Brunt pleased with warm-up workout

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Katherine Brunt believes the thrilling warm-up win over New Zealand tested all the skills England will require to be successful at the ICC Women’s World Twenty20.

The Yorkshirewoman made a seamless transition back into Charlotte Edwards’ side following a back problem, taking fine figures of 2-15 from four overs to help restrict the White Ferns to 130 for six.

Sarah Taylor then continued the form that saw her rack up 200 runs in the recent 2-1 Twenty20 international series victory in South Africa, hitting her fourth consecutive half-century to put England on course to chase 131.

But the 26-year-old was one of four wickets to fall for the addition of just 26 runs to set up a nervy finish that left England requiring 30 from 23 balls.

However, England proved they have depth in their batting line-up by taking 19 from the final two overs courtesy of cameos from Lydia Greenway, Danni Wyatt and Natalie Sciver, who hit the winning run from the last delivery.

The victory tested all of England’s characteristics and, with another warm-up game against New Zealand tomorrow followed by a clash with the Proteas, Brunt thinks that should stand them in good stead ahead of their first group match versus Bangladesh on Thursday.

“It is our first game out, an extra warm-up game for us, to get things the way we want and have a look at certain players and certain ways of playing the game,” Brunt told ecb.co.uk.

“It is just really nice to get on the pitch and see what it is like playing in these conditions, especially against one of the best teams at the minute, and make a game of it.

“It was a slow outfield which shouldn’t put us off because there will be quicker outfields, but it was about having to work hard and not switch off.

“It was very difficult with the ball, there was no margin for error, and backing yourself to execute your skills even when you are facing the best batters and bowlers in the world.

“I think everyone was really brave, showed good intent and it is important we take on all the learnings from this game, the one tomorrow and Monday and take it forward into the group stages.”

Brunt was raring to go today after missing the T20 series in South Africa due to a back injury.

“I missed the three Twenty20s in South Africa, which was really disappointing, and I wanted to give my best game today and really show how much I want to be in the team and back in this environment,” she said. “I just wanted to contribute and be amongst it, so it was great.”

England appeared to be coasting along at 75 for one in the 12th over with experienced duo Edwards and Taylor at the crease.

But the skipper’s dismissal started a mini wobble that left the match too close for comfort at the death.

“I was sat there and I wasn’t ever in doubt until someone said we needed 19 off two overs, that was closer than I thought,” she said.

“We needed one off three balls so we were just trying to make a close game of it, but I am glad we just got over the line.”

Taylor again proved her credentials from number three, following scores of 74, 66 and 60 against the Proteas with 51 from 52 deliveries. 

“Sarah is class, she is world-class, we all know that and it is really nice to see her on a run of form,” Brunt said.

“It is not just one game, that is four in a row now and it is really good for us as a group, and her personally. The way she is playing with freedom and things like that is really encouraging to see.”

Mark Robinson has named an experienced 15-member squad for the World T20, the exception being Natasha Farrant who has yet to play at an ICC world event.

She refused to be overawed by bowling at New Zealand openers Suzie Bates and Rachel Priest, though, and skittled Sophie Devine for 40 with a beautiful inswinger en route to figures of 1-26.

“Tash took the new ball today and against Priesty and Batesy is a really intimidating thing to do as they are probably the most aggressive batters in world cricket at the moment,” Brunt said.

“For her to come out, try her skills and do really well is brilliant for her and us.”


Source: ECB

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