A learning experience
Posted in England Women
A well-earned rest day saw us visiting a lion farm just outside of Potchefstroom.
Everyone was so overwhelmed by the size of the six-week old cub we were able to hold and a few attempts to bring him back with us fell to the ground.
The rest of the afternoon was spent shopping in the one and only mall in the area before heading back to the pool to try and even the T-shirt tan lines out.
Attention snapped back to cricket the next day as training resumed in the form of middle practice and range hitting, in preparation to the upcoming Twenty20 series which started the following day.
Our morale was high after winning the final game in the 50-over series and everyone was pumped to get out and play some more competitive cricket.
Batting first proved difficult as the team ended up 114 for six. Early wickets meant a consolidating partnership of 58 from Amy Jones and Lissy Macleod saw us reach a potentially defendable total.
Unfortunately the bowlers couldn’t contain the South Africans and they outplayed us to finish 117 for one.
With three games being played in three days there was not much time for us to dwell on the loss. We went into the second game with a new ‘no fear, no regrets’ approach and after winning the toss and bowling first there was a definite buzz in the field.
Early wickets saw us on top from the beginning and after that wickets fell in clusters reducing the home side to 114 for eight off their 20 overs.
After controlling the first half, a promotion in the order for Beth MacGregor and Lissy Macleod saw an attacking start with an opening partnership of 53. Tammy Beaumont came in and joined Lissy to see us over the line in just over 16 overs.
The convincing victory levelled the series and gave us everything to play for in the last game.
Sunday morning was a big day. Not only was it the decider of the Twenty20 series but it was also Danielle Wyatt’s 21st birthday, not that she had mentioned it every day since we had arrived in South Africa.
With cricket in the forefront of our minds, we won the toss and fielded first, but wickets were hard to come by as Fritz and Chetty got South Africa off to a good start.
South Africa ended 178 for five off their 20 - a disappointing first half for us but there was still confidence amongst the dugout.
A promising start from our opening batters was soon diminished as wickets fell and we ended our innings on a respectable 134 for six.
It was disappointing to lose the second series but it was fair to say that we were very much outplayed by the South Africans. They played some very good cricket and at times we couldn’t compete.
So after some tough cricket we ended the tour with a function hosted by Cricket South Africa, which also included the celebration of Danni’s birthday, just in case anyone had forgotten.
Our final day involved a stop off in Soweto to learn about the culture of South Africa and the hardships that are endured by the majority of the population. A very humbling ending to a fantastic two and a half weeks that everybody thoroughly enjoyed and learnt a lot from.