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Lightning strikes several times

Posted in England Women

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Jenny Gunn

We didn’t really have much time before the Twenty20 series started and it was back in the nets to get into Twenty20 mode.

As a bowler you have to love preparing for Twenty20 in the nets as basically the batters just try and smash you out the park and if they get out they just continue. I’m just thankful that I’m an all-rounder and so get my chance to try and smash the bowlers!

November 9 we had our first game and we were batting first. It wasn’t the best batting display by us and it was really only thanks to Lottie (34) and a good partnership at the end between Holly (17) and Isa (13) that helped us get to 112.

We got off to a great start when Anya got rid of the dangerous Dottin for four and then Nunny got rid of Taylor when I caught the ball at cover, but ended up with whiplash from a diving catch. This is how nice the team are: one, it was clearly just a catch for the camera; two, they told me I should have just ran back quicker instead of diving; and three, I got the ladders out massively which meant I had to dive; got to love them!

It came down to the last over and in the end Daley came in and hit a four to win the game with one ball remaining. It was disappointing that we didn’t play our best cricket and to come that close and lose, but they are the situations when we need to get over the line.

We were straight back the next day for another game. We met at our meeting point to head to the ground and thought I saw lightning in the distance (everyone who knows me will know that I have a massive phobia of thunder and lightning) and didn’t know whether it was my eyes playing tricks.

But my fear was quickly confirmed when I was sat at the back of the bus and there was a flash and then 15 heads turned to look at me - again what a lovely team!

We were due to start at 10am but due to the storm and heavy rain it wasn’t until 1pm till we got on. I can honestly say during that storm I was really cold, couldn’t believe it!

Once we started we were batting first and again struggled to build partnerships and lost wickets in groups. The only one really came from Lottie and Beth of 39 runs which helped us get up to a score of 99. Losing seven wickets for 29 doesn’t really help to be fair!

Once again we got off to a good start by removing both openers and reduced them to three for 39. Holly bowled a fine spell in the middle going for only 11 runs from her four overs and picking up an important wicket for us. It went down to the last over and we again couldn’t just finish them off and the West Indies took the series with only one game to play.

If you don’t play then you have to do fitness with our fitness coach, he is this massive muscle man (use to be a bobsleigher), so it was a slight shock when he was demonstrating a sprinting turn and fell on the ground like a sack of potatoes! We did feel quite bad in the end as it turns out he may have fractured something and it all had to happen the day before he was going home.

On the 11th we were invited to a reception and met the Prime Minster of St Kitts. It was a fun evening until once again the lightning had to come out and spoil it! We were sat outside under a massive tree, clearly the last place I wanted to be in a storm.

Towards the end of the evening some guys preformed a traditional dance. It was really good and what made it better was when Ebony and one of the West Indians joined in. They looked like they knew the dance and fitted in quite well; I can’t quite say the same for Tammy, but hey she gave it a right good go!

November 12 was our last T20 and we wanted to win our last game to go home with something. We were bowling first this time and got an early breakthrough and managed to reduce them to 49 for four and thought we were in a great position, but just couldn’t quite get the breakthrough we needed. They finished on 119 but we knew it was a decent wicket and had a chance of claiming some pride back.

We got off to a great start before Ebony was bowled when the score was on 49. Lottie and I put on a good partnership, Lottie smashing 29 off just 20 balls before being caught behind setting a great platform for us to kick on from.

Beth and I managed to kick on and up the run rate and I was gutted when I was caught out by a flinging arm at mid wicket for 35. We ended up wining with two overs to spare so finished on a high and finally showed some of the cricket that has got us so far in the last 18 months.

We have learned a lot about ourselves, the team and the environment we will come across next year in the World T20 and think all the learning experiences and ups and downs we have had on this tour will only benefit us in the long run.

We now have a big block of training before the team heads out to India in February.