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ESPNcricinfo Awards

ESPNcricinfo Awards 2022 Women's T20I batting nominees: McGrath helms record chase, Mandhana outdoes herself

Our nominees made big scores in record chases, raced to fastest fifties, and pulled off daring rescue acts

S Sudarshanan
S Sudarshanan
08-Mar-2023
Big TMac: Tahlia McGrath's 91 not out off 49 balls headlined Australia's record chase of 170 against England  •  Getty Images

Big TMac: Tahlia McGrath's 91 not out off 49 balls headlined Australia's record chase of 170 against England  •  Getty Images

Tahlia McGrath
91 not out vs England
first T20I, Adelaide

Australia were set 170 to win the opening T20I of the Women's Ashes and McGrath duly delivered. Fresh off her 3 for 26 that limited England's damage, she walked in early, in the fourth over, when Alyssa Healy was out. McGrath then plundered a 28-ball half-century, and never let the momentum slip, striking 13 fours and a six in her 49-ball knock as Australia achieved what was then their highest successful chase. In a game where Australia opted to bench Ellyse Perry, McGrath stepped up to show Perry was no longer quite irreplaceable.
Grace Harris
37 vs India
Commonwealth Games, Birmingham
Thanks to Renuka Singh's quickfire burst, Australia were reduced to 49 for 5 in less than eight overs in a chase of 155. Harris, batting in a T20I for the first time since 2016, joined Ashleigh Gardner in the middle for a rescue act like no other. She smacked 37 off 20 balls and added 51 off 34 with Gardner, putting the pressure back on India, who then wilted. Harris targeted left-arm spinners Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Radha Yadav, and when she was out in the 13th over, Australia were at a comfortable 100 for 6.
Smriti Mandhana
61 vs England
Commonwealth Games semi-final, Birmingham

Mandhana set the tone for India in their quest for a medal at their inaugural appearance at the Commonwealth Games. She was hitting the ball well throughout the competition, but took it up a notch in the semi-final. She thumped fast bowler Issy Wong over deep midwicket for a six early in her innings before going aerial over mid-on two balls later. She punished the experienced Katherine Brunt and the spinners, as she romped to a 23-ball half-century, the fastest for India in T20Is. Her knock helped India score 64 inside the powerplay.
Beth Mooney
89 not out vs India
first T20I, Navi Mumbai

Mooney had been unwell ever since Australia got to India for their five-match series and had only made it to the nets once before the first game. On the night, though, she led Australia's 173-run chase in a steady innings, playing second fiddle first to Alyssa Healy in a 73-run stand, and then to Tahlia McGrath, with whom she added the remaining 100, helping Australia to their highest successful chase in T20Is. Her 57-ball knock contained 16 fours and saw her side home with 11 balls to spare.
Ellyse Perry
72 not out vs India
fourth T20I, Mumbai
Perry announced her intent by slinking down the track and smashing Radha Yadav over long-on for a first-ball six. And then there was no looking back. She regularly found the fence against spin and peppered the square boundaries against seam, scoring her second successive fifty of the tour. Her partnerships of 94 and 48 with Ashleigh Gardner and Grace Harris respectively helped Australia score 115 in their last nine overs, which eventually proved just enough.

S Sudarshanan is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo