Taha Hashim revisits Katherine Brunt’s Lord’s exhibition in the inaugural Women’s World T20 final, No.4 in Wisden’s women’s spells of the 2000s, as picked by Wisden India editor-at-large Karunya Keshav.
Katherine Brunt 3-6
England v New Zealand, 2009 Women’s World T20 final
June 21, 2009
Following an all-timer of a semi-final with Australia, England’s match-up with New Zealand in the 2009 Women’s World T20 final resulted in a massive anti-climax. The blame lies with Katherine Brunt.
It had been a strange tournament for the fast bowler up till her day out at Lord’s. Following economical figures of 4-1-0-14 in England’s opening win over India, a blow to the face in a fielding warm-up resulted in Brunt missing wins over Sri Lanka and Pakistan. She returned for the semi sporting a black eye but proved expensive in front of the big-hitting Australians, with her four overs costing 39 runs.
Brunt later revealed to the Guardian that she “was struggling to find some rhythm” ahead of the final. “Then my coach took me to the Nursery Ground on the morning of the game, and I just clicked,” she added. “I got my swing back.”
Hooping swing proved to be the hallmark of her opening burst, and the shiner only added to her threat. From the first ball of her second over, an inswinger rattled the stumps of New Zealand captain Aimee Watkins, who had hit an unbeaten 89 from 58 balls in her side’s semi-final win over India and finished as the tournament’s leading run-scorer. “She’s probably the one person that a lot of people would’ve been worried about this tournament,” Brunt said after the match. No worries for England’s star seamer.
At the other end, Laura Marsh (4-0-16-1) was the perfect foil for Brunt as New Zealand’s batters shuddered on the biggest stage. But while Marsh allowed for some breathing room, Brunt grew more and more unforgiving. Her final two overs summed up just how much control she imposed over the opposition: two maidens and two wickets sealed heavenly figures of 3-6.
After eight overs, New Zealand were 23-4, and the champagne was on ice for England. The visitors eventually crumbled to 85 all out and Claire Taylor, in pristine touch, made sure the chase contained little bother for the hosts. Nevertheless, it was the 23-year-old Brunt who was cast in the leading role that day and, 11 years on, she’s still going strong.