Katherine Brunt enjoys record-breaking day as England ease to T20 victory over South Africa
The veteran bowler, from Barnsley, surpassed Anya Shrubsole to become England’s top women’s Twenty20 international wicket-taker, bowling Laura Wolvaardt with the penultimate delivery of the 19th over.
Nat Sciver, who married Brunt in May, witnessed her wife’s milestone whilst filling in for captain Heather Knight, who was ruled out with a hip injury sustained in England’s first win of the three-match T20I series on Thursday.
“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,” Sciver told Sky Sports.
Brunt, who announced her retirement from Test cricket in June, ultimately wrote her name into the history books but missed an earlier opportunity when Sciver dropped a catch at extra cover on her second delivery of the over.
“We will miss that firepower in our bowling attack when she does retire,” said Sciver. “(The dropped catch) was not one of my best moments. Unfortunately, we might have to talk about it further later!”
England had gone into the match with a 10-2 lead, having also won all three one-day internationals and the T20 opener at Essex following a draw in the stand-alone Test .
They wrap up the three-match series in Derby before women’s cricket – also in the T20 format – makes its Commonwealth Games debut in Birmingham. England face Sri Lanka on July 30 before a rematch with South Africa on August 2.
Danni Wyatt, who made 39 from 24 balls and became just the third English woman to reach 2,000 T20I runs, said the comfortable win only fuelled England’s confidence of victory at their home Games.
She was especially impressed by some of the newest additions to the squad, including 17-year-old Alice Capsey, who was called up in place of Knight and took her maiden wicket with her second delivery on debut.
Wyatt said: “It’s definitely a good sign for the future of the Commonwealth Games.
“We can’t wait, obviously it’s new for us and being part of a Commonwealth Games is a dream come true. I’ve always watched it, I’ve always watched the Olympics as well and it really kicked in last week when we had the kitting out day and we’re all really, really excited for it. Everyone that’s here deserves to be playing for England.”