She’s unbelievable: Sophie Ecclestone hails Nat Sciver-Brunt as key for England

Sophie Ecclestone hailed Nat Sciver-Brunt as “one of the best players in the world” after her half-century helped England maintain their flawless start to the Women’s T20 World Cup with an 11-run victory over India at Gqeberha.

Nat Sciver-Brunt steadied the innings with 50 runs from 42 deliveries as England recovered from 29 for three in the powerplay to set a total of 151 for seven.

England’s spinners then successfully managed to curb their opponents’ chase with some tight and accurate bowling in the middle overs, with India going 44 runs without hitting a boundary.

Despite a late surge from India, with Richa Gosh briefly threatening to take the game down to the wire with a quick 47 from 34, and a costly final over from Katherine Sciver-Brunt, England held on for the win.

Ecclestone took four wickets for just 14 runs and believes Nat Sciver-Brunt’s performances could guide England to World Cup victory.

“She’s obviously unbelievable,” Ecclestone said.

“I think I don’t need to speak much on that, she’s one of the best players and all-rounders in the world.

“She’s so calm at the crease, and the most calm person and one of the nicest people. So I think for her to keep scoring runs like she does for England is crucial for us to win this World Cup.”

India and England had both gone into the game with successive wins from their opening two matches, but Heather Knight’s side have taken a big step towards finishing top of Group Two and avoiding a potential semi-final against Australia.

England’s spin bowlers were crucial in curbing India’s batting attack after they started their chase on the front foot, hitting 29 before the loss of the first wicket.

Ecclestone paid tribute to her fellow spin bowlers, including Sarah Glenn who took two crucial wickets.

“I think it’s massive. That was three spinners playing a big part in containing them and taking the game deep that we did today,” she said.

“I think anything could have happened today and we contained them while in the middle.

“Especially Glenn was great today and obviously she got the wicket of Smriti (Mandhana), so it was all working to plan today.”