Nat Sciver-Brunt says drawing Women’s Ashes would be source of pride for England

Nat Sciver-Brunt feels drawing the Women’s Ashes series would reward the progress that England have made this summer.

Australia, the world’s number one side, retained the Ashes on Sunday with a tense three-run victory in the second ODI at the Ageas Bowl, taking an unassailable 8-6 lead in the multi-format series.

But England would level matters by winning the final ODI game in Taunton on Tuesday and secure a second series win to boot after prevailing 2-1 in the T20 matches.

“For the series to be drawn on points it would bring some pride to our performances and the way we’ve gone about things,” said all-rounder Sciver-Brunt.

“It would definitely be (consolation for not winning the Ashes) and another series win would certainly have a nice ring to it.

“The way we’ve gone about things has been positive and our mindset doesn’t change too much from that.

“We’ll make sure we’re in a good place and park our feelings from Sunday, using that ODI series win potentially as a motivator.”

England captain Heather Knight described this Women’s Ashes battle as the “best ever series” after England’s heart-breaking defeat in Southampton.

Sciver-Brunt, who almost got the hosts over the line on Sunday with an unbeaten 111 from 99 balls, believes the series has left a lasting legacy on women’s cricket in England.

She said: “It’s the first time we’ve played at big grounds and there has been a new strategy of going about marketing. It has been a bit of a game-changer.

“Hopefully that can continue when it’s not such a big series on the line and we can draw that same excitement about our team and the way we play, not just depending on the opponent.”

Australia’s Alana King responded to the tourists retaining the Ashes by saying she did not see the gap between the two sides “closing any time soon”.

Sciver-Brunt insists the margins are smaller – “we’re not that far apart but on the pressure moments they’ve got the edge on us a little bit” – and believes England have exceeded the public’s expectations, if not their own, by making the series such a competitive affair.

Nat Sciver-Brunt shows her disappointment as England fall short at the Ageas Bowl
Nat Sciver-Brunt shows her disappointment as England fall short at the Ageas Bowl (Bradley Collyer/PA).

Her heroics on Sunday almost kept England’s hopes alive and she said of that fabulous knock: “I’m not really sure it’s sunk in for me yet.

“When you get a good score and end up on the losing side it’s a bit of a weird feeling, you’re not really sure how to respond to it.

“I looked up at the scoreboard and suddenly I was on 40. It felt like it was just happening, I wasn’t focused on the score or anything like that.

“I was just in the moment. It seemed to pass me by until the last 10 or 12 overs when I needed to switch on to the scoreboard a little bit more.

“We want to put on a performance like that in such a big moment, so I was happy in that context. But you’re pretty disappointed not to get over the line being so close and not to win back the Ashes is another layer of that.”