Brunt ready to reach 'breaking point' for Commonwealth gold
England fast bowler Katherine Brunt says she is willing to do 'whatever it takes' in pursuit of a gold medal at the upcoming Commonwealth Games. The 37-year-old was named player of the match in only her second international appearance of the summer as the hosts beat South Africa by six wickets in the opening T20 match of the series.
Katherine Brunt became England Women's leading T20I wicket-taker and Alice Capsey struck with her second ball on debut as the hosts beat South Africa by six wickets to extend their lead in the multi-format series to 12-2.
Brunt moved onto 103 T20I wickets - one more than the now-retired Anya Shrubsole - when she bowled Laura Wolvaardt for 21 in the final over of South Africa's innings of 148-6 at New Road, a total England went on to top with an over to spare as Nat Sciver (47) top-scored. © Getty Katherine Brunt (Getty Images)
Brunt, 37, should have been celebrating her milestone wicket three balls earlier only for Sciver to drop Mignon du Preez at cover - although Sciver atoned by picking up the ball and running out Du Preez amid South Africa losing six wickets for 45 runs across the final six overs.
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Sarah Glenn was happy to end her "fangirling" days by helping England beat South Africa by six wickets in their T20 series opener at Chelmsford. The leg-spinner returned to the international scene for the first time in six months and took 1-18 in an emphatic victory on Thursday, the hosts clinching the multi-format series. The two teams meet in the second T20I on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 2.30pm.
Scorecard: England vs South Africa, second T20I, WorcesterEngland's Katherine Brunt ready to reach 'breaking point' for Commonwealth Games gold
Seventeen-year-old Capsey broke a 102-run opening partnership between Anneke Bosch (61) and Lara Goodall (42) when she had Goodall caught at backward point in the 15th over - Sciver, standing in as captain for Heather Knight (hip injury) showing no butterfingers on that occasion.
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Capsey - who impressed with bat and ball for champions Oval Invincibles in the inaugural edition of The Hundred last season - came close to two wickets in her opening over but Brunt was just unable to pull off a blinder on the boundary after Bosch hauled the young off-spinner to long-on.
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England overhauled South Africa's score thanks to cameos from openers Sophia Dunkley (23 off 15) and Danni Wyatt (39 off 24) and then a fourth-wicket partnership of 56 between Sciver and Amy Jones (20no).
Dunkley smashed Masabata Klaas for a six and three fours in as many deliveries before holing out to long-on off the same bowler, while Wyatt passed 2,000 T20I runs before she fell to a tremendous diving catch from Sune Luus as the South Africa skipper ran from deep cover to wide long-off.
South Africa were largely sloppy in the field, though, with run-out chances squandered, Sciver dropped on 21 by wicketkeeper Sinalo Jafta and Jones spilled on eight with Shabnim Ismail unable to grasp in her follow through.
Sciver was run out backing up with eight runs required but Maia Bouchier belted Ismail for two fours in the space of four deliveries to end the game.
England had clinched victory in the multi-format series by winning Thursday's first T20I at Chelmsford and the home side have now prevailed in each of the five white-ball games - three ODIs and two T20Is - since the Test match was drawn. The final T20I is in Derby on Monday.
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CALUM CROWE: So, too, were their predecessors Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson, another two wicket-taking machines who wore the Baggy Green with such distinction. England will undoubtedly afford Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad the same honour as and when they call time on their careers. © Provided by Daily Mail Qasim Sheikh speaking during the press conference held in Stirling on Monday afternoon This is what proper cricketing countries do. If sport at the elite level is all about achievement, a Hall of Fame exists as a vehicle to recognise and celebrate those achievements.
South Africa were much improved from the opening T20I, in which they stuttered to 111-9 from their 20 overs, with Bosch and Goodall sharing the Proteas' highest opening stand of this multi-format tour and their best in T20 internationals against England.
The tourists could arguably have been a little more proactive and their total did look a little under-par at halfway with the clatter of wickets at the death seeing them fail to pass the 150 mark.
Left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone pinned Bosch (61) lbw in the 17th over, while leg-spinner Sarah Glenn accounted for Chloe Tryon (1) and Luus (1) in the 18th.
'Brunt can create something out of nothing'
England stand-in captain, Nat Sciver: "I don't believe [how good Brunt is] sometimes because she is just my partner, my wife, but for her to be leading wicket-taker is really special. She can create something from nothing.
"We will miss that firepower in our bowling attack when she does retire. [The dropped catch] was not one of my best moments. Unfortunately, we might have to talk about it further later today!
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Eoin Morgan said Chris Jordan's "expertise, skill and calm nature" enabled England secure victory in the first T20 international against South Africa. England feasted on the short boundaries at Bristol's Seat Unique Stadium as they smashed 234 for six - their second highest total in the 20-over format and enough for a 41-run win. © PA Chris Jordan's precise death bowling saw England home with a brilliant 18th over in Bristol With tension rising late on, Jordan's precise death bowling saw England safe.
"[Ahead of the Commonwealth Games] it's about being relentless with our attacking mindset. We didn't take a wicket in this game until the second half of our bowling innings.
"It wasn't through lack of effort but maybe execution. It's about keeping that positive intent and making sure we do it when we are under pressure."
Wyatt: Dunkley is in beast-mode
Player of the Match, Danni Wyatt "The credit has to go to our bowlers to keep South Africa to 148 but I really enjoyed batting out there on a really nice wicket. My job is to keep improving, getting better and better. It is impossible [to out-hit] Dunkley. She is in beast-mode at the minute. It's an honour to bat with her."
England and South Africa conclude their multi-format series with the third and final T20 international in Derby on Monday. Coverage begins at 6pm on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event with the first ball at 6.30pm.
Then it's the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham with women's cricket making its debut in the event as an eight-team T20 tournament is held.
England begin the campaign against Sri Lanka on the evening of Saturday, July 30, with South Africa opening up against New Zealand earlier on the same day at Edgbaston, which is the venue for all games.
The Commonwealth Games final will take place on Sunday, August 7, four days before the women's tournament in The Hundred gets under way.
Watch the third and final T20 international between England and South Africa, from Derby, live on Sky Sports Cricket on Monday. Coverage begins at 6pm, with the first ball at 6.30pm. © Getty South Africa opener Anneke Bosch reached her second T20 international fifty from 48 deliveries
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