South Africa batter Lizelle Lee was named as ICC Women’s ODI Cricketer of 2021, after she finished the year as the highest run-scorer in 50-over format.
Lee’s year got off to a less-than-ideal start, getting out for a duck in the first ODI against Pakistan, but she came back strongly with two scores of 40+ and played a vital role in South Africa’s sweep.
Lizelle Lee was unstoppable on the tour of India thereafter, racking up big runs in the Proteas’ 4-1 series win. With 288 runs, including a hundred and two fifties, she ended the series as the highest run-scorer and was awarded the Player of the Series. She carried her form over to the series against West Indies as well and was once again the top run-getter in the series.
Lee scored the highest individual ODI score of her career in the third match of the series against India. In South Africa’s chase of 249, Lee mixed caution with aggression and kept building partnerships, first with Laura Wolvaardt and then with Lara Goodall. She kept scoring boundaries regularly and soon brought up her fifty.
She then strung a 97-run partnership with Mignon du Preez, during the course of which she brought up her third ODI century. It looked like they would take South Africa home, but India came back into the game by picking up two wickets.