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We are double world champions

Posted in ICC World Twenty20

Claire Taylor & Jenny Gunn

That winning feeling

I’m sure by now everyone would have heard about our semi-final clash against the Aussies in which we had the game of our lives (well with our batting anyway). Not knowing what a good score would be on the Oval we decided to bowl first. All didn’t go to plan as they came at us and we had no answer to it.

We didn’t get a breakthrough until they had 78 on the board. The Aussies lost firstly Nitschke for 37 and then the very next ball Poulton for 39. This slowed them down slightly but then they managed to kick on again towards the end as they had wickets in hand.

They finished with 163 for five, which was a big score but we still felt in with a chance because the angles of the pitch and the wicket was like a road (flat, quick and good).

We lost Sarah Taylor early and were reduced to 43 for two. We didn’t realise how close the game was until a comparison of our scores came up in the 10th over and we were exactly level. The crowd was starting to build up and really got behind us and think this helped us kick on and even though there were quite a few nerves around the dug out we were relieved when Claire Taylor hit a four to win the game with three balls to spare.

It was the partnership between Claire (76) and Beth Morgan (46) that won us the game. I’ve never seen batting quite like it especially under the amount of pressure they were both under with a finals day spot at Lord's for the winners.

Our celebrations consisted of our usual team song of Never Forget by Take That, sung loud and proud at the back of our team bus. It had to be one of the best trips back and showed how close we are as a team - but that was as far as our celebrations went as we were all very tired after a big day.

We knew the big game was yet to come against the Kiwis, who were going to be out for revenge for the last final they lost to us back in March.

We had training the next day at Lord’s and they are the nicest tracks to bat on, but the worse to bowl on (I’m just happy I’m an all-rounder!). It was a good practice and everyone was so pumped for the final it just couldn’t come round quick enough.

To play a finals day at the Home of Cricket in your own country is amazing and warming up at 8.30am we were shocked when the stands were already starting to fill up.

We won the toss and chose to bowl first again, and we got a breakthrough very early with Laura Marsh bowling Bates for one to get us going.

Katherine Brunt came firing in from the other end and removed the very dangerous Aimee Watkins (Mase) to kick start the fall of wickets. She bowled a fine spell of four overs, three for only six runs. Every bowler chipped in and came back well from our performance in the semi-final. They managed to get to 85 and we were pretty happy with chasing that total.

We set off at a steady ready and were going a long nicely but just lost our way a little in the middle before Claire Taylor steadying the ship with a fine 39 not out, including hitting the winning runs for us. I was out in the middle when we won and kind of made up for missing the 50-over final a couple of months ago - and we are now double World Champions, which doesn’t happen too often.

Our celebrations were on hold as we stayed to watch the men’s final. We were allowed to go and sit with friends and family and walking over to the stand dressed still in England gear, two Sri Lankans came up to me and asked me to help them to their seats as they thought I worked there!

I happily helped them as I didn’t have the heart to tell them who I was (my good deed for the day!).

We had two days off before we had to report back to Derby the day before our next game. Our next match was strange as it was another Twenty20 against the Aussies. We lost the toss and were bowling first.

They came at us again and raced away to 55 before the first wicket. Every batter got going but it was Rolton with 43 and Ebsary 24 off 13 balls that did the damage towards the end. They posted 151 for three, and in reply we lost wickets at regular stages and never really got going.

Claire Taylor hit 31 off 23 balls but with not much support. I was given a bit of stick from Rene Farrell when I came out to bat; and a lot of people have asked me that they thought we were best friends. But I was taught growing up by my dad that you have no friends on the pitch, only enemies, so once you cross that white line there’s only one thing on your mind, to win!

We ended up losing by 34 runs and was strange that one day you can be on top and then the next lose, guess that’s Twenty20 cricket for you.

We now head down to Chelmsford to get our 50-over series off and running. We play on Monday followed by a day-nighter ODI the day after. Our big summer of cricket continues!

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