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July 18, 2010
Katherine Brunt played a major role in England's one-day series triumph over New Zealand, striking the winning boundary in a tense, one-wicket win in the first match at Taunton, and picking up three cheap wickets to help restrict the visitors to a gettable total infront of her home crowd at Barnsley in Saturday's series-sealing nine-wicket victory.
"It's been a hard summer trying to find my form," she told ecb.co.uk. "I'm carrying a few niggles but I've stayed strong but the conditions and pitches haven't suited my bowling until today. I've really had to work hard at bowling immaculate lines and lengths, which is all you can bowl on pitches like at Taunton.
"I've worked hard and so has everyone else, and we're all just hitting our straps now and putting in some really good performances. The batters had to dig really deep and Sarah Taylor and Claire Taylor played really, really well." Sarah and Claire Taylor shared in an unbeaten 98-run stand on Saturday, Claire reaching a half-century which included six fours and a six, and Sarah anchoring the innings with 49 not out.
"We've had a lot of rain here so it turned out to be a good seamer's track," added Brunt. "It turned quite a lot as well so it was always the bowlers' day - for the first time in quite a while."
Brunt suggested that New Zealand captain Aimee Watkins' decision to bat first was a tactical error in bowler-friendly conditions, and highlighted the value of knowledge of conditions at the ground. "That just goes to show that we know the local weather and how the pitch has always played," she explained. "I guess that helps - me being a Yorkshire girl, a local girl, to help them out with that - so we were fortunate to have that edge."
Brunt lauded Barnsley Cricket Club's efforts in staging the first international match at the ground, which will hold special memories for her after her dominant performance with the ball helped England bounce back after their disappointment in the Twenty20s, which New Zealand won 2-1, with several members of her family in the crowd.
"I managed to reserve 25 tickets for my family - cousins, aunties and uncles - so I'm really glad they could make it and see what I do and how much I enjoy playing cricket for my country. It's fantastic to be able to have a one-day international here. I never thought that was possible, but Barnsley Cricket Club has come a long way.
"They've built a a new pavilion and they've got a new scorebox, which is brilliant. They're done a really great job today hosting and hopefully there'll be some more in the future."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.