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Nat Sciver-Brunt lives up to his billing in a night of haunting familiarity

Nat Sciver Brunt he has done it many times before. Wearing blue, against a team in yellow, in a decisive game, especially with the bat. And against various other teams as well.

Just last year, the ODI World Cup started. with an undefeated 109 of 85 against arch rivals Australia who took England from 177 for 5 to the brink of their target of 311. A month later England were chasing a whopping 357 in the end – yes, against Australia again – and Sciver-Brunt stood his ground amid the rubble with an unbeaten 148. No other England batsman reached 30.

When she returned from a three-month mental health break later in the year, she was the Player of the Series in the ODIs against the West Indies, the second top scorer in the T20 World Cup last month with 216 runs at a strike rate of 141.17, and he struck two brilliant blows: an act of rescue after England went 29 for 3 against India which finally set up an 11-run, 29-ball fifty victory in a record win over pakistan.

The WPL Eliminator Friday night at DY Patil Stadium was a two-team knockout game, but it felt like just another night for Sciver-Brunt. She wore blue against an Australian-led UP Warriorz team in yellow. alyssa healyand hammered an unbeaten 72 from 38 balls (she reached a fifty from 26 balls), giving the Mumbai Indians a total of 182 which they would not have hit without her.

Sciver-Brunt also owes one to her England teammate Sophie Ecclestone, who brought her down through the middle when she was at 6, on the last ball of the power play. Sciver-Brunt thanked Ecclestone after the game, but first made the Warriorz pay for the missed opportunity.

Sciver-Brunt’s hitting style doesn’t get the kind of attention that Healy’s or Shafali Verma’s get because he doesn’t hit as many sixes or dive as often, but his almost effortless ability to punch holes and find the edge regularly it deflates the oppositions in a very similar way.

The field spread after Sciver-Brunt was brought down, but the short third and fine short leg were in the circle, and she caught Ecclestone on the leg side for four in the seventh. First-order wickets often slow the pace, even in T20s, but not in the world of Sciver-Brunt. Her self-confidence was such that she hit the pedal harder after Hayley Matthews holed out in the tenth over. Sciver-Brunt unleashed her A-game when she watched the Warriorz’s most inexperienced bowler, teenager Parshavi Chopra, come on in the 12th over.

She took the lead from the first ball of the over, serving a marginally short ball between long-on and deep midwicket for her fourth four. Chopra was going to go fuller now, and would probably shoot it too because that’s her strength, and predicting that, Sciver-Brunt danced to the next ball and volleyed the half volley into a long time for six. That forced Chopra to come up a little short again, and Sciver-Brunt quickly rocked deep into his crease and hit the ball past the short, fine leg for four more. The 16-year-old Chopra’s 16 runs lifted Mumbai’s run rate from 7.45 to 8.16.

Once he crossed 50 and Mumbai entered the death overs, Sciver-Brunt was matched up against the experienced left arm Rajeshwari Gayakwad. With nifty footwork again, he sprang down for a graceful inside-out shot over the covers and followed with a short-arm jerk off the next ball, inevitably flatter and shorter.

Sciver-Brunt later said that she had “surprised myself with a couple of drinks”. Healy, who has seen her collect runs this way many times behind stumps, was a bystander again.

“She’s a class player and I think she’s number one in the whole world right now,” Healy said in her post-match press conference. “There’s no secret why that is, she plays good cricket shots and she also bowls and fields very well. Yeah, I’ve been at the other end of a couple of shots which she’s been great to watch.”

“She’s a smart looking batsman, she never tries anything too fancy, she just plays nice and direct, plays on the ground most of the time and gets the job done for her team, which is probably the most amazing aspect of her cricket. who defends his team in those great moments”.

Sciver-Brunt capped off her innings with a fairy tale sixth finish to Deepti Sharma. Her innings put her at the top of the Mumbai running tables for the season, and she also has the best strike rate in the side (149.45) as well as 10 wickets – she more than lives up to her billing as second highest. she buys heads at the auction. And if this yellow-blue rivalry is to turn into something in the future, like Australia vs England or Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians in the IPL, the WPL will always remember who wrote its first chapter.