Heather Knight on Nat Sciver, following his undiscarded 109 in England’s 12-point loss to Australia: “If we’re going to have a chance in this World Cup, we’re going to need performances like that from her. She’s great to have a real all-rounder by your side.”
Last update: 03/05/22 1:10 p.m.
Heather Knight felt there were ‘lots of positives’ to be taken from the opening game loss to Australia at the Women’s World Cup
England captain Heather Knight spoke confidently despite her side suffering yet another defeat to Australia to open their Women’s World Cup campaign on Saturday.
England failed to win a single match in the multi-format Women’s Ashes last month, losing all three scheduled ODIs to Australia. – namely Nate Sciver.
Chasing 311 to win, England missed 10 runs from their target despite a magnificent unbeaten 109 from Sciver on just 85 balls.
“For us as a batting unit, that’s a real confidence booster,” Knight said.
“The way we played in the Ashes wasn’t quite an accurate representation of how we want to do things, so seeing the girls doing that – seeing how aggressive we were – there’s a lot of positives to take from it.We lost the first game of the 2017 World Cup.
England lose ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup opener to Australia by 12 runs in New Zealand
“What a round of Nat Sciver, it was exceptional, it almost deserved to be on the winning side, didn’t it.
“If we want to have a chance in this World Cup, we will need performances like that from her. She is great to have a real all-rounder by your side.
“That’s probably one of the best shots I’ve seen from her, and I’ve seen her play some really good ones.”
Knight herself hit 40, sharing a 92 run partnership with Tammy Beaumont (74) for the second wicket after England lost Lauren Winfield-Hill to a four-ball duck in the first round.
She added: “Seeing the batting group play like that, even though they obviously don’t go over the line, was really nice.
“Leaded by Tammy at the top of the order – I think she was brilliant – then continued by Nat and those great rounds.”
Sciver also believes England have made a step forward despite the loss to Australia, taking comfort in the way they are pushing the world’s No.1-ranked ODI side to the finish.
“It’s frustrating, but also very encouraging from where we were at the end of the Ashes,” Sciver said.
“I think we were in a pretty low position, but being able to turn it around in a couple of weeks is really important to be able to feed that into the rest of the tournament.
“We’ve already seen a lot of high-scoring games, so it’s important for us to do the same.”
Both teams paid tribute to Rod Marsh and Shane Warne ahead of the start of the match after the sad news that the two Australian cricket greats have passed away in the past 48 hours.
Australian leg spinner Alana King impressed in the match, taking 3-59 from her 10 overs, and tapped her black armband in her celebration of the Beaumont wicket.
“The shock of waking up to this this morning was incredible,” Sciver added. “I’m not really sure I’m up for it.
“But I’m really pleased that a leg player was able to take wickets today and do it as a tribute to Shane Warne.”