Anya’s Ashes Diary: Part One
Somerset and England fast bowler Anya Shrubsole has agreed to provide us with a diary during this summer’s Women’s Ashes series. Here is part one:
“After months of preparation, the Women’s Ashes were finally upon us. We had trained for it and talked about it more than ever before and everyone was desperate to get going.
We met up in Taunton on the Saturday before the first Royal London ODI at the County Ground, Taunton and alongside the Australians we took part in a Women’s Ashes launch event. It was a brilliant event, which involved us coaching and hopefully inspiring many young people to play the game and also come along and watch us! We always enjoy doing events like that because we want as many people, especially girls, to take up the game as possible!
After a couple of practice days, the first match finally arrived! Being a Somerset girl, having the first clash of an Ashes series in Taunton made it even more special. Plus the game couldn’t have gone much better! On a very good pitch with a lightening fast outfield we bowled well to restrict Australia to 238-9 with Katherine Brunt picking up 3 wickets. After a slightly shaky start to our run chase, Natalie Sciver and Lydia Greenway then shared a brilliant partnership to put us in control with Georgia Elwiss knocking off the winning runs. We couldn’t have wished for a better start to the series!
There was no time to rest on our laurels as it was straight off to Bristol for the 2nd Royal London ODI. Unfortunately there was no repeat of the performance at Taunton as the Australians comfortably outplayed us. Meg Lanning scored her 6th century for Australia in helping them post an imposing 259-6. Our run chase couldn’t have got off to a better start with Heather Knight and Charlotte Edwards putting on a brilliant first wicket partnership. At drinks only 1 down and almost halfway to the total, we were in a strong position. The wicket of Lottie just after drinks sparked something of a collapse for us and we ended up well short of the total.
We moved on to Worcester with the series tied at 1-1 (or 2-2 in terms of Women’s Ashes points). After the game was washed out on the Sunday, we came back on the Monday with a much better forecast. Unfortunately for the second game in a row we were below our best and outplayed by Australia. More runs for Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry allowed Australia to post a slightly above par 241-7. Our chase never really got going. We lost regular wickets which never allowed us to mount a serious challenge to their total.
It was a very disappointing way to end the ODI part of the Ashes and we know that we will have to play better throughout the rest of the series but we are still very much in contention. If we can go and get a win in the Kia Women’s Test match at Canterbury (which begins on August 11th) we are again in the box seat for the Ashes, so it is all very much still to play for.”
(Image by Alexander Davidson)