With the T20 series wrapped up at North Sydney Oval, our attention turned to the longer format of the game. No not Test cricket, but 50 over cricket.
For over a decade the Southern Stars have retained the Rosebowl trophy and this playing group wasn’t about to release our grip on the trophy. We had three 50 overs matches to decide the winner therefore it was imperative that we got off to a good start.
A couple of days off prior to the first match not only provided a valuable opportunity for us to recharge the batteries, but it also allowed Sydney to serve up its worst weather.
Our first ODI was at the SCG and it is always special feeling to walk into those change rooms that are immersed in so much history. Unfortunately our time there didn’t go the full distance as we only had the opportunity to bowl 22 overs before the rain began to steadily fall. Despite the bad weather Tom Parker had managed to serve up a belter of a wicket, similar to the WNCL final and it was a shame that the weather thwarted us from getting a full match in.
One may think that an early finish to the match meant that we had the afternoon off. No such luck as Russell our Strength and Conditioner was conjuring up something to make us hurt. His answer was a pool session, yippee my favourite.
As soon as we arrived back at the accommodation I headed straight to the pool to psych myself up for 30 minutes of hell. Luckily Clare (our physio) had goggles so I was quick to pounce on them. The session went like this:
- 5 min warm-up (I struggle to swim 1 lap without a break let alone 5 mins worth, plus this was only the warm-up)
- 8 freestyle laps with minimal rest in-between
- Using the width of the pool we had to jump in, swim to the other side, jump out and complete a circuit of push-ups, lunges and squats, then jump back in and out again. Did you follow that? Try comprehending it when you can’t breath. This was roughly for 10 mins.
- Finally swim 6 freestyle laps as fast as you can with a walk recovery!
If you can picture a drowned rat that was what I looked like after the session, but at least it was done, hopefully for the first and last time of the tour.
The next day was Australia Day and whilst the rest of the group had a sleep in and moved to our next accommodation in Parramatta, I headed down to the historic city of Camden. As an Australia Day Ambassador I was asked to attend Camden’s festivities that included, thong throwing, citizenship ceremony and the highlight of the day for me, a street parade.
With rain clouds hanging around, organisers were unsure of the numbers, but as we emerged from the formal ceremony, I hopped into a car built in 1923 and lead the parade. To my surprise there were thousands lining the street all dressed in Aussie gear and it was such a thrill.
Our second ODI was out at Blacktown International Sports Park, which ended with not a ball delivered. There was a lot of sitting around which saw our boredom increase exponentially as the time ticked by. The only thing that the team got up to was playing practical jokes in the change rooms (taping bats on the roof) and basically getting frustrated that we weren’t going to get on.
The final ODI meant that the Rosebowl trophy was going to be decided by this match, almost like a final in a World Cup. Thankfully the sun decided to fight its way through and there was no doubting that we were going to be playing. Jodie lost the toss and we again found ourselves starting off in the field.
Unlike the SCG our opening bowlers had the Kiwi’s in trouble right from the start and we continued to pick up regular wickets with Julie Hunter and Ellyse Perry both picking up 3 wickets a piece. The Kiwi’s were bowled out for 125 and the attitude our openers took into our innings was to play the game like a T20. That they did with much success, and it saw us pass their total in the 17th over having only lost one wicket. Leah Poulton (61*) and Alex Blackwell (50*) were the main destroyers for us, both finding the boundary on a regular basis.
The rain won 2 matches but our win ensured that the Rosebowl would be staying on Australian soil for another year.
With the Rosebowl safely in our grasp, our attention again has shifted to the T20 format as we play two curtain raisers before the men’s International matches. The first is to be played tomorrow at Sydney Olympic Park and the following at the MCG on Friday. Both matches will be shown live on Channel 9, so if you can’t attend please tune in!