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Tension and jubilation

In her latest exclusive blog for ecb.co.uk, Jenny Gunn gives the inside story on England's Ashes Test triumph.

Well, what a rollercoaster of emotions we endured over the four days of our Test match.

Day one went something like this… Lottie won the toss and chose to bat first. We lost early wickets but Arran Brindle and debutant Nat Sciver steadied the ship for us with a solid partnership. A late bowling burst, however, saw us get bowled out for 201, which meant we had six overs to bowl at them before the close. We came out fighting and Anya Shrubsole put the ball in the right areas, meaning that we managed to pick up two late wickets to end the play.

Day two was the hottest of our trip yet: 45 degrees out in the middle. It didn't feel too bad until you started running and then it was like having a hairdryer in your mouth!

We reduced the Aussies to 37 for five thanks to some amazing bowling from the other debutant in the side, Kate Cross. From there it was hard work to make a breakthrough and Ellyse Perry and Erin Osborne put on a strong partnership to get them closer to our score. The heat was starting to take its toll and, with the legs getting heavier and heavier, it was Anya – who is the clumsiest person at the best of times – that reminded us why she is called “Bambi on Ice” when her legs and arms wouldn’t work together!

Cricket really is a funny game, with everything often happening very quickly. And so it proved… we managed to break the Perry-Osborne partnership, and from there we went on a late surge to take the remaining wickets, bowling the Aussies out for a lead of just six runs.

That left us with 16 overs to bat that evening and things didn't go quite to plan as we lost three quick wickets for only 10 runs. It was left to Arran and Nat yet again to dig deep and see out the day.

On day three, it was 40 degrees at 9am, so it is safe to say it was hot! We had a tough day ahead of us to get runs on the board and set up a total to bowl at. Arran and Nat's partnership was going well until 30 minutes before lunch when Nat was bowled, which meant that it was my turn at the crease, followed shortly after by Lottie when Arran was given out lbw. Lottie had been off the field for a while in our bowling innings which meant she wasn't allowed to bat until number seven. It was a nice sight to see your captain strolling to the crease and even better when she hit her first ball for four. We got through to lunch and had 40 minutes to cool down.

As a team we had tried to keep a massive secret from Danni Hazell, whose husband was surprising her by coming out to Perth. We sorted it out that he would come to the cricket, but sit in a box (hospitality, not an actual box…) so she wouldn't know, and then after close we would go for a team drink in the evening and he would surprise her. So I was a bit shocked when Danni came to me at lunch and told me that Jake was here. I was like “No he isn't”, and trying to act daft. Apparently he had been sat on the grass bank and was even on the big screen. Cover blown, team secret destroyed!

After lunch Lot was enjoying the older ball and started scoring quickly, bringing up her half-century. Our partnership was broken for 85 when Lot was given out lbw for 56. We lost our last four wickets for 30 runs to set Australia a target of 185 to win.

We had 26 overs to bowl at them that evening and they came out all guns blazing, taking 12 off the first over. But we got a breakthrough and yet again the game quickly changed direction. We took three wickets without conceding a run and were back in the game. At the end of day three, they were 55 for five.

I don't think many of the girls got much sleep that night as everyone was so excited, and there were a few nerves flying around before the final day.

Big G from the Barmy Army has become a strong supporter of us. Each day he sung Jerusalem in the first over, and every time it leaves you with goose bumps. Needing 127 to win, Australia came out hard at us again. Perry made batting look easy and we knew she was the big wicket that we needed. A key bowling change, however, saw Anya finally get Perry out. This is what we required and we continued to pile on the pressure, taking the final four wickets for 24 runs to win the Test match. What a feeling to win a four-day battle which was so close and could have gone either way!

Our cricket wasn't over for the day, though, as we were soon playing cricket with Arran's son Harry on the outfield for an hour. Safe to say our team cannot bat left-handed as Harry rattled through everyone with his in-swingers!

It was a nice way to end a hard-fought four days. We are now in Melbourne, where our series continues with the ODIs.

Follow the Women's Ashes ball-by-ball via the following media:

Live stream: www.ecb.co.uk/news/womens/womens-ashes-live-stream
Live Scores: www.ecb.co.uk and www.cricket.com.au
Twitter: @ECB_cricket and @SouthernStars 
Radio: 5 Live Sports Extra, ABC Grandstand or online via www.cricket.com.au/live/audio-stream

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