A rollercoaster in St Kitts
Posted in England Women
We all met up in London for the start of our tour of the West Indies on Friday October 30. We were all really excited as none of the team had been out there before.
We were up early to catch our ten-hour flight which in the end turned out to be more like a rollercoaster ride than a smooth plane flight.
Arriving in St Kitts we were warmly welcomed - everyone can't do enough for you. The evening proved a tough challenge for some as the West Indies are four hours behind so come 8pm most had already vanished to bed.
The next day we had our first fitness session in the morning, a nice weights session to get us going before a cricket session in the afternoon. Cricket was a little bit of a struggle as it was hot and humid but we all got through. It was just nice to be training on grass again.
On November 2nd we had training on the morning. Again it was so hot and sweaty but once you start it isn't too bad. After training we were given a couple of hours before we had a team sprint session.
I thought I would have liked to have done my sprints earlier in the day but when it came down to it, they were hard enough at 4.30pm when it was cooler so I felt it was a wise decision. Our session was hardcore but it was good to do it as a team so we could push each other to the limit.
We had out first one-day international on November 4th. Each time we go to the ground we have a police escort. Considering St Kitts is so laid back and there is hardly any traffic, the police still managed to stop three cars for us to get through much to the amazement of the drivers.
West Indies batted first and got off to a flyer. Wickets were hard to come by but we stuck at it and managed to keep them to 235. We got off to a decent start with the bat and Lottie brought up her 50. A collapse in the middle made batting difficult and from there we struggled to keep up with the rate. We ended up falling 40 runs short.
The second match was the following day. There were a couple of changes to the team - I was back in for Lydia who had to rest a niggle and Danni Hazell (or pet as she is known being from the north) made her full debut.
This time we were batting first. We got off to a solid start but lost Lottie when we were on 30. I was asked to bat at three and Ebony and I managed to get going and push the score along to 123 before I was given out lbw for 57. Ebs also reached 50 and with the help of Shaggy (44) and some quick running at the end we got up to 232.
Nunny got the early breakthrough getting the dangerous Taylor caught for two. We struggled to take wickets but just kept it tight and stayed patient through out until more wickets came.
It became quite close at the end with the crowd (which sounded more like a carnival) getting involved which made it all the more intense. So when Lottie picked up the final wicket to win the game we were all happy to be 1-1 in the series.
The next day we had an HIV/AIDS discussion. It was a real eye opener to the problem they have, not just here but all around the world. They made it fun by singing songs - most of the team is still singing along to the songs we were taught and it's something we will never forget.
We had the deciding one-dayer on November 7th. Again we batted first but this time we struggled and lost early wickets - we were 30 for three before Lyd and Lot got us going again.
Lot was looking in good touch before a fielder ran around at point, picked up one-handed and threw the stumps down. We again struggled but a battling innings from Lyd, who scored 60, got us up to 176.
Everyone was so fired up going onto the field and when Isa got a wicket with her first ball it just made us more pumped. We reduced them to to 63 for six and really thought this was ours for the taking even if we knew we were still in for a fight. It came down to them requiring 20 runs for the last wicket. They hit the winning runs with two overs left which ended a disappointing game for us.
That evening we had a function on the beach. We have never seen food like it - there was fresh crab, oysters, snapper, salmon and lobster.
The highlight of the night had to be when Lottie sang 'Stand by me' with the West Indian girls. Even though Lottie has such a beautiful voice I think this song was slightly out her depth!
We are now looking ahead to the Twenty20 series, which starts on Monday, and key areas to improve before we head back to the cold of England next week.