Freya Davies: 'It's nice to prove a point on this stage'
Seamer steps up in second T20I with Brunt and Shrubsole unavailable
Freya Davies said she was pleased to "prove a point" after taking career-best figures in England's series-sealing six-wicket win in their second T20I against New Zealand.
England were without their two all-time leading T20I wicket-takers on Friday, with Anya Shrubsole missing the tour through injury and Katherine Brunt ruled out through illness. An England spokesperson said that she had woken up "with a head-cold" and she is expected to receive the results of a Covid-19 test on Saturday morning.
Their absence meant that Davies formed part of a three-pronged seam attack, alongside Tash Farrant and Nat Sciver, with the trio returning combined figures of 6 for 65 from 12 overs. Davies' 4 for 23 was her first four-wicket haul in an England shirt, and she admitted that it had been particularly heartening after she had bowled only a solitary over in the first T20I of the series, and conceded two boundaries in her first four balls on Friday.
"T20 is a fickle game and it can turn around so quickly," Davies said. "You just need to make sure that you're ready to go again, and it was nice to get that wicket and finish that [first] over on a high and really take that energy into my last three.
"As a team we know that in T20, taking wickets is your best way to stop them scoring runs, and on that wicket, we had lots of conversations about keeping the stumps in the game and letting them make mistakes.
"There are some pretty big shoes to fill when they [Brunt and Shrubsole] aren't playing, for sure. All of us have been in and around the squad for a while and we know we're capable of performances like that. It's just nice to prove a point on this stage and hopefully throw my hat in the ring."
Tammy Beaumont, who top-scored with 63 of 53 balls in England's comfortable run chase, said that she was pleased to see Davies replicating the form she had showed in domestic cricket on the international stage.
"I think it will mean a lot," Beaumont said. "She's been in and around the England squad for a number of years now and had a few opportunities along the way, but a little bit sporadically.
"She's done so well for Western Storm and Sussex over the years, opening the bowling and at the death, so it was great to see her bowl at that time and show what she's been doing for years. She's been getting me out for years so it was great to see her do it on the international stage."
Beaumont's innings was her fourth half-century in five innings on this tour, and she said that she was pleased to have made a faster start than she had in the first T20I.
"I felt I had lacked a bit of intent and clarity in the first T20," she said. "That's what we challenge ourselves to do: really attack that powerplay. I would have liked to have got off to a bit more of a flyer [in the first game]. It seemed like it came on a lot better today and I wanted to play with a lot more intent than I had in the ODIs and in the first T20."
Beaumont also targeted a 3-0 series win, having lost the third match of the ODI series to allow New Zealand a consolation win.
"I was gutted in that game that we underperformed but the White Ferns came back really well," she said. "It's a case of not being complacent and trying to get that 3-0 in this trip. Whoever goes out there will be desperate to win on Sunday.
"The bowlers bowled really well throughout the first game, and they had to come back from a pretty good partnership between Amy Satterthwaite and Amelia Kerr again today. At one point it looked like we were going to have to chase 150 and they'd got away from us a little bit [so] that resilience from our team was exceptional."
Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets at @mroller98