England Women U19s, Abi Norgrove: “We’ve had positive intent from the beginning.”

England Women U19s are aiming for five wins from six matches after an encouraging start to their Tri-Series tour of Sri Lanka.

Captain Josie Groves and batter Abi Norgrove insist the future is bright as England Women U19s prepare for their final two fixtures of a successful Tri-Series in Sri Lanka.

The squad have already faced four T20 fixtures, winning three of them, and will now wrap up its tour with 50-over matches against Australia (Sunday) and Sri Lanka (Tuesday).

“Obviously, we wanted four wins,” said Groves. “But we got a lot out of that game we lost. In the next two games, we showed how much we’d taken from that defeat. It almost made those games a bit of a nicer victory.”

England defeated Australia twice in their T20 clashes, winning by 35 runs in their first fixture and by seven wickets in their next encounter.

And while they suffered a 6-run defeat against Sri Lanka, they recovered to win by six wickets in their second match against the tournament hosts.

“We’re the form team and we’ve done well, but like Josie says we’d have loved to get that fourth win,” said Norgrove. “Hopefully that defeat – and the lessons we took from it – will take us forward even more.”

The Oxfordshire and Southern Vipers batter insists England are now definitely ready for their two 50-over fixtures.

She said: “Fifty over cricket is obviously tougher in the heat because there’s longer in the field, but we’ve got a training session tomorrow and we’re looking forward to the challenge on Sunday.

“We’ll take a similar mindset from our T20 matches into these two fixtures. We’ll have positive intent from the beginning.

“Sri Lanka on Tuesday will pose different questions. These are their conditions, they know them well, and they surprised me with how they came out with such an aggressive game in the T20s and really took us on. At the same time, that’s exactly how we want to play too, so throwing that back at us was quite exciting.

“In 50 overs we only get one shot at them, so that’ll be a good challenge for all of us.”

Both players made significant contributions in England’s T20 campaign, with Groves registering 57 runs against Australia while Norgrove notched 31 (against Sri Lanka) and 30 not out (against Australia).

Groves said: “I’ve been really pleased with my performances. Batting wasn’t on my radar coming into the tour, so I was very pleased with that knock against Australia. Getting a few wickets is always nice, too.

“Looking forward to the World Cup next year, I know I’m not eligible for it, but it’s really exciting for the girls that are, especially with this experience under their belt. There are some girls now that are only 16 or 17 years old and they’re crazy talented.”

Together, Groves and Norgrove have filled their spare time with a safari in Hambantota, snorkelling in Galle, a visit to an elephant sanctuary, and rest days with their parents.

Norgrove added: “I’m loving being with this group. We’re experiencing a nice mix of cricket and the local culture. It’s been a great trip so far.”

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