Sparkling Sciver-Brunt ton helps England beat Pakistan

Third ODI, Chelmsford

England 302-5 (50 overs): Sciver-Brunt 124* (117); Umm-e-Hani 2-47

Pakistan 124 all out (29.1 overs): Muneeba 47 (55); Ecclestone 3-15

England won by 178 runs; win series 2-0


Nat Sciver-Brunt's stunning century led England to a 178-run thrashing over Pakistan in the third one-day international at Chelmsford.

The all-rounder struck 124 not out, including 14 fours and two sixes, which propelled England to an imposing 302-5.

Sciver-Brunt then claimed figures of 2-11, as Pakistan were 124 all out in pursuit of an unlikely all-time record run chase, with captain Nida Dar unable to bat with an injury.

Only opener Muneeba Ali, with a composed 47, and Aliya Riaz's 36 offered any resistance for the visitors as Sophie Ecclestone took 3-15, including her 100th ODI wicket.

The comprehensive victory handed England a 2-0 win in the ODI series, ensuring the visitors end their white-ball tour without a win.

The gulf in class between the sides was most evident in this series finale, as Pakistan's fielding let them down amid a generally positive effort.

Opener Maia Bouchier made 34 but was dropped on 25, Amy Jones was dropped on six before making 27 and there was a double missed chance of a stumping and a catch when Sciver-Brunt was on 86.

The last was the most costly, as Sciver-Brunt and Alice Capsey, who made an unbeaten 39, launched a brutal onslaught of 47 runs from the last three overs.

England's home summer continues with another white-ball series against New Zealand starting in June, before the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh in October.

Sublime Sciver-Brunt at her best

A washout at Taunton in the second ODI ensured England did not achieve a complete clean sweep of the series, but despite not losing a match, they came to Chelmsford still searching for a complete performance.

They were below-par in all departments in the first ODI at Derby, but led by Sciver-Brunt's brilliance, they saved their best until last.

The lack of top-order contributions is still a concern but Sciver-Brunt combined both class and patience to steady the innings in a fourth-wicket stand of 79 with Danni Wyatt, who played the role of aggressor with 44 from 42 balls.

There is always a sense of calmness and control when Sciver-Brunt is in the middle, as she played all around the ground, effortlessly toying with Pakistan's tired bowlers.

There were fluent cover drives, innovative ramps past the keeper to reach her century after overcoming a few overs of frustration, and brutal sixes down the ground in the death overs fireworks provided by her partnership with Capsey.

Her form in the 50-over format is staggering: since the start of 2022, she is averaging 67.71 with the bat including six centuries, and four of them unbeaten.

Making it through five overs with the ball as part of her comeback from injury will also be a huge boost for skipper Heather Knight, as she will hope to have her most valuable asset at full power for the World Cup.

Ecclestone the history-maker

It has been a memorable series for left-arm spinner Ecclestone, Knight's other trump card across all formats.

In the second T20 at Northampton, she overtook Katherine Sciver-Brunt to become England's all-time leading wicket-taker in the format at the age of just 25.

And at Chelmsford, she became the fastest woman to take 100 ODI wickets in terms of innings (63) - one match less than Australian quick Cathryn Fitzpatrick.

Starting the match on 98 scalps, she got the required two in the space of two balls, pinning Umm-e-Hani lbw for four and having Nashra Sandhu caught at slip for a duck.

Aliya Riaz holed out to long-on for Ecclestone's third and the winning wicket as she expertly mopped up the tail and was subsequently named player of the series.

Seamers Lauren Bell and Kate Cross did the early damage in the innings, restricting Pakistan to 45-3 from the 10-over powerplay and finishing with 2-26 and 1-19 respectively.

'One of our best ODI performances' - reaction

England captain Heather Knight: "Really pleased with how we played today, we were disappointed after Derby but today was a complete performance.

"We’ve talked about being ruthless and we’ve done that today. One of our best ODI performances."

Player of the match, England's Nat Sciver-Brunt: "I had a great time and a great way to finish the series.

"I still wanted to put pressure on the bowlers [when first at the crease] as much as I could, get on strike and build a partnership. I had different partners along the way but it worked out well."

Pakistan bowler Fatima Sana: "I think we started really well with our bowling, got a lot of wickets early on but we couldn't finish it off.

"We learned a lot of things, the guys played really well. Our players are young and we're learning a lot."

Player of the series, England's Sophie Ecclestone: "I’m not very good with stats but it feels amazing to overtake some of the people I watched growing up. I just came to enjoy it, I play my best when I enjoy it."