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Ending on a high

Posted in England Women

Our last day on tour proved to be a very busy one. We arrived at the ground just after 8am ready to start one of two Twenty20 games.

With the amount of rain over the past few days we were all shocked when we got to the ground and the outfield playable. It meant it would be a 9.30am start.

Lottie (Charlotte Edwards) was rested for the first game which meant I was captain. I have so much respect for Lottie as you just don’t realise how good a captain she is until you get the chance yourself.

We lost the toss and were batting first. Our batting order was changed a bit and some of the young girls got a chance to express themselves. We lost a wicket quite early on but Boggy (Laura Marsh) kept the momentum going before she was bowled for 30. Fran Wilson and Lydia (Greenway) went for 16 and 17 but we struggled to hit boundaries towards the end and could only get up to 114.

We got off to a great start in the field when Isa (Guha) got a wicket with the very first ball. From there Sri Lanka had some good partnerships but our spinners turned and took five wickets to put us back in control. There were two run outs in the final over to restrict them to 97.

I was happy to win my first game as captain - it also meant we won the three-match series 2-0 - but I hope Lottie stays around for a while yet as I had such a headache after the game. I’m not used to thinking so much.

We had a 45 minute break before we were back on deck to play our final T20. We wanted to finish the tour on a high and complete a whitewash.

Lottie was back captaining and won the toss, quoting ‘tails never fails’ to me as she came to inform the team we would bat first.

I was put up to number three and wasn’t long before I was at the crease with Dani Wyatt. I really enjoyed batting, apart from all the running between wickets in the heat, but we had fun and put on 68 before Wyatt was out for 27.

This brought Tails (Claire Taylor) to the crease who didn’t last long...mainly due to me. I smashed one back at the bowler who managed to hit the stumps to run her out. It was one of those things and a horrible way of getting out.

Mark Lane & Jack Birkenshaw

Our final T20 was our last game with Jack Birkenshaw who has played in a massive part in our recent success

We were going strong and scoring quickly so I was gutted when I got caught on the boundary for 69. This brought the two newbies - Fran Wilson and Susie Rowe - to the crease. They carried on the scoring and put on 34 runs to get us up to 160 which we were all really happy about. It was a great start to get a big total and to dominate their bowlers.

We continued our form by getting a run out in the first over which got us pumped up even more. Our spinners once again controlled the game and by the time they had got to 53 we had claimed seven wickets. We bowled them out for 71 to end our tour with our best performance.

For us it was a special game as it was Assistant Coach Jack Birkenshaw’s last game with us after two and a half years, so to go out after a game where everything came together was fitting as he has been a massive part of our successful team.

That night we had a team meal and a relaxing evening as everyone felt so tired. For a change there was heavy rain and thunder storms which was a nice treat for our last night.

We had to be up quite early the next morning as the airport was just over an hour away and we were set for our long flight home. It seemed to take forever and once you get on the plane you just can’t wait to be at home in your own bed.

We landed at 8pm but I still had a two hour drive a head of me. I couldn’t wait to get home as I was so tired so as soon as I got in it was straight to bed at midnight, only to be wide awake at 4am and walking my two dogs at 5am.

In a day it has gone from 30 degrees down to three and it's only getting colder. I’m just not built for the cold even if people keep telling me my family are Russian and that I should be in shorts and T-shirt in this kind of weather.

We now have a month to continue our training and improve in a few areas before we head out to Australia for our Ashes series. With how we are playing I wish we were going out to Oz now as we feel confident and ready to challenge them.