England vice-captain Anya Shrubsole was proud of how her team responded in today’s second IT20.
Australia’s victory at the North Sydney Oval took them into an unassailable series lead but despite the Ashes no longer being up for grabs Shrubsole and her teammates fought back at Manuka Oval, winning by 40 runs.
“It was a really good all-round performance,” she said. “We batted really well on what was a really good pitch – 150 was a very good total – and then we backed that up with the ball and in the field.
“I think it was as good an all-round performance as we’ve put together this tour.”
“It was as good an all-round performance as we’ve put together this tour.”
With the Ashes being over as a contest, some may have expected England to roll over but it was never on the cards according to Shrubsole.
“It was one of the things that we spoke about as a team after Friday’s game.
“We knew there was still a lot to play for and we had the aim of leaving with the score tied at 8-8. We had Friday night to get over what happened and then a bus journey down to Canberra. We said that by the time we step off the bus in Canberra we would need to be switched on for these last two games.”
With the score at 8-6 to Australia and one game to go it’s possible that England will leave having won the IT20 series and drawn the overall competition.
It is a result of which Shrubsole thinks England could be proud.
“I think we’d take a huge amount of heart from drawing the series. It’s obviously been a really good year for us as a team and while winning the Ashes would have been the perfect end – a drawn series would be a good way for us to finish.
“We were always aware how hard it would be to come over to Australia and win the Ashes and we haven’t quite been able to do to that but to leave at 8-8 with a series draw would show some real resilience and fight.”
Friday night’s star performer Wyatt earned herself a new spot at the top of the order, and once again she impressed – getting England off to a quick start.
“Danni did brilliantly. She got us on the front foot really early with a couple of boundaries in the first over.
“She really gave us a platform to kick on from and carried on from where she finished on Friday night.”
Brunt on the other hand endured a more sobering evening on Friday, but she demonstrated today what a star performer she is – roaring back to score 32 crucial runs and take 2/10 from her four overs.
“Katherine had an outstanding game today,” said Shrubsole. “Taking it in isolation it was impressive enough but given the context of Friday’s game it was even more special.
“To me she epitomises a lot of what this team is about. She came out today and performed when a lot of people would have been knocked by what happened on Friday but it just spurred her on to a special performance.
“She got some really crucial runs at the back end of the innings and then bowled superbly.”
Brunt’s all-round performance saw her win the Player of the Match award but England’s other star performer with the ball – Jenny Gunn – would also have been in consideration.
She took 4-13 on a special day – the day of her 250th international appearance. For Shrubsole it was fitting that she performed so well on a landmark occasion.
“Jenny is amazingly important to this team. She does a lot of roles that aren’t particularly glamorous and aren’t always noticed – the World Cup really highlighted that, coming in at the back end of the innings and getting 20s or 30s to get us over the line or to a good score.
“She bowls a lot of overs in the powerplay or at the death and she can go under the radar – something that she doesn’t actually mind much!
“Jenny's a huge part of this team, on the field and off the field. She’s a little bit of a Mother Hen sometimes and she’s been a terrific servant to English cricket. Hopefully she’s got a few more games in her.”
Get To Know
- AKA: Jenny Gunn
- Follow on:
- Age: 32
- Domestic Team: Warwickshire, Yorkshire Diamonds
- Fun Fact:
- Jenny owns a cardboard cut out of herself so she can appear in family photos when she is on tour
- Cricketing Legend:
- Andrew Symonds
After a presentation in the changing room to honour Gunn’s achievement, Shrubsole admitted that it wasn’t necessarily an occasion her teammate would have loved. “She’ll have absolutely hated it! She hates the attention being on her! I think I’ll get in trouble for mentioning it in the press conference as well
“It’s a bit of a nightmare situation for her but she deserves it. It’s good for us to recognise achievements as amazing as that. She’s done so well for England for so long.”
With two series points left to play for, Shrubsole is adamant that England can win on Tuesday to take a share of the series.
“We’re really confident. If we go out and play like we did today then there’s no reason we can’t win and make it 8-8.”