Aussie leg-spinner Georgia Wareham has marked her return to international cricket with a stunning performance in Australia's win over Bangladesh at the women's T20 World Cup. Wareham took 3-20 in her first international match in 16 months as the defending champions won by eight wickets on Tuesday.
The leg-spinner suffered a devastating leg injury in 2021 and has been working her way back to international cricket. The 23-year-old replaced left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen in Australia's XI, and repaid selectors for the move.
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She picked up the wickets of Sobhana Mostary (7), Shorna Akter (12) and Rumana Ahmed (4) in Bangladesh's middle order as Australia restricted Bangladesh to 7-107 in Gqeberha - the city formerly known as Port Elizabeth. The Aussies then chased down the total with 10 balls to spare, with Alyssa Healy making 37 and Meg Lanning 48 not out.
Wareham was named played of the match in her first international appearance since October 2021, during a T20I series at home against India. She suffered an ACL injury later that month during the WBBL, which kept her on the sidelines during a prolonged recovery period.
“It’s pretty special any time to play for your country,” Wareham said. “To do that at the World Cup and get a few wickets, it’s pretty cool.”
Bangladesh captain Nigar Sultana scored 57, but lacked support from her teammates. She came to the crease after Darcie Brown had reduced Bangladesh to 2-11 in the fourth over and was the mainstay of the innings.
Nigar hit a six off leg-spinner Alana King and seven fours in a 50-ball innings, but none of her teammates could make more than Shorna Akter’s 12. in Australia's batting innings, Beth Mooney failed for the second successive match, caught at slip off 18-year-old fast bowler Marufa Akter for two.
Healy and captain Lanning put on 69 for the second wicket, but failed to dominate against a dogged Bangladesh bowling and fielding display. Ash Gardner finished with 19 not out to help guide Australia to victory.
Among Australia's six bowling options, Megan Schutt and Gardner picked up one wicket apiece. Brown, who had limited the opposition to 2-36 in the powerplay with her wickets of openers Shamima Sultana and Murshida Khatun, finished with 2-32 from four overs.
The quick bowler could have claimed her third wicket in captain Sultana when the right-hander was on 44. But an airborne Money shelled Sultana's shoulder-high catch while diving to her right at point.
Cricket world delighted for Georgia Wareham
Australia now have two wins from two matches, joining Sri Lanka atop Group 1. The Aussies went back to the top on net run rate.
Australia beat New Zealand by 97 runs in the first game of their T20 World Cup title defense. The Aussies are the dominant force in women's cricket. They have won five of the seven T20 World Cups and are seeking a third-straight title.
— Australian Women's Cricket Team 🏏 (@AusWomenCricket) February 14, 2023
It's always brilliant to see Skip smiling. A brilliant team win, another step closer to the semi final!
— WBBL & WNCL fan page (@WBBLfanpage) February 14, 2023
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) February 14, 2023
— dr_mohit121 (@dr_mohit121) February 14, 2023
Oh wow Mumbai Indians will very happy after this performance
— Asheesh (@Asheesh00007) February 14, 2023
She is the best spinner in Australia
— Chris (@Chris59778879) February 14, 2023
🐺🙌 Georgia Wareham gets the POTM award for her 3/20 in her first international match since October 2021, after a long lay-off period with an ACL injury.
There is so much competition right now for that leading @AusWomenCricket leg spinner role. #T20WorldCup #AUSvBAN
— Brittany Carter (@_BrittanyCarter) February 14, 2023
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