Our warm-up games have rolled on since I last checked in. We’ve had four games, two against West Indies and India, one internal match and one against the Sussex Boys.
We’ve gone well in all of the games, which is encouraging, and there’s nothing like a match to show you where you really are as a team. It’s been good that we’ve won and most of the batters have got away and some of the all-rounders have had some good knocks as well.
It’s good to see that it’s not just one or two people doing their job, everybody’s contributing. That’s served us well over the last year and that’s something that’s going to very important across the World Cup.
I’m looking forward to the proper stuff now, and it’s not too far away...
Hove, sweet Hove
We took a trip down south to take on Sussex Boys at the beginning of June and we had a good win. I managed to get 90-odd, which was nice, and Tammy got 60-odd at the top as well.
It was a pretty good wicket and the opposition started well, but Jenny Gunn nipped in to take four wickets and we ended up winning by 61 runs. It’s nice to get out of Loughborough when possible and I do love visiting the Brighton area so all in all a successful match.
Windy v Windies
Our first warm-up game against another country was a good win over the West Indies – and it must have been the windiest day ever!
When you’ve been in the nets a lot – and not playing games – you find that you don’t really know where you are as a side. Time in the middle against international opposition is good to help you get an idea. That said, it was very cold, and the wind contributed to my dismissal – I just flicked it off my legs and it carried all the way to deep square-leg.
The Zen Master
I went for a lovely bike ride in the countryside on Sunday, and followed that up with a lamb roast, which was beautiful. I also enjoyed a lovely catch-up with some friends from uni and a BBQ at Tammy’s house. It’s good to spend time away from the game when you can and to get that relaxation time in with your friends and family.
On the subject of relaxation, I’ve been doing it very well over the last month. I’ve been in a little flotation pod quite regularly – they call me the Zen Master. There’s a place in York called Redmayne Lodge and it does loads of spa therapies. It’s full of warm water and Epsom Salts and you just sit in there and relax. It’s good for muscles and your general recovery. It’s great for me because I just have to sit there and I can’t do anything! Ideal.
Out on review
I had a first this month – given out on review! It was in our internal match, and I was facing Anya. It was hooping. It’s new for us but on the positive side at least it was a good review for us to take!
We’ll have to get used to the review system in our TV games. I think it’s a case of slip, bowler, and keeper being pretty vocal. Sometimes if you have too many opinions you can get bogged down and more often than not you’ll be OK if you go on your gut instinct.
Our last fixture before the official warm-ups begin was against India and we put in a really good team performance.
We batted first and got up to 243. With the wickets that we’ve had at Loughborough you never really know what a good score is or how hard to go early and Tammy and I did find it quite difficult early on.
I probably struggled more than Tammy. It was a bit of a role-reversal. She’s normally wired and I’m trying to be the cool cat but it was the other way around, she was reassuring me and reminding me that they’re allowed to bowl well! We fought it out and I managed to get to 50 before getting run out.
Tammy and I know that our job is to get through the first 15 overs. If one of us bats the first 25 overs – with the power we’ve got in the middle order – and with the knowledge that we can go through the gears as well we should be in a good place and that’s how it worked out. In the past we may have faced a couple of dots and then had a big, old yahoo but we’re confident enough to be patient now.
We then bowled really well to restrict them to 103. Alex Hartley barely came off the spot and ended up getting three-fer, and it was great to see Trev [Heather Knight] back and getting wickets.
Before the game we visited the Rainbows Hospice in Loughborough. It’s an amazing place that offers end-of-life care for young people and supports their families. It’s good to try and remember that sport isn’t the be all and end all and visiting a place like that definitely gives you that perspective.
Fame at last!
Liam Plunkett messaged me the other day, he said: ‘I’ve just been sitting down to watch the Pirates of the Caribbean and your mug’s on the screen!’. I’ve had a few other people saying they’ve seen our #GoBoldly cinema advert, and they like it, which is great.
Sadly, while Liam got to see me up on the cinema screen I didn’t watch too much of the men’s team in the Champions Trophy, which is a shame. I’ve either been playing, training or – stupidly – I’ve booked a round of golf!
We start the World Cup this Saturday, when we’ll travel to Chesterfield and book into our first hotel. Then it’s about two official warm-up games next week – against Sri Lanka and New Zealand – before we get underway against on Saturday at Derby.