2017 Qualifier Final

A look back at previous Women's Cricket World Cup Qualifiers

The fifth edition of its type, the Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier has seen plenty of exciting international cricket. This year, nine teams vie for the final three spots at the 2022 World Cup in New Zealand.

From blockbusters featuring the likes of India and South Africa to Ireland’s 2003 qualification to challenges from the Netherlands and the early signs of Thailand’s talent, the competition has played host to a feast of action, with every match bearing huge significance for the global tournament and the next Women’s ODI cycle.

Ahead of this year’s tournament, available to stream on ICC.tv, let’s take a look back at the event's recent history, including the drama of the 2017 Qualifier in Sri Lanka, which ended with a final-ball thriller between two of the game’s giants.

2003 IWCC Trophy (for 2005 World Cup) - Two Qualifiers - Ireland and West Indies

The inaugural edition of the tournament, the 2003 IWCC trophy was hosted by the Netherlands, with the top two sides after the six-team round-robin earning a ticket to the 2005 Women’s Cricket World Cup in South Africa. Joining the hosts were favourites West Indies, Ireland, Scotland, Pakistan and Japan.

The tournament took little time to deliver drama, with Ireland winning one of the more remarkable matches in women’s international history on day one, over West Indies in Amstelveen.

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Knocked over for just 84, Ireland’s bowlers delivered in a backs-to-the-wall effort led by Barbara McDonald. With McDonald taking the first three West Indian wickets in the response, reland bowled their opponents out for just 52, and went on to win the competition unbeaten.

The Dutch provided stiff competition at home, finishing with three wins, losing to both the Irish and West Indies, with the latter being an effective final for the second World Cup spot. Making the most of their home advantage, Dutch batter Pauline te Beest led the tournament’s run list, compiling a total of 317 across five innings. 

Shaking off their shock first-up defeat, West Indies defeated the hosts by seven wickets, before brushing aside Pakistan, Scotland and Japan.

Jill Whelan and Cecelia Joyce celebrate the wicket of Kari Anderson at the 2008 Qualifier
Jill Whelan and Cecelia Joyce celebrate the wicket of Kari Anderson at the 2008 Qualifier

2008 (for 2009 World Cup) - Two Qualifiers - South Africa and Pakistan

Before her 2011 heroics, Sunette Loubser was prolific in South Africa’s unbeaten 2008 campaign. The Proteas faced little challenge to claim qualification and the tournament trophy, chasing down Pakistan’s 61 in just 13.4 overs in the final.

To seal the other World Cup spot, Pakistan brushed aside Netherlands in a defence of 162. Maroof (45) once again moved things along, this time opening the batting, putting on 79 for the first wicket with Tasqeen Qadeer (27).

While pulling things back with the ball to bowl out their opposition, the Dutch were unable to muster a troubling chase. Annemarie Tanke’s 41 provided hope, but she had little top-order support. All-rounder Caroline de Fouw, who led the Dutch with bat and ball in the tournament, shared Player of the Tournament accolades with Pakistan’s Sana Mir.

Bermuda and Papua New Guinea made their debuts at the tournament, with PNG 179-run winners when the two met in group action.

2011 (for the 2013 World Cup) - Four Qualifiers - West Indies, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka

2011’s Qualifier in Bangladesh saw several challengers threaten tournament giants, with Ireland claiming ODI status in a competitive field that also saw the USA win a one-run thriller over Zimbabwe, who also fell to Japan in the 9th place play-off.

Knowing the top spot in both five-team groups guaranteed a World Cup place and a direct path to the tournament’s semi-finals, South Africa and West Indies went unbeaten, with Merissa Aguilleira’s side particularly emphatic.

Sharp despite an early Irish challenge, West Indies went unbeaten, capped off by crushing victories over Pakistan and Bangladesh. Stafanie Taylor passed fifty in both matches, with Anisa Mohammed tying Pakistan in knots, taking 5/26 in an assertive spell. Mohammed would haunt Pakistan again in the tournament’s final, bettering her group stage performance with figures of 7/14 (8.3).

The West Indies conquered all at the 2011 Qualifier
The West Indies conquered all at the 2011 Qualifier

South Africa’s journey was more treacherous, taking on Sri Lanka first up in a game that proved to be one of the most entertaining matches at the tournament. After stumbling to 114, South Africa looked dead and buried with Sri Lanka cruising at 52/2, only for the loss of Chamari Atapattu to turn the tide.

Loubser’s off-spin was aided by a confident fielding display under immense pressure, with two run outs complementing her match-winning spell of 5/27. Despite the best efforts of a resolute Sandamali Dolawatte (28*), she was unable to find a partner to help carry her country home, losing No.11 Sharina Ravikumar to Chloe Tryon six runs short.

Sri Lanka went on to win the rest of their group games emphatically to reach the knockout phase, before beating Bangladesh to seal their qualification.

For the final World Cup place, Pakistan took on a Dutch side boasting sizable victories over the USA and Zimbabwe. Bouncing back from their defeat to West Indies, Nida Dar (57), Javeria Khan (67) and Bismah Maroof (66*) lifted Pakistan to 277, a total well and truly out of Netherlands’ reach.

2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier

To seal a ticket at the 2017 Women’s World Cup in England, 10 teams competed for the final four spots in Colombo, to join Australia, West Indies, New Zealand and the global event hosts.

Split into two groups of five, India and South Africa came into the qualifier as the teams to beat. Zimbabwe, PNG and Scotland all were unbeaten through their regions to enter the Qualifier, with emerging side Thailand clear winners in Asian regionals despite a loss to China.

Group A

Group B

India

South Africa

Sri Lanka

Bangladesh

Zimbabwe

Pakistan

Ireland

Scotland

Thailand

Papua New Guinea

 

While a top-three finish in the first round group stage secured a path to the Super Six, the preliminary matches had a big bearing on the Super Six stage, given that points involving progressing teams carried over. Effectively a crossover stage, teams in the Super Six stage played the competitors from the other first round group, with the top four booking a ticket to the 2017 Women’s World Cup. 

Despite the loss of Smriti Mandhana to injury on the eve of the tournament, India went unbeaten in their group, calmly accounting for all four opponents. Elsewhere in Group A, Sri Lanka made the most of home conditions, comfortably beating Ireland, Zimbabwe and Thailand after an early defeat to India.

Bangladesh will fancy their chances at the 2021 tournament
Bangladesh will fancy their chances at the 2021 tournament

Perhaps the most important result in Group A was Ireland’s comprehensive win over Zimbabwe - a net run rate boosting 119 run victory that lifted Ireland out of Zimbabwe’s reach in the fight for third.

Group B ran in a similar fashion, with South Africa taking four points into the Super Six stage. Hitting the ground running with a 63-run win over Pakistan, the Proteas were clinical, finishing unbeaten. Pakistan recovered from the defeat to win their remaining matches, taking two points into the Super Sixes with a win over Bangladesh. In a battle for the third Super Six spot, Bangladesh brushed aside Scotland.

Super Six Teams

Points Carried Over from Groups

India

4

South Africa

4

Pakistan

2

Sri Lanka

2

Bangladesh

0

Ireland

0

 

After an undefeated start to the tournament, India and South Africa met on the first day of Super Six action, with India defending 205 to put one foot in the door of qualification. On day two of Super Six action, the teams had guaranteed qualification, thanks to wins over Bangladesh and Sri Lanka respectively.

With four teams fighting for two places, key players stood up. Sri Lanka qualified after an emphatic win over Bangladesh, thanks largely to Chamari Atapattu’s 84 in tricky conditions both underfoot and overhead.

Leaving Bangladesh on two points, it meant that Pakistan also qualified after the result despite a loss to India, thanks largely to the points that had carried over from their win over Bangladesh in the group stage.

As the two best teams of the tournament, India and South Africa met in the final, with the event's last match also turning out to be the most entertaining of the competition.

This time batting first, South Africa amassed 244 in 49.4 overs. At 144-1 into the 33rd over, India looked in relative control, though finding the next gear proved difficult for Harmanpreet Kaur’s team.

Needing 22 from 28 deliveries, Kaur edged closer with Poonam Yadav, who got to the final over with their team needing nine. Almost sacrificing her wicket to ensure Kaur was back on strike, Yadav was run out with eight needed off the final five balls. 

Marcia Letsoalo, the bowler entrusted with South Africa’s final over, looked to have given her team victory, with Kaur unable to score off the next three balls. Kaur responded emphatically, hitting a six off the penultimate delivery and scurrying back for two off the last ball to secure victory. 

Looking to the 2021 Qualifier, and even without India and South Africa in the competition, the fight for the three World Cup places this time around is fierce. West Indies, seventh in the ICC Women’s Championship from 2017-2020, join Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Ireland. A Thailand side buoyed by a debut Women’s T20 World Cup appearance also loom as a challenger, with a Zimbabwean side at home.

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