Brunt wasn’t feeling okay. She wasn’t performing well. England weren’t performing well. They were shown the doors multiple times, but somehow they had managed to hang in there. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. After all, they are the defending champions.
They wanted a win. Personally, Brunt wanted a win.
Brunt, being a competitor, certainly hated how her World Cup 2022 CV looked. One wicket from five matches and that wicket came in the first match of the tournament. Since then, Her performances were 0/38, 0/54, 0/18, 0/38.
She was not upto her standards and wasn’t hitting the right length. Even Nasser Hussain in the commentary box was a bit frustrated when she was bowling short deliveries.
“She keeps dropping short for no reason”, he said.
It was hurting her, and most importantly, it was hurting England and their qualification chances. Questions were raised and the clock was ticking.
On Thursday, England were close to falling down the bridge. They needed their heroes to show up. They needed good old Brunt to show up.
On Thursday. Pakistan met the same old Brunt. The one who had won England the Ashes. The one who hates losing. The one who had won them a World Cup…with a black eye. The one who is a national treasure.
The first delivery of the match.
Nahida Khan adjusts her grip as she gets ready to face the first delivery. Brunt looks at her and it felt like she already knew what she is going to do. A full ball, around middle and off.
The conditions did the rest. It shapes away from Nahida Khan and kisses the edge. The skipper Heather Knight completes a regular catch at the slip. As England celebrate, Brunt looked up at the sky, outstretched her arm.
It felt like the good old Brunt had entered her body again. It was a sign of something special. The wicket also had ended the span of her ‘unlucky charm’ which she felt was following her throughout the tournament.
From thereon, it felt more like the script perhaps with new actors in it, leaving the stage one by one. England team directed the game in such a way that they would not only get the two points but also end with a better net run rate.
“You JUST CAN NOT sweep Brunt”, said Sana Mir in the commentary. Of course, it is not the first occurrence. Many have tried and failed.
Trying to sweep Brunt is such a sweet little temptation that Brunt wants the batters to do, especially, during the latter part of the innings. Not many can come out of that and Nida Dar fell for it today. Dar tried to flick a full delivery which was on the middle and leg. She missed it as Brunt trapped her right before the stumps.
When Brunt is on the song, we get to see art. The art that surprises you and makes you wonder how on earth it was even possible. That art collided with Sidra Amin’s fate in today’s match. She was out there for 106 minutes still, Brunt was able to surprise her.
As Sidra Amin searched for that gap in the third man region, Brunt’s delivery was quick enough to beat her and Amin chopped the length delivery onto the stumps.
The celebration began.
Brunt wasn’t needed again today. She finished with 3/17 from her 8 overs. A spell she would remember at least until the next match. Of course, she will look to better that against Bangladesh and make England qualify for the semi-finals.
Until then, it is a spell to remember, especially, because of all the hard work that went into the nets the previous day.
At 37, Brunt is still willing to learn, unlearn and relearn things and she is still willing to contribute to the team in whatever way she can. Some players are just like that. They hate to lose. They hate to be on the receiving side.
As she said after the match, she really needed this day. To put an end to all the noises that were going around.
Feature Image- Peter Meecham/ Getty Images