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Holly Colvin’s Cricket World Cup Blog – part 5
With the World Cup final now in our sites, all we had to do was beat either West Indies or Australia in our final Super 6 matches.
At Drummoyne Oval we won the toss and elected to bat getting off to a steady start as our openers Caroline and Sarah assessed the pitch, each reaching 50 and 78 respectively. However with wickets in hand we needed to push on to be able to set a big total.
Claire Taylor enabled us to reach 236 for 8 with a gutsy 65 from just 56 balls. However it was a disappointing day for me with the bat as I made no contribution getting run out off my first ball for 0. Bowling however was a different story, our total was just too high for the West Indies and they perished for a mere 90.
So with a guaranteed place in the final we had to face Australia in our final Super 6 game. Lottie won the toss yet again and elected to bat first. We again started off strongly with 11 coming from Emma Sampson’s first over. But it was Sarah Andrews at the other end that did all the damage taking three key wickets.
We tried to reconsolidate our innings, however wickets kept falling and our innings came to a disappointing end when we were bowled out for 161. The Aussies, having nothing to lose, came at us hard and got off to a flying start. A new challenge faced Laura Marsh as she opened the bowling along side Isa Guha. The two Australian batters felt confident and took the batting powerplay as soon they could. However this led to their downfall, Shelly Nitshke was caught off my bowling at deep mid-wicket and Leah Poulton was stumped by a good piece of keeping from Sarah Taylor. Karen Rolton and Alex Blackwell then joined the party and steered the team home to win by a six wickets.
That game was much forgotten leading in to the World Cup final. However we did take something from it. We needed to be smarter, show more courage when we bat and play more simple cricket.
With all the photoshoots and nets and preparations out of the way, it was time for the big day. We lost the toss for the first time in the tournament however it didn’t matter as we wanted to field first anyway. New Zealand got off to an exciting start, but although the run rate was high, wickets kept tumbling.
Nicky Shaw gave the best performance of her life seeing as she was only drafted in to the side 10 minutes before the toss due to Jenny Gunn’s calf strain. Nic took 4-34 in her spell. The kiwi’s were disappointed with their total of 166 all out but were up for a fight.
Sarah Taylor and Caroline Atkins got us off to a flyer, until Sarah (39) lost her wicket to Lucy Doolan brining the leading run scorer in the tournament Claire Taylor to the crease. However she too fell to another offspinner Aimee Mason and the wickets tumbled until Nicky Shaw came to the crease to steady the ship and hit some much needed boundaries. The Cup was in sight and you could cut the tension with a knife – half the team and management couldn’t watch.
Beth Morgan then proceeded to get run-out which brought me to the crease with only 18 runs needed to win. Nic kept me calm in the middle and with one run to win and three overs left I was on strike to try and find the gap. Suzie Bates, trying for the yorker, gave me a juicy full toss which I clipped off my leg for four.
I ran up to Nic practically in tears and hugged her, screaming that we’d done it. But the tears only starting flowing when I saw the rest of the team running on to congratulate us. It was one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced, knowing that you helped to steer your side home after 18 months of preparation and four years of waiting for the competition to come around.
Nicky Shaw claimed a well deserved player of the match and Claire Taylor won player of the tournament. We went crazy on the stage so much so that I got champagne in my eye, which stung so much I had to hide behind the stage as I couldn’t see. However I couldn’t start celebrating yet as the drug squad arrived, and I was one of the two people picked out of our team to be tested. I thought this was highly unfair as I was one of the two people who had been picked only the week before – what were the odds?! So while the rest of the team was on the beers I was on Gaterade, and it took me a total of three times to produce a concentrated enough sample as I was too hydrated.
After the match it was back to the hotel for the celebrations to really start and we went to an old haunt of ours in the middle of the city. We all danced and sang the night away, but had to be up to take a ferry at 9.30 the next morning for a couple of photos.
It was sad to say goodbye to my friends I’d made over in Sydney but I’m sure I will go back and visit them in future. The journey home was very long, I’d forgotten how long it really was. As soon as we landed we were whisked straight to Lord’s for a much needed welcome breakfast and photos and interviews. I managed to stay awake all day until 9 that evening – I think this was due to the adrenaline from our win coursing through my veins.