Reality finally sinks in
Posted in England Women
Our first Super Six match was against the Kiwis at Bankstown, the home of Mark and Steve Waugh. This game was always going to be a key match for us and our route to the final. They had already beaten Australia so they were the team to beat from Group A.
The day started well with me winning the toss and electing to bat. It was a worn wicket and a slow outfield, so it was an important toss to win. We lost a few early wickets but steadied ourselves in the middle of the innings before Beth and Jen came in and put on 43 runs to take us to 201-5 which was a great score on that pitch.
The Kiwis started their reply very well, but some tight bowling from the “spin twins” Laura Marsh and Holly Colvin in the middle of the innings tied the kiwis down and I contributed with the ball at the end picking up four wickets which saw us win the game by 31 runs.
It was one of our best performances in the last year especially in the field and I was really proud of the girls. News filtered through that India had beaten Australia which meant that we only had to beat the West Indies in our next game to secure a place in the final.
We had a day off on Sunday so after a hard game the day before I just relaxed in the hotel. We trained on Monday afternoon at the Alan Davidson Oval. It was good to see our new net bowler Clare Connor turn up in her kit ready.
After an early night we were ready to face the West Indies at Drummoyne. It was a stunning venue with the river in the background. I won the toss and chose to bat first. We made 236-8 with a great late innings flurry from Claire Taylor who struck 65 off 56 balls.
In reply we bowled them all out and secured our place in the final of the ICC Women’s World Cup. Post-match after singing “Never Forget” I had plenty of interviews to do. We haven’t reached a final since 1993 so it’s great to see everyone getting behind us.
On Wednesday we trained in the morning for three hours before having an afternoon to recover and relax before our next Test against hosts Australia. We had a team meal that night where we all cooked our own steak.
Crumpy taught me how to cook the steak properly on the barbecue. Not only is he the best S&C coach, but he is also an excellent chef!
My only concern of the evening was that our media manager, Imogen didn’t look her usual self, as she had swapped clothes with Caroline Atkins, one of our least fashionable players for the night. She was sporting jeans, sports trainers and a salmon polo shirt. I don’t need to say anymore. Caroline, on the other hand looked amazing in her flowing skirt, white vest top and matching white flip-flops!
It was Jane McGrath day at the North Sydney Oval on Thursday and 2,200-odd people turned up for the match. The boundary was painted pink and we all wore pink wristbands to help raise awareness of breast cancer. I won the toss and chose to bat and reached 161 having been 106-3.
It was a really disappointing batting display from us and I knew we would need something special to turn it round in the field. But the Aussies came out and blasted their way to the total in 35 overs. It was a really disappointing performance form the team – our worst in 12 months, but the only positive we can take is that we’re in the World Cup final and hopefully this was just a blip.
We had a day off on Friday and I had my first shopping trip of the tour. I went to Oxford Street, not quite the same as London’s, but I had some good retail therapy buying myself a few nice new clothes.
Reality has sunk in that we are playing in a World Cup Final on Sunday. Finally after four attempts I am in a position to achieve something that I have always dreamed of. Although I’m nervous, I’m also really excited about the challenge and hoping Sunday will be a memorable day.