Mithali Raj, Marizanne Kapp move into top three

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There was a lot of movement in the ranking tables at the end of the Sri Lanka v India and Windies v South Africa one-day international series.

The Asian teams met in Galle and Katunayake, where India beat hosts Sri Lanka 2-1, while in Bridgetown, the series between the Windies and South Africa ended 1-1.

That left the ICC Women’s Championship table looking interesting, with the top three of New Zealand, Australia and England staying where they were, and the sequence below them reading 4. The Windies, 5. Pakistan, 6. India, 7. South Africa, and 8. Sri Lanka. All teams bar Australia and Pakistan, who have played six matches each and will meet in Kuala Lumpur next month, have played nine games so far.

ndia had won the series against Sri Lanka after winning the first two games, but the third one witnessed a fantastic contest, between the teams, of course, but also between Mithali Raj and Chamari Athapaththu, the two captains.

Raj first hit 125* to take India to 253/5, before Athapaththu’s 115 helped Sri Lanka seal a win in the final over. Raj, who had also scored 52 in the previous game, moved up four spots to No.3 in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s ODI Player Rankings for batters, while Athapathu rose 11 places to No.10 with a career-high 628 points.

Smriti Mandhana, who scored 73* and 51 in the first and third games, held on to her place at No.4, but Harmanpreet Kaur, who had a poor series with scores of 7 and 17 in the two games she batted, slipped four places down to No.17 in the list headed by the Australian duo of Ellyse Perry and Meg Lanning.

That series got over on 16 September, the same day the series in Bridgetown took off.

South Africa won the first game by 40 runs, the second one ended in a no-result after rain, and the third went to the Windies, who clinched it by 115 runs.

The stars in the Windies win were Hayley Matthews, the opening batter who scored her first international century, and Deandra Dottin, the all-rounder who first smashed a 44-ball 59 and then returned 4/36.

The performance didn’t really help Matthews make any significant gains on the table as she moved up one spot to No.26, but she did achieve a career-high 493 points to go with her best position to date.

Dottin, meanwhile, moved up on all the tables. She moved up three places to No.21 among batters, and a series haul of nine wickets took her 10 spots up to No.38, joint with England’s Natalie Sciver with a career-best 380 points.

She also gained six spots on the all-rounders’ table and rose to No.9.

For the South Africans, Marizanne Kapp, the pacer who picked up 3/14 in the first game and 4/55 in the third, entered the top three among bowlers, a step up from the fourth spot.

Among the batters, the swashbuckling Lizelle Lee didn’t have too good a time, and slipped four spots to No.6, but Dane Van Niekerk, in outstanding form with scores of 46*, 53 and 77, rose three spots to No.12 with a career-best 601 points.

Sune Luus, who starred in the win in the first ODI with an innings of 58, moved up six spots to No.40.

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