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Connor our good luck charm!

Posted in England Women

Clare Connor

© Getty Images

ECB Head of Women’s Cricket Clare Connor was a welcome addition to the women’s squad in Australia when she arrived on Friday night, especially after she nearly missed her flight out here!

On Thursday night our time, we received panicked calls from the former England captain as she sat in the outside lane of the M25 in her broken-down Land Rover alongside Holly Colvin, who was travelling with her. She was eventually rescued by the motorway traffic officers who stopped all the traffic coming up behind her and towed her over to the hard shoulder.

Holly was picked up in a taxi from the side of the motorway with the driver given strict instructions to get her to the airport as quickly as possible. Meanwhile Clare (right) had to wait for the repair people and was then taken to the airport in a tow truck arriving with five minutes to spare before check-in closed!

Definitely a good luck charm, Clare was at the MCG to witness England record their first ODI victory over Australia since December 1988 as they cruised to a 56-run win over their hosts.

After a national anthem ceremony which kicked off proceedings and really brought out the goose bumps and English pride, Sarah Taylor and Beth Morgan took to the middle to face the Australian bowlers.

Putting on 39 for the first wicket, they started strongly and set the tone for the innings. A great all-round team performance including a fantastic partnership of 80 between Lydia Greenway and Jenny Gunn in the middle of England’s innings really put the visitors in a commanding position, finishing on 233 for six at the interval.

In reply the Australians fell to England’s bowling and exemplary fielding with 17-year-old Elysse Perry (40) and captain Karen Rolton (30) the only two spending any time at the crease. They ended on 177 all out in the final over.

Lottie (Charlotte Edwards) was ecstatic with her team’s performance and could hardly contain her excitement: “The way the girls have responded from the Twenty20 defeat is brilliant. It was an all-round team performance and I’m really proud of every single one of them. To beat a very good Australian team on home soil at the MCG is a fantastic effort.”

Ice baths were taken in the biggest changing room I have ever seen (and I’ve seen a few!) to cheering, clapping, extremely loud music and general euphoria. To give you an idea of how big it is, you can easily get lost in there and there are rooms coming off rooms.

There’s a coach’s room, a manager’s room, a physio room, a medical room and even one branded “room”, presumably because they’d run out of names for it?!

After dinner and an early night, the players were back at the MCG for their second ODI of the series the following day.

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