India in the league stages of the competition at Taunton. It's the only instance of a ten-wicket win in a Twenty20 international in women's cricket. New Zealand beat Australia in the league stage by nine wickets, the second-highest margin of victory, but there have been two other instances of teams winning that heavily. At the other end of the scale was West Indies' three-run win over South Africa at Taunton, which is the third-lowest margin of victory in terms of runs.
The World Twenty20 witnessed three of the highest partnerships in the format. Beth Morgan and Player-of-the-Series Claire Taylor added an unbeaten 122 for England in their thrilling eight-wicket win in the last over of the semi-final against Australia at The Oval. The stand is the second-highest in Twenty20 cricket, only bettered by the unbeaten 147-run fourth-wicket stand between Karen Rolton and Kate Blackwell for Australia against England at Taunton in 2005. There were two other century stands in the tournament (there have been a total of five overall): Suzie Bates and Aimee Watkins put together an unfinished 118 in New Zealand's nine-wicket win over Australia, and Charlotte Edwards and Sarah Taylor added an unbeaten 113 in England's ten-wicket rout of India. The two partnerships are at No.3 and 4 in the current list of highest partnerships in women's Twenty20 cricket.
There have been a total of 70 sixes in Twenty20 internationals, of which 27 were struck in this World Twenty20. The average per match for this tournament was 1.8 sixes, marginally better than the 1.66 overall. New Zealand struck the most sixes in this competition, leading with eight, followed by Australia at six. Lucy Doolan and Aimee Watkins struck three each, while Charlotte Edwards chipped in with three for England. Amita Sharma struck a solitary six for India, while Pakistan managed none. New Zealand had four sixes in their innings against West Indies at Taunton, and Australia cleared the ropes as many times against South Africa. It's the second-highest number of sixes by a team in an innings, three behind West Indies' seven against Ireland in 2008.
Of the 29 half-centuries in women's Twenty20 internationals, Deandra Dottin's effort against Australia at Taunton is the quickest. She raced to her half-century off 22 balls, bettering Suzie Bates' fifty off 26 balls against South Africa at the same venue in 2007. There were 13 half-centuries in 15 games in this competition, an average of 0.87 per game, significantly better than the figure of 0.69 overall. Aimee Watkins top scored with an unbeaten 89 against India, which, for a while, was the highest score in both the men's and women's World Twenty20 competitions taking place simultaneously before Tillakaratne Dilshan's 96 not out against West Indies in the semi-final at The Oval. Watkins, Claire Taylor and West Indies opener Stafanie Taylor managed two fifties each in this tournament.
Like in the men's ICC World Twenty20, spinners proved more effective than pace bowlers. Pace bowlers bagged 85 wickets at an average of 23.75 and an economy rate of 6.11. Spinners captured 62 wickets at 21.24 and conceded fewer runs per over, going at a rate of 5.95. In the men's version, pace bowlers raked in 184 wickets at 25.68 at 7.97, while the performance of spinners was even better, with 114 wickets at 20.98 and a rate of 6.72 an over. There were three instances of bowlers taking four wickets or more in an innings, and spinners featured twice in the list. Shelley Nitschke, the left-arm spinner, took 4 for 21 against South Africa while Priyanka Roy, the India legspinner, bagged only the second five-wicket haul in women's Twenty20 internationals, taking 5 for 16 in India's five-wicket win over Pakistan.
Going against the general trend in women's Twenty20 cricket, the side batting first lost more games than it won. Of the 15 games in the competition, only six were won by the team batting first. Overall, however, the team batting first has won 23 of the 42 Twenty20 matches. Teams opted to bat after winning the toss on 11 occasions in the tournament, winning only five of those games.
The average runs-per-wicket in the World Twenty20 was only marginally better than the overall stats - 18.35 - for the format in women's cricket. Australia, England and New Zealand fared well, averaging well over 20. However, it was Pakistan (8.85) that did quite a bit of damage to the overall figures. They managed a highest score of 105 in the tournament, and were bowled out for 60 and 75 in their other two games - they lost all three. India, considered one of the elite teams in women's cricket, were disappointing, averaging just 14 per wicket, lower than West Indies and South Africa.
The highest score chased down in Twenty20 internationals. Australia would have been quite confident of defending the sixth-highest score in the format in women's cricket but were undone by a superb third-wicket stand between Claire Taylor and Beth Morgan at The Oval, which took England to the final. However, Australia did a better job of defending the highest score of the tournament while batting first - 164 - against South Africa in their league game in Taunton.
A run-rate of 3.45 is decent going for a minnow team in ODIs but is unacceptable in the Twenty20 format. When Sri Lanka crawled to 69 for 8 against England in Taunton, the second-lowest score in Twenty20 internationals, they also achieved the record of scoring at the slowest run-rate in a completed innings in the format. Pakistan, in their effort of 75 all out against India, achieved the lowest run-rate in a completed innings by a team batting first.
Siddhartha Talya is an editorial assistant at Cricinfo