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2022 in Review

2022 in review: Wisden’s top five women’s ODI spells of the year

2022 In Review: Wisden's Top Five Women's ODI Spells Of The Year
by Katya Witney 4 minute read

A panel of Wisden.com writers look back at the year gone by and pick the best women’s ODI spells of 2022.

It was a big year in women’s ODIs with a World Cup in March providing three of the top-five entries on this list. With Australia victorious in the tournament, the rest of the year provided some excellent bilateral action, as T20Is came to the fore in preparation for this year’s T20 World Cup.

2022 in Review: Wisden’s women’s odI spells of 2022 – Nos.5-1

No.5: Alana King

10-0-59-3 v England
March 5


In an emotional first outing for Australia after the death of Shane Warne, another leg-spinner put on a show against England. Alana King’s figures of 3-59 might not look as impressive on paper as others, but the importance of the wickets she took makes hers a brilliant bowling display on a rare occasion where Australia were pushed close to a defeat. After England had been set 311 to win, Nat Sciver scored an aggressive century which was well supported by Tammy Beaumont and Heather Knight, to give England a realistic chance of a win. Brought into the attack halfway through the innings, King dismissed Beaumont for 74 in her second over, producing the poignant dismissal record; stumped Healy bowled A King 24 hours after Warne’s death. After the wicket, King motioned to the two black armbands she wore for the death of her idol, and Rod Marsh. She went on to get rid of Amy Jones in her next over before effectively sealing the game by bowling the dangerous Sophia Dunkley. Having only made her international debut two months earlier in the Ashes, it was a fabulous display of leg-spin bowling at an important time for Australian cricket.

READ: Wisden’s men’s ODI spell of 2022

No.4: Kate Cross

10-2-26-4 v India
September 24

In a match remembered more for its controversial ending, Kate Cross put on a new ball masterclass at Lord’s. Having already beaten Shafali Verma once in her first over, Cross struck with her fifth ball which snaked in between Verma’s bat and pad and hit middle and off. Another wicket with the first ball of her next over gave her two before she’d conceded a single run, Yastika Bhatia this time missing a full delivery and hearing her stumps clatter behind her. After putting Harmanpreet Kaur down off her own bowling, Cross dismissed her lbw soon after – the first time she had been out in the series. Smriti Mandhana then hit a leg-side long-hop from Cross straight to the fielder for her final wicket. Despite England going on to lose the match, Cross’s use of the Lord’s slope from the pavilion end was exemplary.

No.3: Marizanne Kapp

10-1-45-5 v England
Mount Maunganui
March 14

Marizanne Kapp’s first international five-for gave South Africa their first win over England in a World Cup in more than two decades, subjecting England to a third straight defeat in the tournament in the process. After dismissing Danni Wyatt and bowling Knight to leave England 19-2 inside the first six overs, Kapp went on to inflict the crucial run out of Amy Jones for 53 with England having recovered to 167-4. Coming back on to bowl, she dismissed both Katherine Brunt and Sophia Dunkley to break the back of England’s lower-order resistance. She finished with the best figures of any South African in a women’s World Cup.

No.2: Shabnim Ismail

8.5-4-8-5 v Ireland
June 17

South Africa rattled through Ireland to bowl them out for 89 in June, with Shabnim Ismail the star of the show taking startling figures of 5-8. Having opened her account in the first over by with Gaby Lewis dismissed caught behind, she struck again two balls later to get the wicket of Rachel Delany. After just one run came off her second over, she dismissed Leah Paul and Shauna Kavanah in consecutive overs to leave Ireland reeling at 8-4. Ismail closed out the innings by taking the final wicket, bowling Cara Murray. The blistering spell took her past 300 international wickets, only the fifth female bowler to do so and the first South African.

No.1: Sophie Ecclestone

8-0-36-6 v South Africa
Christchurch, 2022 World Cup semi-final
March 31

Coming in at the top is Sophie Ecclestone’s memorable first international five-for in the World Cup semi-final. Having been beaten in their first three matches, England recovered well to get to the knockout stages where they faced South Africa, who had previously beaten them in the tournament. With South Africa chasing a big score, England’s seamers did the damage first up, reducing them to 68-4 before Ecclestone sealed England’s place in the final. Starting with three wickets in consecutive overs as she got rid of Kapp, Chloe Tryon and Mignon du Preez, a fiery exchange with Ismail preceded her fourth. As she celebrated getting the wicket of the South Africa quick, she gestured to Ismail with a finger over her lips as she walked off the pitch, before finishing the game with two wickets in the 38th over. It’s a credit to Ecclestone’s consistency that her first five-for felt like it should have been one of many before it, and it completed a remarkable turnaround for England, reaching the final after their torrid start to the tournament.

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