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Shafali regains top spot in ICC T20I rankings

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Lucknow, March 23 (IANS) India opener Shafali Verma is back at the top of the ICC women’s T20I rankings for batters after scoring 23 and 47 in the first two T20Is against South Africa.

Shafali, 17, had grabbed the top position for the first time after helping her side reach the knockout phase of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup last year in Australia. She has leapfrogged Australia’s Beth Mooney to take back the top spot.

Spinner Deepti Sharma, meanwhile, has moved up four places to 40th in the bowlers’ rankings while teenager Richa Ghosh has rocketed 59 places to 85th among batters. Young all-rounder Harleen Deol has progressed in both lists, up 262 places to 99th among batters and up 76 places to 146th among bowlers. Left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad has advanced from 34th to 25th.

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South Africa opener Lizelle Lee is another one to gain in the T20I rankings even though the big-hitting opener lost her top spot in the ODI rankings within a week of replacing England’s Tammy Beaumont. Lee has gained three slots to reach 11th position among T20I batters after a match-winning 70 helped South Africa to a winning 2-0 lead.

Laura Wolvaardt has risen five places to 24th after guiding her team to victory with an unbeaten 53 in the second match while captain Sune Luus (up five places to 38th) and Nadine de Klerk (up three places to 74th) are the other South Africans to advance in the batting list.

De Klerk, who bowls medium pace, has also moved up five places to 68th among bowlers while seamer Ayabonga Khaka (up two places to 35th) and left-arm spinner Nonkululek Mlaba (up 14 places to 75th) have also progressed in the latest weekly update to the women’s rankings, carried out on Tuesdays.

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–IANS

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