Bring on New Zealand

Posted in England Women

Our preparations for our summer series against New Zealand couldn’t have gone any better. After the winter we have had, everyone seems to have the hunger back and the fight to do everything possible to win.

Just over a week ago we were back again playing some boys teams and this time we were up against Denston College.

In the first game Denston bowled first and the very first ball was a fast beamer which flew past Sarah [Taylor]. That boy was pretty sharp and the very next ball Sarah left a delivery which came back and bowled her - it just happened to be a no ball and from there on she smashed the ball to all parts and showed us why she is one of the best batters in the world.

With the help of Lottie [Charlotte Edwards] they got us to 107 before Lottie was out for 35 but Tayls [Claire Taylor] carried on. Sarah was finally ran out for 92 off only 63 balls and we finished on 189 for two which was our highest score to date.

We started off quite well as it's so hard to bowl against guys as you have to bowl different lengths. If you get it wrong you go the distance, plus they hit the ball very hard at you in the field.

Boggy [Laura Marsh] and Nunny [Katherine Brunt] opening up kept them quiet, Boggy finished with 2-20 off her four overs. We fielded well in the field making some great stops and catches in the deep. Heather Knight took the catch of the match when Aneesh Kapil, who had hit 63 off 29 balls, smashed it flat and hard to Heather on the boundary who caught it with no problem.

This left the boys requiring 42 off 14 balls which they fell short of.

After lunch we were on deck again but this time I was given the job of captaining. I was so nervous but knowing the team know their roles and jobs it relaxed me a little.

Sarah Taylor

Squirt is one of the best players in the world and she showed why against Denston College with 92

I won the toss and we were batting. Sarah was given a rest so Tayls was sent in to open with Lottie. They both got 20-odd each before both getting out trying to up the rate.

Lydia [Greenway] and I set about trying to up the rate - we managed to put on 45 before I was caught for 24 and Lydia scored 45 before she went in the final over.

We ended up with 131 - now the fun part.

I was captain but was still running long-on to long-on, so it was all hard work but everyone helped so much and was a great team effort.

We kept it tight but didn’t get the wickets we wanted early on and it wasn’t until the 11th over when Holly [Colvin] got the breakthrough. Nicky Shaw got injured so I had to bowl myself and managed to pick up 2-21 before Anya Shrubsole came on at the death when the pressure was really on and ended with 3-30.

Heather took another stunning catch running backwards and diving whilst taking the ball over her left shoulder to help us win by 14 runs. A stressful day but one I totally loved.

The next week was just a normal week of coaching and trying to fit training.

On Thursday I was meant to be playing for Loughborough Uni against the MCC but once again rain spoilt the day and instead we had a fun day of fitness.

Shawsy, Nunny and myself decided to do the bleep test where after every level you rest one level. It starts off really easy and you think this will be alright but come level 15 you are thinking why we ever did this.

We agreed to do it to completion and I couldn’t keep up with the bleeps but just pushed ourselves. It was so hard but we did it and that’s all that matters. Straight after that we did some sprint and agility work before having lunch.

It was so tiring but we were so glad we did it. We then went into a weights session and we were all shocked when we managed to do personal bests. Someone suggested we do the running as a warm up before every weight session. I think not.

Jenny Gunn and Nicky Shaw

After rain ruined our game at Loughborough, Shawsy and I decided to do some fitness work

It just seemed to be full on cricket after that as we had a county game at the weekend against Berkshire.

The wicket was a little damp so we won the toss, bowled first and got off to a great start when Isa Guha was out first ball, but that did bring Tayls to the crease.

She looked in good touch until she hit one to point only for one of our young girls to pick up one handed and throw down the stumps at the bowler's end. This set us on our way and we took wickets at regular times, only Heather offering some resistances with a very patience 47 as Berkshire finished with 126.

We went about the chase feeling confident that the wicket was getting better and drying out. We lost both our openers on 40 but Jane Smit and myself got us up to 100 before I was given out LBW (batters never think they are out) but we knocked them off with 18 overs to spare. it was our first win of the season and hopefully we can keep improving and go on from here.