Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 11 July 2020 8.11 AM IST

Shafali Verma rises to top in ICC women’s T20 rankings


SYDNEY: Teenage Indian batting sensation Shafali Verma on Wednesday rose to the top spot in the ICC women’s T20 International rankings, riding on her stellar run at the ongoing World Cup here.

The 16-year-old Verma takes over from New Zealand’s Suzie Bates, who had been the top batter since October 2018 after wresting the spot from West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor.

However, Smriti Mandhana has slipped a couple of rungs to sixth in the latest list.

Verma and England spinner Sophie Ecclestone will go into the semifinals of the event as the top ranked batter and bowler respectively. India will take on England on Thursday.

Verma’s explosive batting at the top of the order saw her score 161 runs in four innings, including knocks of 47 and 46 against Sri Lanka and New Zealand. It helped her become only the second India batter after Mithali Raj to top the women’s T20I batting rankings, according to an ICC statement.

Ecclestone, who took eight wickets in four matches including a best of 3 for 7 against the West Indies, is the first England bowler to be number one since Anya Shrubsole in April 2016 and the first England spinner at the top since Danni Hazell in August 2015.

Among the Indian bowlers, Poonam Yadav is up four places to eighth after a good run in the World Cup.

Some valiant performances from Sri Lanka skipper Chamari Athapaththu have seen her move from 18th to 14th spot for batters.

England’s Nat Sciver is again in the top 10 and captain Heather Knight in the top 15 for the first time.

South Africa opener Laura Wolvaardt has advanced 23 places to 44th, while Pakistan’s Aliya Riaz has gained 24 places and is 48th while New Zealand’s Maddy Green is in the top 100 after advancing 28 slots.

In the bowlers’ list, leg-spinners Amelia Kerr of New Zealand (up two places to fourth) and Australia’s George Wareham (up nine places to 10th) have made significant gains in the latest rankings update.

Other bowlers to advance include new-ball bowler Diana Baig of Pakistan (up 34 places to 13th), Shashikala Siriwardena of Sri Lanka (up seven places to 14th), Anya Shrubsole of England (up five places to 17th), Dane van Niekerk of South Africa (up 12 places to joint-22nd) and Shikha Pandey of India (up 23 places to joint-22nd).

New Zealand captain Sophie Devine is now the sole No.1 all-rounder after coming into the tournament as a joint No.1 along with Australia all-rounder Ellyse Perry.

India’s Deepti Sharma has advanced nine places to seventh, the first time that she is among the top 10 in the all-rounders’ list after also moving up to 53rd among batters.

Australia remain at the top of the T20I team rankings with 290 points and England in second position with 278.

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