Saturday, June 22, 2024

Sophie Ecclestone wants World Cup or Ashes win after another personal milestone

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Sophie Ecclestone has targeted World Cup glory or an Ashes victory over the next 12 months after she reached her latest milestone in England’s emphatic one-day international win over Pakistan at Chelmsford on Wednesday.

England won by 178 runs in the third ODI in Essex to clinch the series by a 2-0 score with the hosts’ able to post 302 for five before Pakistan’s innings ended on 124.

After Nat Sciver-Brunt hit a superb unbeaten century, Ecclestone claimed three for 15, which included her 100th ODI scalp.

It made the spinner the fastest bowler to reach 100 ODI wickets after she achieved the feat in 63 innings to move top of a prestigious list that includes Cathryn Fitzpatrick (64), Megan Schutt (66) and Jess Jonassen (67) amongst others.

“It’s obviously really cool,” Ecclestone said.

“Obviously when I was younger, I used to watch them all on TV, so to overtake them and take 100 ODI wickets is very special.

“I think I just want to win a World Cup or an Ashes (next), to be honest. I’m not won one yet.

“Obviously if I keep taking wickets, hopefully that means the team is winning and we’re getting closer to a World Cup winners’ medal or being Ashes winners.”

The prospect of both accomplishments being completed are a possibility with England set for the T20 World Cup in October before they visit Australia at the start of 2025.

England’s victory in Essex made it five wins from six matches this summer after they also secured a 3-0 T20 series win over Pakistan.

Sciver-Brunt hit a superb unbeaten 124 at Chelmsford, her ninth ODI hundred, to lead England over the 300-mark with Maia Bouchier (34) and Danni Wyatt (44) also able to provide key contributions.

The recalled Lauren Bell ensured England made a strong start with the ball after she claimed a double early scalp before Sciver-Brunt followed up her ton with a two-wicket haul.

It was then over to Ecclestone and she brought up her 100th ODI wicket when Nashra Sandhu edged behind to Heather Knight to depart for a golden duck.

Ecclestone told Sky Sports: “I think the best thing for me is to keep enjoying it and I have got the best team around me to keep enjoying my cricket.

“I feel like I play my best when I am enjoying it and having a laugh with the girls on the field, so hopefully I keep enjoying it and stay there.

“I think I have always got to try to be one step ahead of (batters), whether it’s my fields or what I am trying to bowl or trying to use my arm ball when I can.

“Yeah, obviously I have a great bowling attack around me, which means I can be really attacking with my fields.”

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