Nat Sciver-Brunt’s Century Powers England to Dominant 178-Run Victory Over Pakistan

Nat Sciver-Brunt led England to a commanding 178-run victory over Pakistan in the third Women’s ODI at Chelmsford.

Sciver-Brunt’s unbeaten 124 from 117 balls and Sophie Ecclestone’s milestone of 100 ODI wickets underscored England’s dominance, sealing a 2-0 series win.

Nat Sciver-Brunt’s Century Powers England to Dominant 178-Run Victory Over Pakistan
England celebrate their 2-0 series win over Pakistan•May 29, 2024•Getty Images

Pakistan 124 (Muneeba 47, Ecclestone 3-15) lost to England 302 for 5 (Sciver-Brunt 124*, Wyatt 44, Capsey 39*) by 178 runs.

With a commanding 117-ball 124 not out and two game-changing wickets in her first over of the summer, Nat Sciver-Brunt demonstrated once more why she is the gold standard of England’s batting as England won the third and final ODI against Pakistan at Chelmsford by a margin of 178 runs.

Following the sodden disaster that surrounded Sunday’s second match at Taunton, the result was pleasantly rain-free on Sunday. Pakistan was thus doomed to a 2-0 series loss in the 50-over phase of their trip, in addition to their 3-0 thrashing in the T20Is. And, in a positive development for the home team following their “scrappy” 37-run win at Derby the previous week, England’s performance in their five completed matches was the most comprehensive, as they finished Pakistan’s innings with over 20 overs remaining.

The return of Lauren Bell, who bagged both openers in the space of ten balls—Sidra Amin to a sharp take from Maia Bouchier at cover and Kate Cross to a flat flick to midwicket for 13—reduced Pakistan to 35 for 3 in the powerplay with England at an intimidating 302 for 5.

Then, it was over to Sophie Ecclestone with a piece of her own history, following Sciver-Brunt’s declaration of her return to bowling health with the scalps of Najiha Alvi for six and Muneeba, caught off a top-edge for a courageous 47 from 55 balls off the penultimate ball of her allocated five-over session.

After 21 overs, and after Charlie Dean had shown her own tenacity by picking off Fatima Sana for a third-ball duck, the world’s number one spin bowler is a useful operator to be able to introduce at 96 for 6. In her 64th match, the quickest in women’s ODI history, she duly broke through the opposition with three wickets in 25 balls, including two in two, to advance to 100 ODI wickets. Her skipper Heather Knight secured the historic wicket by capturing Nashra Sandhu at slip.

With more than twenty overs remaining, England’s replacement fielder Sophia Dunkley terminated Aliya Riaz’s drab innings of 36 from 41 with a sharp tumbling take at long-off. Nida Dar was injured in the field and was unable to bat.

With all of England’s superiority, the competition might not have been nearly so lopsided if Sciver-Brunt hadn’t dominated the field, but nonetheless. As Australia found out during the Ashes white-ball leg last year, she can play against any team in the world when she’s in her groove. This was just another instance where she exuded quality throughout the match.

Also Read: England’s Dominating Victory over New Zealand in First Ever Women’s T20 World Cup

She passed 3,500 ODI runs in her 94th innings, faster than any female batter in history, with her ninth ODI century, her fourth in nine innings and her tenth in all forms for England. The only real let-off for her came on 86 when Najiha Alvi mishandled a slight edge off Nashra that might have resulted in a stumping opportunity.

Nevertheless, she was unfazed and proceeded to score her century off 110 balls with two consecutive scoops for four off Sana before really letting go to add a gloss finish to the innings. England amassed 47 runs from the final three overs, with Diana Baig’s final over being clattered for two straight sixes and another lofted four into the covers. But it hadn’t begun with nearly this much grace. Having won the toss and elected to bat first, England was three down for 70 inside the 14th over after yet another mixed powerplay against some sharp new-ball bowling.

Nat Sciver-Brunt’s Century Powers England to Dominant 178-Run Victory Over Pakistan
Nat Sciver-Brunt celebrates her 9th ODI century •May 29, 2024•Getty Images

Specifically, Tammy Beaumont’s dismissal due to an ill-advised ramp shot summed up a team that, while keen to ramp up their aggression ahead of the T20 World Cup, has found it difficult to “read the situations” of a 50-over innings—a challenge that Knight had highlighted as being particularly important in the run-up to the series.

Bouchier began the game with poise, hitting six fours to account for most of England’s early gains. However, her final score of 34 from 33 balls was her highest of a series that had promised more. However, after Knight had arrived and left cheaply, Danni Wyatt seized control of the batting in a fourth-wicket stand of 79, scoring 44 off 42 balls, before Amy Jones took advantage of a let-off at midwicket on 6 to make sure the innings continued with a run-a-ball 27.

Alice Capsey then shared company with Sciver-Brunt into the final overs, finishing at 39 not out from 42 balls. Shortly after, she reversed an LBW appeal that appeared to be going over the stumps and hit a one-bounce four down the ground. After that, Pakistan tightened their lines to momentarily raise the possibility of restricting England to a total closer to 250 than 300, but she was only able to score one more boundary in her first 37 balls before a late brace in the last over.

However, by the time England’s standout player unleashed her best shot in the last seconds, Pakistan had already lost hope.

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