Hearts are broken but we will fight back
Posted in England Women
After training so hard for the World Cup, the last four weeks have been an emotional rollercoaster both mentally and physically.
We were devastated not to have reached the final but I'm sure we will come back fighting even harder.
Going into the Super Sixes stage, with two points less than we wanted, we knew that we had a challenge if we were to make the World Cup Final.
Our first game was against Australia and we got off to the best possible start with Anya Shrubsole and Katherine Brunt reducing them to 32 for two. As any good team would do, they rebuilt well and managed to push up to a score of 147.
We were confident of chasing that down until we had a bit of a collapse. We rebuilt, fought back and it was left to Anya and Holly Colvin to try and knock off the remaining 33 with one wicket left.
They showed we bat all the way down to 11 as they got us so close, just two runs short of victory. It was heartbreaking but we knew we didn't perform to our best that day and knew we had a bigger challenge on our hands if we wanted to make the final.
There was no rest for us. Instead of the normal 5.50am alarm we were up at 3.45am to head to the airport to go over to Cuttack for our game against South Africa.
With the tournament still wide open we had to start looking at our run-rate. This is something Arran Brindle enjoys doing and she gave us a master-class in what we needed to do and by what over. Her nickname has become Carol Vorderman.
We can get a bit bored in the evening but what has kept the team entertained is Heather Knight and Lydia Greenway playing 'guess the song' by sending a song round on WhatsApp.
It's 'guess the song' with a twist as they learn a piece of music and then play it on a recorder. The best one to date is the Harry Potter theme tune.
Our must-win game against South Africa went to plan. Anya and Katherine did a great job up front as we bowled them out for 77. Anya finished with 5-17, a new career-best. We knew if we could knock off the runs as quickly as possible it would improve our run-rate and give us a better chance of making the final, so that’s what we did.
We then heard the West Indies had beaten New Zealand so that made it more simple for us. We had to beat New Zealand and the Aussies had to beat West Indies for us to be in with a chance of reaching the final.
The Australia-West Indies game was underway when we started our day-nighter against New Zealand so we were getting regular updates when we went out to bat. When we got the news that West Indies had beaten Australia and we knew we couldn't get to the final we were all devastated. I think the Kiwis were too.
We still wanted to finish what we started and we fought hard to win our final game. We were now in the fight for third place which is not what we wanted but that was the best possible finish and we knew we wanted to finish as well as possible.
As Anya couldn’t open the bowling due to injury it meant the role had to be filled by someone else alongside Katherine. I thought it was going to be Dani Hazell, Dani thought it would be Arran and Arran thought it would be me.
Well, it was me stood at the top of my run-up with the new ball in my hand, something that I haven't done for years. It was pretty good to be honest. A bit different to a dog ball I normally bowl with.
We were all really pleased to win and it was a small consolation to finish on a high, despite the disappointment of not being in the final. Everyone put in a professional performance and Lottie (Charlotte Edwards) had another really special innings, posting her second century of the tournament.
We will now have a break before our season starts in April and we then look ahead to the big Ashes Summer.