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A perfect start

Posted in England Women

Jenny Gunn

Jenny helped Western Australia beat her old side South Australia

On November 2nd our grade game was called off due to heavy rain that week, so we felt slightly lost on Sunday afternoon watching our B grade team and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

Saturday mornings are spent scoring and umpiring South Perth under-17 girls. They are a great bunch, a good team and most play A grade with us on the Sundays so not much has to be said to them.

I don’t think I'll ever make a good umpire or scorer as I get distracted far to easily and find it hard to count to six. I’m still the team's favourite umpire but only because Fez [Rene Farrell] was umpiring at the bowler's end when there was a massive nick - everyone appealed and she said 'not out'. Everyone heard it, even the parents on the boundary, so now the kids tell her every week to make sure her hearing aid is turned up!

For the Fury [Western Australia], we were set a task by our coach who wanted each of us to write down three words to describe each player in our squad. I would have found it difficult doing this for my England teammates, some of which I've played with for years, let alone a team I joined just four weeks ago, but I gave it a shot.

The kind of words used were energetic, aggressive and competitive, so I was kind of shocked when the third word the team described me as was 'freakish', which they said is a compliment!

On November 16th we had a state trial game. It was a warm day and we lost the toss and were bowling first in windy conditions.

I was slightly surprised when our captain Renee Chappell came up to me and asked what end I wanted to open from. I was shocked because I don’t often get to choose. I picked one end but Renee thought I would be more of a threat from the other - to be fair it was her home game and I was happy I listen to her. I was pleased to pick up a wicket with my third ball.

Beep [Lauren Ebsary] came out and played some attacking shots but we managed to pick up a run out as the other end.

Little happened once the new ball had gone so we just tried to build the dots and create pressure in the hope the batters might do something. Going into the last ten overs they had wickets in hand but we managed to control them and keep them to 230.

We had a steady start and at the drinks break were pretty much level with two batters going well.

Fez got the breakthrough, removing Angela Grey for 45. From there we had a 100-run partnership between Renee and Lauren Stammers before Stammers went for 48. The game became closer but with Renee in we felt we had the upper hand.

One of their fielders then got injured which meant one of our team had to go on and field for the last few overs - me.

Needing 12 to win and with Renee on 75, she hit a ball over the top and provided a chance to the deep midwicket fielder who just happened to be me. I felt so bad that I just caught my own captain and teammate out. It ended up coming down the very last ball and it made me feel a lot better when our batter hit a four to win the game for us.

On November 28th was Western Australia's first National League game against my old side South Australia. We lost the toss and were bowling first on a warmish day.

The opening batters had a bit of luck early on and the scoreboard didn’t really tell the true story of how well we had bowled. I came on first change and was happy to pick up a wicket in my first over to get Shelly Nitschke catch behind.

That brought Karen Roulton to the crease, who, after taking a short while to get going, quickly increased her run-rate and brought up 50 in no time.

They were 150 off 30 overs but we knew the key was to get Roulton and on 95 she smashed one to Beep as cover who held a catch which changed the game completely. From there we picked up wickets regularly and managed to bowl them out for 221.

Our two openers Angela Grey and Beep got us off to a flyer, bringing up 50 in nine overs before Beep went for 32. We were in a good position but lost three quick wickets which let them get back into the game.

We needed 50 from the last ten overs and I once again found myself in the middle with Fez. It got down to the last over but we hit the winning runs to win by 4 wickets. It felt so good to win and to be out in the middle was even better, but we still knew we had things to work on to improve for tomorrow’s game.

The next day we were bowling first and again our openers set the tone without much luck. I was given the ball first change and managed to trap Nitschke LBW early on. Renee came on at the other end and troubled the batters from ball one.

As a team we managed to keep Roulton quiet and the pressure told when Chappell had her caught at midwicket for 22. From there we ripped through the batting, taking seven wickets for 21 runs to bowl them out for 98 in 35 overs, which meant we had around 12 overs to bat before lunch.

Again our batters were on fire before we lost Beep in the eighth over which left us 32 for one at lunch. As a team we agreed to go for the double bonus point which meant we needed to get the runs in 25 overs, which we managed for the loss of just one more wicket.

It was a great start to our campaign and we are now looking forward to flying over to Sydney to play the Breakers.

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