Turbulent flights and a dodgy lift
Posted in England Women
Flying into Wellington for our first Twenty20 was one of the most picturesque landings I’ve ever had, over the water and into the peninsula of one of the most southern points of the North Island.
We started with two training sessions at two different venues. The Westpac Stadium is used more for rugby and has a drop-in wicket and no nets so we had a session in the nets at The Basin before we headed over for a fielding session.
That evening a few of us went out for dinner and on the way back Laura, Lydia, Beth and I had a bit of a scare in a lift.
We pressed our number and started going up but then suddenly the lift started dropping before going up and down quite quickly. When I pressed the alarm button nothing happened and Lydia grabbed the lift phone which was like a 1920s model. Thankfully the doors opened and we jumped out onto a different level. It made us think again about getting in a lift whilst we were there.
We were all excited about our first Twenty20. We won the toss, bowled first and it wasn’t long before Anya had ripped through their top order to put us on top.
The spinners took control and didn’t give the Kiwis any room to hit out and it wasn't long until Anya had claimed her first five wicket haul. She bowled with pace and accuracy and produced one of the best spells of bowling I’ve seen in England colours.
They finished on 80 for nine which we thought was a great team effort but things didn’t go to plan with the bat. We lost a few quick wickets which left us at 44 for four but we didn’t panic and with some great batting by Sarah and Tammy we knocked the runs off with two overs to go.
Some of the girls stayed and watched New Zealand men play South Africa but the rest of us decided to go back to the hotel to chill out. When we came into the hotel a massive tour group were having dinner and as soon as they saw us the whole place just started clapping. We didn’t know what to do, should we bow, curtsey or do a royal wave? Instead we smiled and walked quickly round the corner.
We didn’t really get much time in Wellington and before we knew it we were on a plane up to Hamilton. I was sat next to Danni Hazell who hates flying so it didn’t help when it felt like we were on a rollercoaster which made her shout out quite a lot.
Hamilton has a short runway so when we landed we were willing the pilot to hit the breaks as we were going so fast. We all arrived in one piece and I think Hazell was happy just to get on solid ground again.
Once again it was a quick turnaround as we had training on the same day. We had a good session but didn’t finish until 8pm which meant a late dinner.
A few of us found an Italian which looked nice but had nobody in it which made us think twice, but we went for it anyway. It was like a Fawlty Towers experience. The waitress/owner told us her and her husband’s (also the chef) whole life story and I didn’t think we would get our food as she wouldn’t stop talking.
In our second Twenty20 we were put into bat first and got off to a flyer and ended up winning quite comfortably by 48 runs to go 2-0 up.
The games were coming thick and fast and the next day we moved up to Auckland but by coach this time. It was nice to have the afternoon off to have a look around.
Our third match was at Eden Park which was where they played the Rugby World Cup Final last year. With the amount of rain in the morning we were a little surprised when they told us we could start on time.
Everyone had an eye on the Duckworth-Lewis score and with seven balls to go the umpires decided the rain was too heavy. We won by 10 runs to take the series. It was a shame not to play out the full 20 overs but a win is a win and it was such a good feeling to go 3-0 up.
The flight to Invercargill, via Christchurch, was the worst flight I had been on and some of the girls were scarred for life. It was so bad that a few of the team would rather have driven the 11 hours from Christchurch to Invercargill but fortunately the next flight was a lot smoother.
Our fourth Twenty20 in Invercargill was called off due to rain which was quite frustrating as the sun came out and it never rained again. The temperature was a shock to the system - it was 12 degrees so warmer back in England.
We stayed in Invercargill for the fifth Twenty20 and with no rain around we managed to start on time. We won the toss and chose to bowl and straight away Anya got the early breakthrough.
The Kiwis had a few good partnerships but we managed to restrict them to 109.
We were scoring runs quite freely but still managed to lose a few wickets up front. We always kept up with the rate and in the end managed to get the runs with seven balls to spare and five wickets in hand to win the series 4-0. It wasn’t our best game of the series but a win is a win and we wouldn’t have settled for anything less.
We now travel back to Christchurch where we hope to continue our winning streak in the ODI series.