Nat Sciver believes England have made a step forward but was left frustrated after her stunning century proved to be in vain as they started their Women’s World Cup title defence with a 12-run defeat to Australia.
England failed to win a single match in the multi-format Women’s Ashes last month but pushed the number one ranked one-day international side all the way in their first match of the tournament in Hamilton, New Zealand.
Sciver, who also took two wickets, gave England hope they could chase down the target with her 109 from just 85 deliveries, as they went into the final over needing 16, only for Jess Jonassen to seal victory for Australia.
“It feels frustrating, but also really encouraging from where we were at the end of the Ashes,” Sciver said.
“I think we were in a pretty low spot, but to be able to turn that around in a couple of weeks is really important to be able to take 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 sides had paid tribute to Rod Marsh and Shane Warne after their deaths on Friday at the start of the match and, on a day to celebrate leg-spin, Alana King claimed three England wickets and paid her own tribute to Warne by tapping her black armband.
“The shock of waking up to that this morning was unbelievable. I’m not really sure I’ve got my head around it, but I’m really pleased that a leg-spinner was able to take some wickets today and do that in tribute to Shane Warne,” Sciver said.
Opener Rachael Haynes played the decisive role in the first innings with a brilliant century, hitting 130 as Australia posted 310 for three from their 50 overs – with captain Meg Lanning adding 86 – but the 35-year-old believes Australia still have work to do.
“It’s always nice to get the first win out of the way in a World Cup. I think we can take plenty of lessons out of today though,” Haynes said.
“We were probably a bit off in the field, but as I said it’s nice to get that first win.
“They really came after us and pushed us right until the end there.
“Even the way they bowled was pretty good, they were pretty exceptional today. They were a tough competitive side and I have a lot of respect for them and I think they showed today how dangerous they’re going to be throughout this tournament.”