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Class tells Down Under

In the last of her exclusive blogs for ecb.co.uk from England Women’s Ashes tour, Jenny Gunny reveals which ‘class’ had the last laugh and relives how the urn was retained.

The ‘Poshies’ and ‘Commoners’ competition continued into the last leg of the tour and, because the ‘Poshies’ can't beat us at anything to do with sport, they decided to challenge us to a quiz.

Danni Hazell and Trev (Heather Knight) wrote the quiz, and it's safe to say it was good fun. My personal favourite question had to be ‘name the lightest boxing weight’ to which Lydia Greenway confidently replied ‘crumb’. Probably not Lyds!

Despite claiming superior intellect, the ‘Poshies’ duly lost, us ‘Commoners’ winning by two points.

Our first T20 was at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart and we bowled first. We quickly realised that the wicket was a road and we knew we just had to try to dive on everything. The Aussies set us a challenging 151 to win, but it felt double.

What followed was better than anything any of us could have hoped for. Lottie (Charlotte Edwards) was in the zone from the start, hitting the ball to all parts. It was definitely her day. There was simply no stopping her!

After we had retained the Ashes we were so tired from the heat in Perth and Melbourne earlier in the tour that we lost the last two T20s

We only lost one wicket in the run-chase and it was brilliant to watch Lot and Sarah Taylor bring-up the hundred partnership before the captain fittingly hit the winnings runs to finish on 92 not out and, in the process, retain the Ashes!

From Tasmania we flew to Melbourne for the second T20. Unfortunately, we couldn't repeat the Hobart heroics and we only managed to score 98 runs batting first, which Australia made light work - chasing down the score in 16 overs.

The matches came thick and fast at the end of the tour, with the final T20 happening two days later in Sydney. Rather than the traditional SCG, we played at Stadium Australia, which is in the Olympic Park and where the 2003 Rugby Union World Cup final was played.  

Before the match, a few of the girls left one of their spare playing shirts out for everyone to sign as a memento of the tour. Deciding that this was a great idea, Georgia Elwiss popped her shirt on the table and quickly had a couple of signatures plonked on the back. This was all before she realised that she hadn't brought a spare playing shirt with her to the ground to actually play in!  Lots of scrubbing helped, but she essentially played with her idol(!) Katherine Brunt's autograph on her back. Good job it wasn't a TV match… oh no, wait there!

We lost the final T20 by seven wickets and our performance was a tired one. All the hard work in the extreme Perth and Melbourne heat in the first few weeks of the tour had finally caught up with us.

To win the Ashes back-to-back is a really special feeling, and to win on Australian soil is something else.

We were all looking forward to getting home and having a rest before preparations start for the Women's World T20 in March. But it's safe to say we had a smashing time throughout the five weeks in Australia!

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