England allrounder Natalie Sciver hopeful of wrapping up ODI series 3-0

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Natalie Sciver, Katherine Brunt seal ODI series for England

Natalie Sciver in action against New Zealand. © Getty Images

Natalie Sciver has stated that England will be able to wrap up the ODI series against New Zealand 3-0 with the final game on Sunday (February 28). The Heather Knight-led side have already pocketed the series 2-0 – the latest being their seven-wicket victory in Dunedin on Friday (February 26).

“I think we are really in a good shape and will be able to wrap up the ODI part of the series in two days time,” Sciver told the media during the post-match press conference. Put into bowl first, England bowlers once again dominated the proceedings from the start bowling New Zealand all out for 192 in 49.5 overs.

Sciver was the pick of the bowlers with 3/26 to her name while Katherine Brunt and Sarah Glenn also picking up two wickets each. In reply, Tammy Beaumont remained unbeaten at 72 at the top – her second half-century in the series in as many matches. Sciver also shined with the bat scoring 63 while Amy Jones chipped in with 46 not out to see England home in 37.4 overs.

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“I think that (10-15 overs with the ball) was the key part of the game for us. We always want to be aggressive and take wickets but that always doesn’t happen. Today Katherine was really really aggressive with the ball, which made it difficult for the opposition batters,” she said.

The England seamers have been on song in the series. If Natasha Farrant sizzled with the ball in the opening ODI, it was the turn for Sciver and Katherine Brunt in the second.  “She (Brunt) had some really great net sessions coming into these two games, the other day she could have got more wickets. She was brilliant,” she said.

“I wasn’t initially down to open the bowling. Tash was going to go from the other end. But with the wind that it was, they were thinking that they would really be effective from that end. Got the nod from 10 minutes before we started and I was really happy to bowl.

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“We probably had the best of the conditions as well that means the seamers need to take wickets really. So sometimes that can be a pressure, the margin for error might be smaller but we managed to put in the areas for a long time I would say and kept the pressure for the first 15 overs,” Sciver added.

England are playing an ODI series for the first time since 2019. Although some of the players have played in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy last year – ECB’s new 50-over competition – they had to report national duty midway.

“We haven’t played ODIs for a really long time, so I think just coming into this series we made sure that we wanted to hit the ground running and didn’t take a game to get into the series. We are really happy at where we are,” the allrouder opined.

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“I think things that we needed to come from the warm-up games are consistency with the ball and put them in the right areas and also batting in partnerships and making sure we extend those and keep doing the good things for a longer period. I think we are really in a good shape and will be able to wrap up the ODI part of the series in two days' time.”

With the World Cup in New Zealand next year around the same time, Sciver hinted there might be some changes in the final game so as to give everyone some quality game time. “It’s possible. We had one change from the first game in the second. Obviously with the World Cup in mind next year, working towards that in terms of getting people in the squad time to play 50 overs as well,” she added.

Sciver also heaped praise on teammate Beaumont, who also crossed the 2500-run mark in ODIs during the course of the match. “In terms of her performance she has been so consistent, that is really important at the top of the order having the stability at one end,” she said.