Looking to turn the tables in the Twenty20s
Posted in England Women
Good Friday was just that as we met at Heathrow to jet off to South Africa. After a relatively quiet night flight and bus journey we arrived safely in Potchefstroom to high temperatures and sunny blue skies.
The afternoon was ours to acclimatise and the majority of the girls found it necessary to be by the pool.
Clearly some were not quite over the jet lag as there was a comment of 'how are we at altitude if we have flown south to get to South Africa?' I’ll leave you to decide who that came from.
The next two days saw us all take to the nets and outfield for our first outdoor session of the season. But as four six-foot net bowlers turned up to roll their arms over there were a few worried looks flying around. It’s safe to say they were valid concerns as we came away with some nice big reminders on our thighs.
Tuesday morning was our first warm up game against South Africa women’s under-19s team and we were all fired to get out on the park and play some cricket.
We lost the toss and had a bowl first getting them 176 for eight after 50 overs - it was a good team performance which saw the wickets shared around.
Caroline Atkins and Tammy Beaumont chased well with an opening partnership of 152 and we won the game, finishing 177 for three which was a promising start to the tour.
After another two days in the nets preparing for the first game, it soon crept up on us and before we knew it, it was time to step out onto Senwes Park for the first international against South Africa women.
We won the toss and put South Africa in to bat. Fritz and Chetty showed intent from the first ball and came hard at myself and Beth MacGregor. Danni Wyatt and Natasha Miles bowled tight in their ten overs and brought us back into the game, bowling them out for 257.
Danni batted well for her 63 but unfortunately we were all out for 203 and South Africa went one-up in the three game series.
With one day in between, the second 50-over match arrived and we were looking for a win to level the series. After losing the toss everything seemed to be going South Africa’s way but again we showed resilience as Caroline Atkins and Danni Wyatt put on an 83-run partnership.
The batters gave the bowlers 203 to defend and the changing room was positive going into the second half. However, South Africa came out hard and knocked the runs off.
We were all disappointed to have lost the series but we were determined to show SA what we had to offer and we did that in the third game.
SA batted first and were all out for 138, an incredible effort by the girls. We knocked them off eight down with Jodie Dibble and Amy Jones batting well under pressure to see us home.
So we claimed a well-earned victory in the final 50-over match to give us momentum going into the Twenty20 series which starts on Friday.
With not much to do at our base in Potchefstroom, we are all looking forward to visiting a lion farm on our day off. We’ve been told we may get to feed some lion cubs which is quite exciting. I just hope no-one loses a finger.