How Sophie Ecclestone bounced back after horror show
Sophie Ecclestone did not have an auspicious start to her ICC Women’s World Cup 2022 campaign.
As England played their opening fixture of the competition against Australia, the Australian bowlers carted every bowler to all parts of the park, with opener Rachael Haynes making a run a ball 130 and Meg Lanning chipping in with 86.
Sophie Ecclestone was the most expensive England bowler on show in the match. Despite sitting at the top of the charts among ICC’s best limited overs bowlers, she conceded 77 runs from her 10 overs, going at an economy rate of 7.70 without picking up a wicket.
Ecclestone desperately wanted to beat Australia when England managed to reach the final.
“Beating the Aussies in the final, I can’t really put it into words after the Ashes we had. I really believe in this group and on our day we can definitely beat the Aussies – we’ve got a great chance. I know if we play our best cricket and our batters bat the way they can and the bowlers bowl the way they can, we’ve got such a great unit as a team, so we’ll just focus on ourselves and do the best we can. A shot at the title is absolutely massive for me personally. I haven’t won a major trophy yet since I started playing for England and I’d really love to win that sooner rather than later,” Ecclestone said before the final.
“It’s also massive for the group – we’ve shown how good we can be and the girls showed in the 2017 World Cup how good we are. Hopefully we can go out and play our best cricket to prove the side we are. To get that first five-for and to bowl as well as I am at the minute, I feel great and have a lot of rhythm, it’s a great feeling for me. I didn’t have a great day out against the Aussies, I think it’s fair to say. To come back the way I did, I’m really proud of myself. The team has fought back as well, it’s been amazing to witness that.”
Although her dream was not fulfilled, she did well on an individual front.
Making a mark
Ecclestone served a reminder of what she was made of. The spinner ended up picking 6 for 36 against South Africa, the best figures in the competition to redeem herself.
She ended the world cup as the highest wicket-taker with 21 wickets from 9 matches at 15.61.