Lanning claims second Belinda Clark Medal
The Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars skipper proved unstoppable on her way to a second consecutive honour
27 January 2015, 08:30 PM AEST
Meg Lanning has capped a remarkable 12 months by taking home the Belinda Clark Award at the Allan Border Medal ceremony in Sydney.
This was the second consecutive time Lanning has been awarded the prize for Australia’s top international women’s cricketer, recognising the 22-year-old’s role in leading the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars to a third-successive ICC World Twenty20 crown in Bangladesh as well as clean sweeps of Pakistan and the West Indies at home.
Lanning with Belinda Clark // Getty Images
Individually, Lanning’s performances were exemplary, tallying an impressive 490 runs at an average of 49.90 in one-day international cricket and a peerless 625 runs at an average of 52.08 and a strike-rate of 145.34 in Twenty20 internationals.
Lanning at her best against West Indies
Those runs broke the record for the most women’s T20 international runs in a calendar year, surpassing Englishwoman Sarah Taylor’s 616 runs in 2012 – and in two fewer matches.
The year started in disappointing fashion for the Southern Stars, with England returning home with the Women’s Ashes despite Australia winning more matches, due to the greater weighting given the series-opening Test match.
Having been a part of the national setup since 2010 as an 18-year-old, Lanning took over the captaincy from an injured Jodie Fields on a temporary basis ahead of the World T20 in March, before assuming the reins full time in June following Fields’ retirement.
Lanning assumes the captaincy full-time
Bangladesh would prove a defining moment for Lanning and a side in transition following the international retirements of stalwarts Shelley Nitchske and Lisa Sthalekar in 2012 and 2013 respectively, with the world No.1 overcoming a first-up loss to New Zealand en route to the podium.
After struggling in the early going, with just eight runs in her first two innings, Lanning hitting her way back into form against Ireland in the most impressive way possible – blasting a world-record 126 off 65 balls.
The skipper would go on to average 41 across the remaining three matches – including the final against England, with her strike-rate not dipping below 130.
Lanning a picture of concentration against West Indies // Getty Images
Back in Australia and against world No.8 Pakistan, Lanning enjoyed a solid, if not spectacular eight-fixture (four ODIs, four T20s) series, finishing with a combined 205 runs at an average of 41.
Lanning took her game to another level against the West Indies, tallying 336 runs at an average of 112 against the side Australia beat in the 2013 World Cup final, including an unbeaten 135 in Bowral.
— Southern Stars (@SouthernStars) January 27, 2015