Nat Sciver-Brunt is 'best in the world in this format', says England coach Jon Lewis after record-breaking ODI display

Nat Sciver-Brunt is 'best in the world in this format', says England coach Jon Lewis after record-breaking ODI display

Nat Sciver-Brunt made a historic 120 (74) at Leicester, recording recording the fastest century in women’s one-day international cricket off 66 balls as England beat Sri Lanka by 161 runs to clinch a 2-0 series win.

Sciver-Brunt beat Charlotte Edwards 11-year record after standing in as captain for Heather Knight, who missed out due to illness.

"She's the best in the world in this format and she showed why today," England coach Jon Lewis said.

"She played fantastically. That partnership with Maia (Bouchier) was just brilliant. They didn't take any risks, it was well calculated and Sciver-Brunt hit all the balls down the ground and Maia followed suit."

The England all-rounder was making her 100th ODI appearance and received her cap from Lauren Winfield-Hill, who made her debut with her back in 2013.

Sciver-Brunt came to the crease when England fell to 18-2 after losing Tammy Beaumont (2) and Alice Capsey (6) in the powerplay to Sri Lanka’s pace bowler Achini Kulasuriya and seamer Udeshika Prabodhani respectively.

But even before Sciver-Brunt made her historic record she reached her half-century after striking Inoka Ranaweera for three consecutive fours, the first guided through deep mid-wicket and then two shots hit down the ground to the long-on boundary.

“After the T20 series someone asked me what we would miss about Nat Sciver-Brunt and it’s her calmness in the middle, something the other players feed off, her reassurance around the team, she’s a fantastic cricketer," Lewis added.

“She’s a great communicator on and off the field and talks about the game really well. She’s a calm and humble person and she talks to all the girls about how they play.”

Sciver-Brunt struck 18 fours and one six before she was eventually caught at long-off by Harshitha Madavi as the Uptonsteel County Ground stood to applause her majestic innings.

"It was a sheer masterclass, she scored all around the ground and looked in total control," said Sky Sports commentator Winfield-Hill.

"Every time she wanted a boundary she got it. She scored off the front foot and the back foot. She just has the power to hit the ball so hard along the ground and was showing innovation.

“She’s a wonderful player and has been for a number of years. Today is a very special day, she is commanding and conclusive with her foot work.

"In the women's game a lot of players advance down the wicket and not many players can hit the ball as hard as she can."

Winfield-Hill added: "She hits off the back foot and by using the depth of the crease she gives herself that extra bit of time.

“There’s so much that she exerts back on to the bowler, she does it to them all, the spinners and seamers, and it's difficult to bowl to a player like that."

Unsurprisingly, Sciver-Brunt was named the player of the match and in the post-match interview praised her teams performance.

“I’m really happy to bat the way I did and continue what I was doing against Australia as well,” Sciver-Brunt said.

“Usually the commemorative caps weren’t so good, so I've changed the voodoo around it.

"The decision not to bowl post-Ashes was to give the body a bit of a rest. I went through training without having to rush around and do everything all the time. It was quite nice.

"I’m looking forward to picking up the ball again. When you’re playing you want to influence in all parts of the game that’s the best part of being an all-rounder."

England's bowlers helped to round off their stand-in captain's performance after bowling Sri Lanka out for 112, with Charlie Dean picking up a five-wicket haul, Lauren Filer finishing on 3-30 and Mahika Gaur on 1-29.

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