Posted in England Women
On our last night in Galle we went for a team meal with the great feeling of knowing we would be heading back up to Colombo the next day for the finals.
A highlight of the evening had to be someone going up to Katherine Brunt and saying ‘well bowled Karen, great to watch’. She now has the new nickname of Karen, Kazza or Kazzo, which she hates.
The journey back up to Colombo was swift with our police escort and armed guards. Although travelling so quickly through the traffic has meant a lot of the team experiencing some travel sickness, thankfully I'm not affected.
There were a few nerves flying around ahead of the semi-final and we couldn't wait to get on deck and start warming up for the game. We won the toss and were bowling first and it didn't take long for us to get the breakthrough with the dangerous Suzie Bates run out in the first over. The Kiwis never got going as we carried on taking wickets at key times and they ended up setting us a target of just 94.
We knew if they bowled well it would be a challenge as the wicket was a slow turner, but we gave them nothing up front. Charlotte Edwards and Sarah Taylor continued their form with the bat and got us close to the finish line. Lydia Greenway came in to finish things off with Taylor and we ended up winning by seven wickets to take us to the final.
We had a rare day off with optional light training for batters, which gave us quite a lot of free time that we are not used to on tour; this meant some of the girls needed entertaining.
So the source of entertainment for some was kidnapping a player’s small teddy (called Jimmy) and taking as many pictures of him as possibly around Colombo and posting them on Twitter; small things clearly amuse us on tour!
So the day of the big game arrived and once again there we nerves flying around the team. It was the longest morning ever and it felt like time was going backwards as it seemed like forever before midday hit and we were on the bus and heading to the ground. Once at the ground everyone seemed to chill out, got the music on and were relaxed and seemed to be in good spirits.
We won the toss and bowled first, which had worked for us throughout the competition, but we didn't bowl our best and the Aussies took the game to us and pounced on anything we gave them. It wasn't until Holly Colvin got the breakthrough by getting Meg Lanning out shortly followed by Danielle Hazell bowling Alyssa Healy that we got some control back into the game.
The Aussies were on for a score of over 160 but we fought back hard towards the end and took some key wickets to pull back their run-rate and restricted them to 142, which we were confident we could chase down as we had chased 145 against them in the group game down in Galle.
We got off to a slow and steady start then Taylor and Edwards got us back up with the run-rate and were going along well until the Aussies brought Lisa Sthalekar back on and she did her job getting the wicket of Edwards. We then lost wickets are regular intervals, which caused our run rate to suffer. Our lower order was left with quite a lot to do but we fought to the end as we were still in the game right into the last over and to the last ball.
We were all distraught to lose by four runs and not be lifting the trophy, especially having played so well throughout the tournament, but on the day Australia were the better team. If one good thing can come of that game it will be that people were treated to a fantastic display of cricket and hopefully change a few people's perceptions of the women's game.
For the team now there is a short break to before we all regroup and return to training in preparation for the Women's World Cup in India in February.