Our last two matches were played under lights. Given this is something that doesn’t happen very often, there was a buzz amongst the group. With the match starting at 6.30pm the team wasn’t accustomed to the late start and were bored out of their minds. We had already won the series so the selectors changed their focus to giving other players opportunities to get use to the sub-continent conditions, so I was rested.
The benchies role within the team is vital as they actually do a lot of running around to make sure that the team is well hydrated. Being rested meant that I didn’t HAVE to complete fitness but as I reclined in my chair in the change room I felt bad that Leah was doing it all by herself so stupidly I completed the session with her (what was I thinking)!
According to most of my teammates I have taken over in the being the biggest pest within the team, closely followed by Midge. So sitting off this game served only to increase my verbal diarrhoea and annoyance of others. I believe Russ or should I call him Steve (named after eating dinner by himself whilst reading the autobiography of Steve Jobs and the fact that he looks like a Steve) wished that i was on the field instead of sitting next to him.
Whilst these shenanigans was occurring on the sidelines, the girls were playing some exciting cricket, with our bowlers dominating the Indian batters straight away. Julie Hunter lead the way with best figures of 4/15. During our batting innings, I was asked to be a guest commentator, so I jumped at the chance. I managed to stay for the entire batting innings and had so much fun. I hope that it came across well and gave the viewers a bit of an insight in how the Australians tackle the game. We went on not to lose a wicket in the chase, with Midge backing up from her 90 to post another 50 and Meg continued her role as the supporter ( though I think she prefers to be the aggressor).
A game that we often play to pass the time is either guessing our final total or when we will reach the target score. Surprisingly our Media manager Alana (aka Alan) got it right – who would of thought it! I must make note she has done a wonderful job in trying to lift our profile in India and back at home, hopefully this is the start of her touring with us regularly.
We chased down their total of 80 odd in the 13th over giving us a 4 nil lead with one match to go. A few of us learnt from our previous days boredom to actually venture out of the hotel before our final match, and this time Soggy came. For a laugh we went back to the shop we had visited a few nights previous, and as soon as we entered the sales assistant was quick to try and sell something to Sog or should I say ‘Shoggy.’ ” Come have a look Shoggy, you don’t have to buy, just come look, come on Shoggy, come.” Sog wasn’t moving an inch as she had strategically positioned herself behind a clothes rack!
Our final match didn’t quite go to plan as Goswami was back and that seemed to lift the Indian team. She produced her best figures of 5/11 with myself being one of those wickets and we were all bowled out in the 19th over only posting 89.
It was going to be tough but our bowlers had done the job before. As soon as the first two deliveries were bowled and Sharma edged them through the slips cordon for consecutive boundaries, I knew it was going to be one of those days. I managed to come on and pick up the first (and only) 2 wickets, but in the end it wasn’t enough as India posted their first win of the tour. The conditions that we played in were the strangest that I have ever experienced as the amount of dew on the ground would make it difficult to throw the ball in after it had rolled on the ground for only a small amount of time. Our bowlers found it difficult but on the flip side you could slide that more easily.
Although disappointing to lose the last match and not come away with a whitewash, as a group we had competed extremely well with the youngsters being the stars! A few drinks in the change room with the usual “let’s see who I can tackle of more importantly throw in the ice bath” meant that you couldn’t snooze. A mistake made by the youngster Meg who had consumed a few drinks and was quietly minding her own business when Russell decided to throw the drinks container full of water and ice on her….not happy Jan! That only sparked an outrage from the rest of the players as we tackled him and found some toilet water to throw on him hehehe.
Back to the hotel for a few more drinks, pizza and the most important thing, ice-cream with chocolate sauce and nuts (we are all going to be disappointed when it won’t be served up after our first meal back at home). Also that night gave Midge, Pez and I a chance to don on our lovely tops that we bought whilst here. I am glad that we didn’t have to leave the hotel!
Now for a special guest writing a little, anyone want to take a guess who it is??
“The second last day sees us flying back to Mumbai to spend the night here, before we fly out for home the next morning. It is also Midge’s 22nd birthday. Having known Midge for the best part of 13 years, I can honestly say that there have been moments where I have had my doubts she would reach her twenty’s. Luckily for her she has had Ellyse Perry guiding here through some of those rougher patches. It will be great to have a final team dinner tonight to celebrate Midge’s birthday and also Meg Lanning’s birthday, which is the following day.”
All in all it was a great tour with India dishing up their food, culture and hospitality and along the way the Southern Stars have banded together stronger than ever and are looking forward to our next campaign – the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka.
Till then thanks for taking the time to read these blogs, I hope I have entertained you in some small way and helped you procrastinate to avoid what you should have actually been doing 🙂