How to play the Natmeg in cricket?
In a 2017 Women’s World Cup game between New Zealand and England, Natalie Sciver-Brunt, played a match winning knock of 125 runs in 111 balls to ensure England had a defendable total on board. England won the match by 75 runs, ensuring the semis berth. The English side would go on to win their fourth world cup title. One of the highlights of the tournament was the creation of a new shot by England batter Natalie Sciver-Brunt.
When a full-length delivery pitched in line of the leg stump, Sciver simply angled the bat in a way that the ball was drawn between her legs towards the fine leg region. It was a one of a kind shot and cricket fans were quick to give it a name – The Natmeg.
“Basically, as my stance is quite wide, I get into a position where I can’t move my front foot again. If it is really full then all I can really do is hit it like an axe. Luckily, I hit it. It is by chance. There is no more exciting story than that. Everyone’s like, ‘Ah! So close to getting the wicket’. I am like ‘he he’,” said Sciver after the match.
Since the word nutmeg is used in football as a trick by a player to pass the ball between the opponent’s legs, Sciver’s shot is also known as the Nutmeg. The shot was again played by England’s Jonny Bairstow during a match against South Africa in a T20 match in 2022 when Kagiso Rabada bowled a yorker down the legside. Sciver is thus one of the few cricketers to have a shot named after her.