Matches (34)
IND v AUS (1)
Abu Dhabi T10 (6)
BAN v NZ (1)
Legends League (2)
IND v ENG (W-A) (1)
Hazare Trophy (18)
Sheffield Shield (3)
SA v WI (A tour) (1)
WBBL 2023 (1)

Lethal legbreaks, gunpowder batting and potent all-round ammo

A reward for consistency; an acknowledgement of explosiveness: ESPNcricinfo's team of the tournament for the third WBBL edition is underpinned by firepower and discipline

Geoff Lemon and Adam Collins
Ashleigh Gardner celebrates after Ellyse Perry hit the winning runs  •  Getty Images

Ashleigh Gardner celebrates after Ellyse Perry hit the winning runs  •  Getty Images

1. Alyssa Healy (wk, Sydney Sixers)
Clean contact, fearless approach. These two tenets mean that Healy's batting does not always come off, but when it does, her inside-out swagger over cover is spectacular. She had a quiet patch, but "pulled my finger out at the back end," in her own words, for a spectacular late century and 421 season runs at a strike rate of 137. If you didn't guess, she also spent a lot of time wearing the on-field commentary mic, with as much panache as when she kept wicket. Her mint glovework gets her that gig in this team.
2. Beth Mooney (Brisbane Heat)
A self-selection. Mooney smashed her runs faster than anyone in the competition, barring three tailenders who faced 21 balls between them. That rate was 144 per 100 balls while opening the batting, across a tally of 465 runs that left her fourth on the run-charts in the competition. If that weren't enough, she also kept wicket, carrying the Brisbane Heat so bodily that she might be the next Australian in line for shoulder surgery.
3. Ellyse Perry (capt, Sydney Sixers)
Striking at 98.57 normally wouldn't cut it for T20, but Perry churned out runs so consistently that she made her case regardless. With the fast scoring of Healy and Ashleigh Gardner around her at the Sixers, Perry could bat through each innings. She did so until she amassed 552 runs, within a whisker of Meg Lanning's record 560 set in WBBL's inaugural season. Her bowling wasn't great but neither was it much needed. Oh, and she captained the Sixers to the title, so she'll get the imaginary armband here as well.
4. Ashleigh Gardner (Sydney Sixers)
Like a Spanish sentence, Gardner was the exclamation mark at the beginning and the end of WBBL season three. Her 114 from 52 balls was a solid fuel-booster on the opening weekend, with the Sixers' 242 the highest team score in any Australian domestic T20. She bashed six sixes in the semi-final for her 72 from 45. Across the tournament, Gardner cleared the fence 21 times, about the same number as other teams managed collectively. And she did it with effortless style, between bowling handy offspin.
5. Elyse Villani (Perth Scorchers)
Best of T20 teams tend to be heavy on openers, given they get the best chance at big scores. But Villani's hitting could work down the order, and you can't argue with her 'Demolition Woman' season of 535 runs at a rate of 126. She didn't play her best game in the final, but the Scorchers wouldn't have got there without her five half-centuries, most of them big. She captained that side as well.
6. Amy Satterthwaite (Melbourne Renegades)
Named Player of the Tournament, Satterthwaite's main job ended up as a firefighter in the Melbourne Renegades middle order, with her recovery jobs including a final-ball six that put them into a Super Over against Melbourne Stars. Another captain to make our team, her 368 runs left her eighth on the total list, while the seven ahead of her each had several more innings. Her offbreaks also picked up 11 wickets at a creditable 6.5 runs an over.
7. Dane van Niekerk (Sydney Sixers)
We haven't seen legbreaks do this much damage since peak Jean Claude van Damme. The South African captain led the wickets tally for most of the season before leaving early for national duties, and racked up dismissals by giving the ball a rip and aiming at the stumps. It gained her 20 wickets in a dozen innings, an absurd strike rate of a wicket every 13 balls, and an economy rate of 5.57 per over. She also made useful runs. Her wickets tally was narrowly passed during finals, but Katherine Brunt and Sarah Aley had two and four more innings respectively.
8. Nicola Carey (Sydney Thunder)
Gave it her all, gave it a whack. This was Carey, a player whose small stature didn't stop her sending her seamers down at brisk pace, or smacking other people's to the fence even more briskly. Not really a six-hitter, Carey just timed the pants off her fours - of players who faced more than 50 balls, her batting strike rate of 126.27 was behind only Mooney, Gardner and Healy. And in her main pursuit of bowling, she was joint fourth on the wickets tally with 17.
9. Katherine Brunt (Perth Scorchers)
Remarkable, absurd, almost insulting figures from England's attack leader, whose pace and aggression didn't stop her being the league's second-most economical bowler. While conceding 4.83 runs per over, a number that should be illegal in T20 cricket, she shared top spot on the wicket-takers list with 23 scalps. The only shortfall was that she wasn't able to throw the bat as entertainingly as she has done before.
10. Sarah Aley (Sydney Sixers)
Evergreen, ever reliable, everlasting. Aley did the job all season once again with her frugal medium-pace, never more so than in the final when she destroyed the Scorchers with a spell of four wickets for one run. Her approach is simple and hard to hit, and earned her a share of top spot with Brunt, going at 6.13 an over. Her 58.5 overs were also the most bowled by anyone in the league. Further late-career Australian honours beckon.
11. Amanda-Jade Wellington (Adelaide Strikers)
If van Niekerk is a legspinner offering precision and control, Wellington brings fireworks. Both bring a sense of constant danger. Wellington's ability to extract turn, and willingness to throw the ball heavenward in seeking a mistake, made it must-watch viewing every time she was at the crease. She'll have better seasons, as there were games when she was finding her way, but 17 wickets still left her joint-fourth in the competition, and 6.53 runs per over made it a more than acceptable trade.
12. Suzie Bates (Adelaide Strikers)
The former Scorchers and current New Zealand captain moved to captain the Strikers, and led them out of the doldrums and into the knockouts for the first time. Bates held together their often-patchy batting while also taking a lot of responsibility in holding roles with her seamers. She didn't tear games apart, but if you want a cool head, a safe pair of hands, an athletic mover in the field, a couple of helpful overs, and stability with the bat, she's a good package to have in reserve.