'We've got a bit of learning to do' - Katherine Brunt highlights issues despite England's winning start in CWG 2022

'Need to learn how to combat situations to be able to then perform as well,' said Brunt.

Katherine Brunt
Katherine Brunt of England. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

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Katherine Brunt, who played her 100th T20I match, believes England needs to learn a lot from their first game of the Commonwealth Games 2022, which was an eye-opening experience. With 17 balls remaining, the home team defeated Sri Lanka by a comfortable margin of five wickets. That was largely based on a strong all-around bowling effort, with Brunt starting their campaign with a wicket.

Spinner Sophie Ecclestone claimed three wickets, giving away 25 runs, while pacers Issy Wong and Freya Kemp grabbed two wickets each. It was Alice Capsey’s job to lead them to victory during the chase on a slow, shifting pitch that had been used four times in two days despite their attempts to limit Sri Lanka to 106/9.

A solid 44-run innings by Capsey, a 17-year-old all-rounder playing in just her third international, came to an end when she was trapped with England just two runs short of the mark. The next-highest scorer for England was Maia Bouchier, who scored 21* and established a 42-run stand for the fifth wicket. This was only Bouchier’s seventh game for England.

“I can’t explain how it feels. I’ve played for a long time, I’ve played in many world events, Ashes series, and they have this certain feeling when you feel a bit sick, a bit nervous, but as soon as you cross the line it’s fine, you’re into the game, into the battle,” Brunt said after the match.

It’s certainly a huge occasion and we did feel: Katherine Brunt

They had a lot to deal with, especially after Capsey sustained a severe injury to her face during the warm-up and England’s baggage failed to arrive at Edgbaston with them prior to the game. Then there was the simple realisation that the host nation’s debut at the Commonwealth Games had finally arrived after much anticipation.

“But with this, it’s a bit weird. I can’t explain – there’s a little bit more on top. I think we found that out tonight and we’ve got a bit of learning to do very quickly on what to do with that feeling and how to combat it to be able to then perform as well. So I’m not going to lie, it’s certainly a huge occasion and we did feel it, but it’s not anything we can’t get around,” she added.