Commonwealth Games: Barnsley's Katherine Brunt embracing huge occasion for women's cricket in Birmingham

Katherine Brunt thought she’d seen it all in cricket - until the Commonwealth Games came along.

The Barnsley bowler is England’s leading wicket-taker in the T20 format, a World Cup winner and has played in many an Ashes series.

But Brunt, 37, has nothing to compare to the experience of representing the host nation at a home Games. She said: “I’ve played a long time, I’ve played in Ashes series and World Cups, which have a certain feeling.

“With this, I can’t explain, but there’s a little bit more on top and we found that out tonight. We have a bit of learning to do very quickly on what to do with that feeling. It’s a huge occasion and we feel it.”

Brunt made a slice of history with her very first delivery in Team England colours against Sri Lanka at Edgbaston.

She took a wicket with England’s very first ball in Commonwealth cricket, that happened to come on the occasion of her 100th T20 cap.

“My 100th ODI game was against India at Derby in 2017 and I had an absolute shocker, so I was keen not to repeat that experience. It can be a jinx, 100 caps, so it was nice to break that cycle.”

England went on to ease to a five-wicket win over unfancied Sri Lanka.

HOWZAT: England's Katherine Brunt, centre, took a wicket with her first ball against Sri Lanka. Picture: PA Wire.

Three wickets from Sophie Ecclestone helped restrict the visitors to 106-9 from their 20 overs, with Issy Wong and Freya Kemp also chipping in with two apiece.

Teenager Alice Capsey struck 44 as England reached the target with nearly three overs to spare.

Starting with Thursday’s spectacular Opening Ceremony it’s fair to say Heather Knight’s side are lapping up the experience, young quick bowler Issy Wong for one.

She said: “A lot of us hadn’t processed that this is the Commonwealth Games. We’re part of something bigger and we really feel that."

England return to action on Tuesday against South Africa who they whitewashed 3-0 a bilateral T20 series this month.

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