Photo Credit: ICC
Nat Sciver-Brunt praised England’s punchy win over West Indies and urged them to keep on swinging at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.
Sciver-Brunt’s brisk 40 from 30 balls helped her side reach their target of 136 at 9.51 runs per over, the highest run-rate in a successful chase of more than 100 in T20 World Cup history.
It was some statement of intent from Heather Knight’s side, who have preached positive intent in the lead-up to the showpiece in South Africa.
“We want to be aggressive and take the game on and walk towards the danger,” said Sciver-Brunt.
“We’re living that mantra as a team at the minute, the more we can do that under pressure, the better.”
Sciver-Brunt shared a match-winning fourth-wicket stand of 67 with skipper Knight, who also hailed her team’s aggressive approach.
“We want to entertain and we’ve set up the order to do that,” said Knight. “We’ve got the power and the smarts in the middle order to adapt if we need to.
“Our goal is to be positive and score runs, basically.
“It’s great that we can keep that mindset in the first game of a tournament when there are nerves around and we put out a real statement.”
Knight, 32, is leading a squad infused with young promise.
22-year-old opening bowler Lauren Bell emerged wicketless but threatened with the new ball and Alice Capsey, 18, showed signs of her precocious talent with the bat.
Knight said; “Those youngsters bring a real fearlessness and positivity, they go out and play their shots and do their thing.
“It’s really important to have experience, to know how to deal with big occasions and ultimately win games.
“It’s a really nice mix and there’s a good vibe around the group. The youngsters certainly keep me feeling young, that’s for sure.”
West Indies impressed in patches, particularly the batting powerplay, as they rattled to 47 without loss thanks to expansive strokeplay from Hayley Matthews.
Skipper Matthews’ departure in the 11th over put in a pin in the innings, despite Shermaine Campbelle’s composed 34, their total of 135-7 never looked sufficient.
Matthews said: “We spoke about trying to get 145 or 150. We had a decent start, we just couldn’t capitalise on the end. We hope to have a fighting chance to defend it.
“This game was about getting into the World Cup and getting the team off to a good start, unfortunately I couldn’t carry on. It was good to get some out in the middle.”
Stafanie Taylor struggled on her return from a long layoff with Matthews hopeful the star batter will come off later in the tournament.
“Stafanie didn’t play how she wanted to but we know the experience and the talent she has,” said Matthews. “There’s no doubt she’ll come good and we’re backing her.
“Our next game against India is looking crucial after this result, we definitely need to get some points on the board. We need to take the positives, look at what we can do a bit better and take that into the game.”