Quite simply the most successful of tours
Posted in England Women
On Sunday we played, or attempted to play the fourth ODI of the New Zealand series. We managed to play the first innings, where New Zealand made 258 for nine, but literally as Sarah Taylor and Caroline Atkins made their way out after lunch, the rain started and we didn’t get back on, so the match was abandoned.
This set up a really exciting finish on the Monday with the final ODI. We needed to win to secure a series win 3-1, while New Zealand needed to win the match to earn a series draw.
Lottie won the toss and elected to bowl and they got off to a good start, eventually posting 241 for nine from their 50 overs. In reply we hit the required runs for the loss of just four wickets.
Claire Taylor was named Player of the Series and was awarded an engraved cup to take back to the UK with her. It was a fantastic achievement and the first time we had ever won a series against New Zealand in New Zealand. It also completed the most successful tour down under ever for England women!
That night we headed out with the White Ferns for some dinner and then the players headed off for some dancing. But, unfortunately there’s not much happening on a Monday night in Christchurch and while the music was good - an acoustic guitar player - it wasn’t enough to get them on the dance floor and most of them ended up with an early night!
We had another day off on Tuesday to recover from the last seven weeks! The management team headed to Akaroa to “swim with dolphins”, but it was so cold we didn’t even make it onto the boat!
Some of the players headed to the mall to do some final shopping and get some souvenirs for those back home, while others stayed in the hotel to recuperate. I think one of the team headed out to the mountains for a final hike in New Zealand.
We congregated that evening for a final team meeting where we thanked Laney (Mark Lane) for doing an excellent job and Jack Birkenshaw for all his help on the last leg of the tour, then we headed out for a final meal in Christchurch, before an early night in preparation for the 32-hour journey that faced us on Wednesday.
To get home we had to go via Auckland, then LA before we eventually touch down in Heathrow on Thursday morning! Now the real hard work starts as the team begins to prepare for the summer series against South Africa and India.