Nat Sciver Stands In The Way Of The Proteas And Their Hopes To Reach The Finals!
It’s a bit of a misnomer. Seriously, it’s not a joke.
Really. To say that there’s quite literally nothing that Nat Sciver can’t do in the game of Cricket is a lie.
Let that sink in!
So what is it that Nat Sciver cannot do?
Truth be told, Nat Sciver cannot be average. Never.
A chance as remote as earthquakes being less somber and cute.
In Nat Sciver’s ebb, cricket isn’t about a game won or a match lost. It’s more. Way more.
Cricket is a chance to get better and constantly be that way.
That is precisely what Nat Sciver has been doing pretty much this T20 World Cup 2023.
To most opponents, whether Alyssa Healy or Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur or Marizanne Kapp- perhaps it does boil down to going big and gunning for glory.
But from the Nat Sciver vantage point, Cricket is an extension of the self; the longing of that self to go out there and express oneself as best as one can.
For as long as that is the aim, the runs come and the wickets tumble.
Which is why at the cost of sounding a touch rambunctious, maybe there’s sense in drawing a parallel between Nat Sciver as being the Lioness.
The queen of the jungle.
It really is no over enthusiastic analogy.
The lioness isn’t the tallest creature in the wild. She is most certainly not the fastest. Neither is she , quite frankly, the biggest prey of them all.
She’s the queen of the jungle for the self-belief; for she feels that way.
And then there’s a certain Natalie Sciver-Brunt.
She’s not the fastest medium pacer; others, most noticeably, Pooja Vastrakar, Shabnim Ismail and Ellyse Perry are much faster.
Neither is Nat Sciver the greatest hitter around; the likes of Harmanpreet Kaur and Grace Harris or Chloe Tryon are perhaps worthy candidates for that prized decoration.
Let it be known that Nat Sciver isn’t the most agile fielder out there; Ash Gardner and Gaby Lewis are perhaps a yard ahead.
Yet, Nat Sciver is the best all rounder in the current conception of the women’s game for her sheer belief.
And lest it is forgotten, for the pure love of competing.
Nat Sciver is head and shoulders above so many others with seemingly more skill and athletic ability for she considers that she’s the best operating in the business.
At a time where arrogance could simply have taken the better of her, Sciver smiles at the failure to connect a particular ball or when an inside edge yields a fortuitous boundary.
Nat Sciver often accumulates dot balls and puts the brakes on any sort of aggressive demeanour instantly upon her arrival into the middle.
But at any such time where the opponent thinks and outlandishly so that it is putting the right hander under pressure, Sciver, though completely unbeknownst to the bowlers, is looking for the moment to break free.
And that moment does arrive, eventually without much ado; at times in the form of that trademark pull through the mid wicket or to the glowing off drive, perhaps a peculiarly underrated stroke of hers.
For her sheer instinct for domination, Nat Sciver must be celebrated.
There are cricketers who thrive on sheer power. But others- the thinkers and the watchers, the foxy observers like Sciver- thrive in the now.
Cricket to them is wired in the ‘now’.
Perhaps it’s only fair to say that in the context of a cricketer who smiles- not scoffs- at the demand for a great struggle in the middle.
It was back in 2013, when as a 20-year-old, Nat Sciver immediately came to aid England courtesy a run-a-ball 19. The contest belonged to Sarah Taylor, the player-of-the-match.
But Nat Sciver was a busy bee, scoring the hard runs, scampering for the 1s and converting the 1s into the 2s.
Truth be told, a decade since the Loughborough T20I v Pakistan, she’s been the same!
In this world cup, she’s only been dismissed twice. Make no mistake, she’s already collected 2 fifties both in matchwinning cause for her England.
She came in against Pakistan when the scorecard reading 2 down for 33. Pakistan thought that they had England in control.
Except they didn’t! Not on Nat Sciver’s watch.
The end result of a long stay at the crease that lasted for a full 40 deliveries, was an unbeaten score of 81 runs.
Sciver was brute, brutal even on occasions, cutting the awkward length tersely and showing the white ball to the square boundary.
Last year, against the mighty Aussies, Sciver was at it again and that was when the English were contesting in the finals of the ODI World Cup.
An unbeaten century guided England to a position of respectability, if not absolute ascension. The Australians mauled everyone, but couldn’t find a way beyond Nat Sciver’s watchful defences.
She’s to England what sovereignty is to the pride of lions.
It is about pride in the end, isn’t it- not about arrogance!
One fears for the Proteas as they’ll come to face a familiar opponent who has immense experience in tackling the heat of skiddly medium pacers Kapp and Ismail.
While the Proteas will compete with fire, they ought to watch out for the cool-headed Natalie Sciver who just won’t budge unless, of course, a silly, suicidal dismissal plots her own downfall.
It’s all to play for.
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