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Cruising to Top Gunn

Posted in England Women

With all the snow that fell before we were due to fly to New Zealand I decided to delay my packing until I knew Danni Hazell was on her to pick me up from Durham.

It meant a slight rush but as long as I had my cricket kit I knew I would be fine.

It was a long trip - we took off on Sunday and arrived Tuesday afternoon in Christchurch, but it went quite quickly. When we arrived it was like an English summer’s day, cool and quite a lot of cloud. The evening was quite short due to jet lag and it wasn’t long before I was jumping into bed.

On our first full day we decided to go for a bike ride around Christchurch for our recovery session. Laura Marsh, Heather Knight, Lydia Greenway, Isa Guha and I set out across the park - well, that was until my bike started shaking and my pedal fell off. I can’t say it was the best start but we managed to fix it and Lydia rode it round the city.

Our first team meeting was just a quick update about the next few days but with one surprise when we found out we were going to be put into two fielding groups for training.

Lydia and I are the two team captains of Green Army and Top Gunners and we definitely have the better theme tune - Danger Zone from the Top Gun soundtrack. I’m sure it will get us fired up. As for the Green Army they have been singing along to The Wurzels' Combine Harvester song!

It was so cold when I was warming up for our first of three games against New Zealand emerging players that I had four layers on, but by the end of the day I had just a T-shirt. Everyday we have to pack for two different seasons. It’s just like being in England.

Jenny Gunn

The weather has been pretty mixed since we arrived in New Zealand but our cricket has remained consistent with three good victories

Lottie (Charlotte Edwards) was on fire in the first game, she brought up her century and kicked on from there until she retired on 123 from just 104 balls. We should have ended up on a bigger score but we finally set them a total of 292 to win.

Anya Shrubsole set the tone with the ball and we were excited behind the stumps as she was bowling with pace and bounce. Anya finished the game off with one that flew to me at second slip. I flung an arm out and it stuck which brought up a well deserved five-wicket haul for Anya. My brother would have said it was an easy catch and that I should have got two hands to it.

Our other two warm-up matches were Twenty20s and both went very well. In the first we restricted them to just 86 and in reply Tammy Beaumont and Laura Marsh opened the batting and took it straight to them. In the fourth over we were 34 for two which brought the dangerous Sarah Taylor and Lydia Greenway to the crease. Within six overs we had won, mainly due to Sarah smashing 43 runs off just 23 balls.

When it came to our last game the weather had turned from cold to wet. We were delayed due to rain which gave us a chance to get our team dartboard out. We only played 301 but it’s safe to say we aren’t the best at hitting a double.

The first game between Lydia and Heather versus Isa and Laura went on for so long we decided any double on the board would win it. It still took as long to finish the game.

We had a heavy downpour then were told we were on in 25 minutes which came as a bit of a surprise. We were put in to bat first and had a bit of a change around in the order. Despite losing a few early wickets Lydia stuck it out and hit 46 off 40 balls to get us up to a decent score of 140.

Another win ended a very good week’s preparation out at Lincoln University before our first game on Friday against the White Ferns in Wellington.