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Final fantasy

Posted in England Women

On Tuesday March 10 was our first big game of the World Cup and it was against India.

Lottie [Charlotte Edwards] won the toss, chose to field and we managed to pick up a couple of early wickets as the ball nipped around a bit.

Isa bowled a fine spell of 2-16 from eight overs up front before Holly came on and contained the Indian middle order, giving them nothing and finishing a fine spell of 3-22 off her ten overs.

We continued to take wickets throughout their innings which helped to keep their run rate down. We kept them down to 169 with only Raj scoring a decent 59.

Our run chase didn’t get off to the best of starts with Squirt [Sarah Taylor] going early on but that just allowed Tails [Claire Taylor] and Shaggy [Caroline Atkins] to go on and bat through the innings for a nine-wicket win. It took us 39 overs with both batters finishing on 69 not out each which capped off a great win.

Games are now coming thick and fast and two days later we were up against Pakistan.

Isa, Nicky and I were rested for the game which saw Ebony, Boggy [Laura Marsh] and Anya come in.

Nunny [Katherine Brunt] bowled well up front but was unlucky not to pick up more wickets as she beat the bat on a number of occasions. She finished with 2-25 but the star of the show was Boggy who picked up 5-15 which were her best figures ever for England.

We bowled them out for 78 which meant we would have to bat before lunch. We lost an early wicket but Lottie came in at three and hit the ball to all areas and finished with a fine 32 not out and we ended up wining in just 23 overs. This meant that we had three wins out of three and went through to the Super Sixes.

On Friday we went out for a team dinner before our first Super Six game against New Zealand. It was a massive match as we were the only two teams left in the tournament who hadn’t lost a game. There was a good buzz around the team and a feeling of excitement about the game ahead.

Our warm-up couldn’t have gone any better and Lottie won the toss and chose to bat first.
The wicket was a three day pitch so we felt it was a good toss to win and bat first as the pitch would get slower and lower throughout the day.

Scoring was difficult early on and from the pressure of dot balls we ended up losing Squirt trying to play a big shot. Tails and Shaggy steadied the ship and built a small partnership before Tails was caught behind for 16. Shaggy went soon after, unlucky as a straight ball just rolled and was given out LBW.

Lot was going steady the other end and looked good with Lyd until a mix-up saw Lyd run out. Beth and Lottie then provided us with the biggest partnership of our innings and Lot made the wicket look like a belter to bat on. She brought up her half century before being bowled for 57.

Going into bat with around eight overs to go my instructions were to hit the ball if it’s in my slot as we were in the batting power play and also to run well to try and get to 170-180.

Having the field out helped me to get going and with Beth at the other end we just ran and ran.

I was even shocked when I managed to hit a six over mid off - something my brother still doesn’t believe and keeps asking everyone if it was actually over midwicket or cow as he keeps saying! Beth hit the last ball for four to get us to 201 with her on 36 not out and me on 22 which we were happy with and so pumped for our bowling.

We knew every time the Kiwis didn’t get four an over that the run rate would start going up and that it would be a difficult task to do on that wicket.

They seemed to be going alright at the start but Nunny managed to get an outside edge and Squirt took a great diving catch. We quickly picked up a couple more wickets but knew the Kiwis were never out of the game.

Again it was the spinners who helped us control the game. Boggy came on and turned it from ball one and with Holly the other end we really got the run rate up.

The key wicket for us was Tiffen as we knew she could bat through the innings with the big hitters around her. Boggy took 2-21 from her ten overs and then Lot came on and took over straight away and managed to get the key wicket of Tiffen for 52.

They struggled from there and couldn’t find the boundaries that were required. Needing 31 runs to win Lottie took the last wicket to finish with 4-37 and for us to be the only unbeaten team left in the tournament and one step closer to the final.

Not a lot is happening off the field as we seem to train or play and then evenings are spent chilling out, grabbing something to eat then bed as the heat does drain you.

After the Kiwi game I went out for dinner and then met Nunny and Squirt in the bar for a drink. I picked up this pot of sauce to smell before some Aussie pushed it towards my face only for it to fall all over my trousers. Walking through the hotel to get to my room then became quite embarrassing!

We now have two games left against the West Indies and Australia and everyone is so pumped for them.