All-rounder Nat Sciver-Brunt praised England’s “intent and bravery” as they beat the West Indies by seven wickets in their opening T20 World Cup match.
The Windies won the toss and chose to bat first and captain Hayley Matthews dominated the opening stages, smashing 42 from 32 balls, but a shift in momentum saw England get back into the game to restrict them to 135 for seven.
Sophia Dunkley set the tone for England in the run chase with a quickfire 34 from 18 before being brilliantly caught and bowled by Chinelle Henry.
However, Sciver-Brunt and captain Heather Knight then put on a fantastic partnership of 67 to steer England home with 33 balls to spare and Sciver-Brunt praised the mentality of the group after their opener.
“We know we weren’t, I guess, at our best in the whole of the game, but that’s the intent and bravery that we want from everyone so we’re very happy with that,” she told a post-match press conference.
“The energy and the feel around the group is probably the best that I’ve felt as well, it feels like we’re in a really good place.
“We have found a new way of playing, or I guess a new mindset – everyone is capable of playing in that way, but allowing ourselves for it to be okay to play that way as well, I guess that freedom has really allowed us to switch a little bit.
“I guess it’s since Lewy (head coach Jon Lewis) has come in, he’s brought that feeling of allowing us to fail for the success to happen.
“The way he wants us to play, he believes truly that can be successful at a T20 World Cup and all the players have bought into that, so we’re excited.”
Having been presented with her ICC Women’s Player of the Year and Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Year awards pre-match, Sciver-Brunt went on to earn player of the match for her top score of 40 not out.
Attention now turns to England’s next game against Ireland on Tuesday and she admitted she was pleased with her innings.
“To be honest I thought maybe a couple of the bowlers could’ve done with a player of the match award,” she added.
“But it’s straight to being in fairly alright touch and I’m really happy with how things are going in training so I’m glad that translated into the match today.”
Although they started brightly, the West Indies were unable to get back into the game despite Shemaine Campbelle’s fightback with 34.
The West Indies have played England recently, having been beaten 5-0 in their T20 series in the Caribbean during the winter, but Henry was pleased with the improvements her team have made since.
“Unfortunately the result wasn’t what we wanted today, but I’m really happy with what we did today,” she said.
“Especially batting because that has been our biggest thing over the last couple of months, so I’m really happy with what the girls did today.”