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Allrounder’s vital performance with bat and ball ensured victory over stubborn NZ

Katherine Brunt had been here before.

So when England slumped from 109 for 1 to 140 for 5 in their first ODI against New Zealand, she teamed up with her skipper, Heather Knight, for a steadying 88-run partnership and contributed 43 valuable runs to the hosts’ cause.

Then, defending a below-par total of 241, Brunt came out and bowled four maidens in a row while Nat Sciver took 2 for 10 off five overs from the other end to ultimately ruin New Zealand’s run-chase.

After spending time off the field to treat some tightness in her back, brought on by her batting efforts, Brunt returned to the attack and took a wicket to further dent New Zealand’s faint hopes.

“Funnily enough, we’d had a meeting about a target of ours, which included maidens, and, being the competitive soul I am, I took that upon myself to do as much as I possibly could,” Brunt said after England’s 30-run win in Bristol.

“I’m 36 now and I’ve played 475 games and I’ve got to look after myself,” she added of her spell off the field. “It’s been a really, really long summer, possibly the busiest summer of my whole career and I’m at the very end of it, so you’ve got to be smart, you know, take precautions. It’s just about keeping me on the pitch for as long as possible and doing the right thing.”

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