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Pumped up for semis

Posted in ICC World Twenty20

We travelled down to London for our last practice before the big semi-final clash against the Aussies - with everyone in the team so pumped for the game; we can’t wait to get out there and play on The Oval.

June 11 saw our first actual game in ICC World Twenty20 against India. For a change it was a really nice day in Taunton with the sun shining and clear blue skies. We had a good warm-up and were all raring to go especially after lining up for our national anthem, which gives me goose bumps every time we sing it.

We lost the toss and were fielding first. For a change we started with one over of spin to get rid of an over followed by Katherine Brunt. We bowled in good partnerships and took wickets regularly to keep the run rate down, which meant we were chasing 121 to win.

The biggest threat to us was Goswami, but we knew if we didn’t let her in we would have a real chance of knocking off the runs, and this is what our two openers did. We had a steady start, then Charlotte and Sarah kicked on and hit to all parts of the ground; both brought up there 50s, and then Charlotte hit the winning run in the 16th over for us to win by 10 wickets.

It was a great team performance and made our ice baths that slight bit easier! Our team analyst, Gemma Broad, isn’t with us on this part of the 'summer tour' as she was called up to the men’s team, but she sent us a little mascot of herself for us so we didn’t miss her too much. We get a few dodgy looks every now and then as it’s a Barbie doll, but does make us laugh.

June 14 we were back playing Sri Lanka. It was a big game for us as if we won we would be through to the semi-finals. We had a good warm-up and everything was going well until I threw a ball at a stump and Katherine Brunt was backing up and it smashed her in the face.

She was taken to hospital for X-rays and therefore Isa Guha came in to replace her opening the bowling. I felt bad, even if she should learn to stop the ball with her hands and not her face; but it was good news when she came back and we heard it was just badly bruised!

We won the toss and were batting first and things didn’t go how we had planned. We lost two early wickets before Claire Taylor (Tails) came in and managed to build partnerships and steady the ship. Tails ended up with 75 from only 40-odd balls and helped us to get to 141, which on a slow wicket ended up being a very decent score.

Isa bowled a fine spell of four overs for only four runs and picked up two wickets to get us off to the perfect start. There was a real buzz about our fielding, and we also picked up a run out and caught all our catches - a real enjoyment going through our team.

Our last match in the group stage against Pakistan two days later saw them win the toss and chose to bowl first. We got off to a flyer and Charlotte and Sarah were looking in good touch before Sarah was given out lbw, and from here we lost wickets very quickly - including three run outs, which didn’t help our cause.

We finished with 123, which having seen how good our start was, was so under what we wanted to post.

With the Pakistan team having nothing to lose they came out playing a few shots but it was our spinners again who turned the game for us. Laura Marsh picked up a wicket with her first ball, as did Lottie. Holly Colvin finished with 3-18 and Lottie 2-7; I managed to get a couple of overs in at the death to wrap up the tail with two wickets for three, which ended a solid fielding performance.