Kiwis conquered. Next stop: Sri Lanka

Posted in England Women

Jenny Gunn

I take the match award - and champagne - thanks to a five-wicket haul at Derby

Going into the third one-day international against New Zealand at Derby, I was happy to see my family in the crowd, especially my grandma who shouted 'cooey' and waved at me on the pitch, which made me laugh and get rid of my nerves.

From there I had the spell of my life and took four quick wickets and was chasing my first international five-wicket haul.

I had one of the their batsmen caught behind but the umpire never gave it and I thought my chance had passed me by and and it just wasn't meant to be.

The captain wanted to take me off after eight overs, but I wouldn't let her take the ball out my hand and, with very last ball, I bowled Liz Perry.

My delight was soon interrupted by laughter when Lydia Greenway turned to me and said, 'Congratulations on getting four wickets'. I don't know what game she was watching!

New Zealand ended up with 219, which is definitely more than we wanted them to get. The groundsman had predicted a band of rain would hit us at 7.30pm so we needed to keep up with the Duckworth-Lewis rate.

Our openers got us off to a great start and we had 100 on the board before we lost our first wicket. However, we lost three quick wickets and, before I knew it, Lydia and I were out in the middle just trying to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

We soon realised the required run-rate had crept up to six runs an over, but Lydia kept her cool to hit 12 from one over and we ended up wining by six wickets with an over to spare. It was a good win, putting us 2-1 up in the series.

After the game, the umpire came and congratulated me before claiming if it wasn’t so windy I would have taken 0-70.

I didn't get to sleep until about 2am as I was still buzzing from the game, even though we had a team meeting early the next morning before getting the bus to Barnsley, the home of Katherine Brunt.

With a bit of rain in the air, we were shocked when New Zealand won the toss and opted to bat.

Our shock soon turned to joy, though, as we got off to a great start when Katherine removed Lucy Doolan and the dangerous Suzi Bates, while Isa Guha was keeping it tight at the other end to keep them under the pump.

Our spinners came on in the middle and gave little away, but we bowled them out for 120. Katherine definitely enjoyed performing in front of the home crowd, of which there were many Brunts.

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We knew the run-chase would be hard on an up-and-down wicket, but we set about it in positive fashion, getting 40 runs on the board before we lost our first wicket.

The two Taylors - Sarah and Claire - battled away and in the 46th over Claire brought up her fifty and we crossed the line to secure our first series win in over a year.

Next we headed back down south for the final game of the series at Lord's. Every night before a game we have a team meal but our last one of tour had a twist.

Megan, our manager, set us a Primark challenge where you had to buy you room-mate an outfit for £10. I was with Holly Colvin and bought her a purple dress and she ended up looking like a hippy, while she bought me a skirt because I don't often like to wear them.

There were some shocking-looking people and we had to go out dressed like that, but it was good fun and even better when our room won best dressed - the prize was a £10 Primark voucher each so we got our money back.

It's always special to play at Lord's and it was nice to see the sun was shining for a change.

We won the toss and elected to bat, but found ourselves in trouble after losing five quick wickets. However, Lydia and the lower order we battled through 50 overs and got up to 160.

I think most people who play at Lord's pray to bowl first as the lunches there are the best in the world.

You get a three-course meal, but I had to settle for just a bit of soup because there was still so much bowling to be done.

We needed to take early wickets, but they didn't come our way and, even though it took them 40-odd overs to cross the line, I don’t think they were in any trouble throughout their innings. We lost the match and the series finished 3-2.

But a win is a win and we know there are a lot of things we can work on before our next tour in the winter.

We travel to Sri Lanka in November before heading to Australia for our Ashes series. But, before all that, we will be straight back into county and club cricket to finish our season off.