ESPNcricinfo Awards

ESPNcricinfo Awards 2017 Women's bowling nominees: four for none, and other stories

There were some special World Cup performances from our women's bowling nominees

Annesha Ghosh
Annesha Ghosh
15-Jan-2018
Ekta Bisht made a target of 170 look nearly ungettable, spinning Pakistan out with more than ten overs to spare  •  ICC

Ekta Bisht made a target of 170 look nearly ungettable, spinning Pakistan out with more than ten overs to spare  •  ICC

Click here for the women's batting shortlist
Holly Huddleston
5 for 35 vs Sri Lanka
World Cup, Bristol

Despite not having played for her country between September 2014 and October 2016, Huddleston was able to rely on her prior international experience. She deftly used the crease, angles and subtle variations in pace to get her third five-for in ODIs and restrict Sri Lanka to 188 for 9. She got all five in her seven-over second spell. Having denied opener Chamari Polgampola a half-century, Huddleston proceeded to demolish Sri Lanka's lower middle order. New Zealand won the match by nine wickets with 12 overs to spare.
Ekta Bisht
5 for 18 vs Pakistan
World Cup, Derby

An inspired performance by the Pakistan bowling and fielding units restricted India to 169 for 9, but Bisht's second successive five-for against Pakistan (her career-best figures of 5 for 8 had toppled Pakistan for 67 in the World Cup Qualifiers in February) set up India's 95-run win. In Derby, Bisht started off with a wicket maiden and ended her first spell with figures of 4-1-4-3, and Pakistan at 15 for 4. In her second spell she took a double-wicket maiden, removing Nashra Sandhu and Diana Baig off consecutive deliveries. Pakistan folded for 71, with only two of their batsmen hitting double digits.
Dane van Niekerk
4 for 0 vs West Indies
World Cup, Leicester

Having made it to the World Cup through the Qualifiers, perilously averting an upset by Pakistan in the tournament opener, South Africa showed their steel in a ten-wicket rout of West Indies. Van Niekerk's record haul eclipsed a swing-and-pace-bowling masterclass by Shabnim Ismail and Marizanne Kapp, which had left West Indies five down for 16 inside eight overs. Having brought herself on as the first slow-bowling change, in the 20th over, van Niekerk, a legspinner, flattened Merissa Aguilleira's leg stump, elicited a top-edge off Shanel Daley, had Chedean Nation caught at short midwicket, and trapped Qiana Joseph lbw in the space of 20 deliveries to skittle West Indies out for 48, their second-lowest ODI score.
Rajeshwari Gayakwad
5 for 15 vs New Zealand
World Cup, Derby

Brought in to replace fellow left-arm spinner Ekta Bisht in the virtual quarter-final against New Zealand, Gayakwad, who had been warming the bench in the six preceding games in the tournament, commemorated her World Cup debut with a career-best 5 for 15. After the heroics of their batsmen and a sweltering new-ball spell from the quicks had done half the job for India, Gayakwad conceded eight for none off her first 18 deliveries and then had Amy Satterthwaite stumped off a doosra. Four more overs were all Gayakwad required thereafter to nip out as many wickets, including that of the swashbuckling Sophie Devine. Gayakwad's maiden five-wicket haul gave India a 186-run win.
Anya Shrubsole
6 for 46 vs India
World Cup final, Lord's

Chasing 229 - and their maiden World Cup title - India were 38 runs from cricketing immortality when Shrubsole's last 19 deliveries changed the story completely. She trapped the set batsman, Punam Raut, lbw for 86, got Veda Krishnamurthy to play a needless cross-batted slog, penetrated Jhulan Goswami's defences, had Deepti Sharma pick out midwicket, and watched - with zen-like calm - Jenny Gunn drop a sitter at mid-off, before knocking Rajeshwari Gayakwad's off stump back to script the best World Cup bowling figures for England and a most miraculous come-from-behind title win at a near-sellout Lord's.
Click here for the women's batting shortlist

Annesha Ghosh is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo