By Dave Clark
Anya Shrubsole says she is enjoying life as the spearhead of England Women’s bowling attack after playing a pivotal role in the demolition of New Zealand.
The 22-year-old is leading the seam attack going into the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh while Katherine Brunt recovers from back surgery.
And the Somerset star finished with remarkable figures of 4-1-10-4 as the White Ferns were skittled for a lowly 48 in England’s final warm-up match before kicking off the tournament proper against West Indies on Monday.
Charlotte Edwards’ side then had few problems chasing down 49 for victory with only two wickets lost and more than half their overs to spare.
“I absolutely love it,” Shrubsole told ecb.co.uk when asked about leading the attack. “Katherine not being here is a massive shame - she’s led our attack brilliantly for years - but I guess it’s over to me for this tournament and hopefully I can keep doing what I did today.
“It’s been a really good day for us. I think we bowled and fielded brilliantly to restrict them to such a low total, and then I think the four girls who batted knocked it off really well.
“I didn’t bowl against Pakistan; the plan was always for me to bowl today and I’m really happy to have contributed to the team but I think it was an all-round team performance.
“We’ve had two really good warm-up wins; we played well against Pakistan but we knew there were things we needed to improve on and I think we’ve gone out today and improved on those things and put in a really solid performance.
“Hopefully now we’ve got a little bit of momentum behind us and we’ll take that into the first game against West Indies.”
Despite impressing today and in their opening warm-up victory against Pakistan, the back-to-back Ashes winners are well aware that tougher tasks lie just around the corner.
“The West Indies have proved themselves to be one of the best Twenty20 sides in the world in the last few years, so we’re under no illusions as to how tough that challenge is going to be.
“It will be a case of recovering from today, travelling down to Sylhet and getting a good training session in and then onto the first game.
“I think we know that there’s a really stiff task ahead of us and we have to keep playing cricket like we’ve played today is we have hopes of progressing further and hopefully winning this tournament. So I think if anything that will fuel the girls to go on and work even harder.”
While Shrubsole is seen as England’s key seam bowler, uncapped Rebecca Grundy has impressed in the tournament build-up with her left-arm spin.
The Warwickshire bowler took 3-14 today to go with figures of 1-18 against Pakistan and Shrubsole sees no reason for her not to continue that form.
“Obviously Becky Grundy got a couple of wickets early on as well and I think between us we managed to really start the game off brilliantly for us,” she added.
“I think she’ll take a lot of confidence from both performances. I think she bowled really well against Pakistan and she’s taken it into this game as well and picked up a few wickets, so hopefully she can continue doing that for us throughout the tournament.”