An epic time as the Ashes are retained
Posted in England Women
The Tuesday which followed the completion of the ODI series was our second day off on tour and this time the weather was kind to us! A couple of the girls headed to the beach, others opted for shopping and some wanted a spot of culture.
The management team tried to combine all three and headed to Circular Quay to take in the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The views were spectacular on shore, but Colin (Gibson) had advised us to get a ferry into the middle of the harbour because the views from there were spectacular, so we caught the ferry to Manly and as predicted the views from the boat were breathtaking.
We had a spot of lunch in the sun in Manly and did some shopping before catching the return ferry back. Unfortunately we hadn’t timed the weather that well and were on board as the storm came!
We’ve now moved onto Bowral where we’re playing the one-off Ashes Test match at The Bradman Oval. It’s a quaint little town with a really picturesque ground. On our first night, the volunteers at the ground held a function for us and officially welcomed both teams to the ground as part of the celebrations of 100 years since Don Bradman’s birth.
Our manager Megan Smith had organised a team meal and a chick flick for Valentine’s Day evening. Having been away for just over three weeks now, we were all looking forward to seeing what the day would bring from our loved ones back home!
Katherine Brunt, who arrived at midday, brought a lot of goodies for some of the girls while others of us had some very exciting deliveries in the form of red roses, books and chocolates!
Friday was the first day of the Test and after winning the toss England put the Australians into bat. Some fantastic bowling and fielding saw the Australians 154 all out.
Isa Guha returned figures of 5-40 from 18.5 overs, while Nicky Shaw bowled really tightly, bowling nine maidens and taking 18-2 off 18 overs. Beth Morgan and Caroline Atkins made an unbeaten 22 for England before stumps was called on day one.
On day two England batted well to post 222 for seven. Claire Taylor and Lottie posted 159 for the third wicket, a new record against the Australians, which gave us something to celebrate! The previous record was held by Rachael Heyhoe-Flint and Edna Barker and that was 40 years ago.
Day three saw us all out for 244 – a first innings lead of 90 runs. Australia were 195 for four at stumps on day three and going into the final day were 105 runs ahead. Their vice-captain Lisa Sthalekar was 98 not out at the close of play.
Day four was the most momentous of all as England won the Test match to retain the Ashes. Australia had declared on 231 for nine in the first session so England needed 142 runs to win.
Fittingly Claire ands Lottie hit the winning runs in the final session and Isa was named Player of the Match for her nine-fer, so celebrations ensued into the night at our hotel!
Off the field we have been exploring Bowral and The Bradman Museum, which is very interesting. The Test has really tired the players out; they’re not used to games that last longer than 50 overs so it’s quite tough for them. The management have therefore taken it upon themselves to report back their findings to the players!
We have been joined in the coaching department by Jack Birkenshaw, who will be assistant coach to Laney as we head to New Zealand on Wednesday for a five-match ODI tour.