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Proud to lift Ashes in Australia

Rosalie Birch | 09:16 UK time, Thursday, 21 February 2008

Until last week, we hadn’t beaten Australia in their own backyard in a Test since 1934. Times have changed!

We wrapped up the sole Ashes Test shortly after tea on the final day, winning by six wickets to round off a fantastic Australia leg of the tour.

Captain Lottie Edwards won her first (and probably most important) toss of the tour, putting Australia into bat on a day that felt rather more English than Australian.

England celebrate in Bowral

Isa Guha, opening the bowling in place of an injured Jenny Gunn, made full use of the overcast and slightly drizzly conditions to swing and seam her way to five first innings wickets, followed up by four in the second.

Isa bowled brilliantly, taking her chance with the new ball, and Lottie barely took it off her or, for that matter, Nicky Shaw, who bowled just as tightly as she had done in the one-day series.

Our performances in the Test, both as individuals and as a team, were full of confidence and belief that we can dominate the best in the world.

Although we don’t play much Test cricket (our game is more focused on the one-day format due to time constraints) I feel very privileged to have been part of this historic victory.

The game was full of ups and downs, with the momentum shifting between us and the Aussies, making it a very exciting four days.

As holders of the Ashes, we didn’t necessarily need to win the Test to retain them, but we were very happy with how we played, being positive throughout.

Our celebratory song was inspired by our new favourite programme, Summer Heights High – a hilarious Australian ‘mockumentary’ which features some very, shall we say, special people.

Rosalie Birch with a statue of Bradman

The Bradman Oval was packed for each and every day, with both Australian and English supporters making a very special atmosphere.

This year is the centenary of Sir Donald Bradman’s birth, and our Test marked the beginning of the celebrations. As for our celebrations, it’s not often you beat Australia, so we made sleepy Bowral rock!

The Australian leg of the tour has been a successful and very enjoyable experience, and our team spirit is sky high.

We now know that we can take on and beat the best teams in the world, and it is great knowing where we stand ahead of the World Cup in Sydney next year.

We’ve now arrived in Christchurch, New Zealand, ready for a busy two weeks of five one-day internationals in the space of 12 days.

It’s a tough schedule with back-to-back games, but we have learnt from our Australian experience how best to prepare for two consecutive days of hard cricket. We’ll take this forward into the New Zealand series and hope to continue our winning streak.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 11:06 AM on 21 Feb 2008,
  • Chris G wrote:

Congratulations on another Ashes win! Just shows that England does have a successful sporting team. Hopefully you can show Colly and the rest how to do it!

  • 2.
  • At 11:21 AM on 21 Feb 2008,
  • Dr Ron Sinclair wrote:

Brilliant stuff you English ladies! I almost got down to Bowral to see some of it as I have a sister-in-law living nearby at Bundanoon but having to appear on a radio sports show unfortunately prevented me. It is a beautiful setting at Bowral with its English-style cricket groun and bucolic surrounds, not to mention also the very interesting Bradman Museum right there. You have graced the scene and won the Ashes in wonderful fashion. Congratulations and good luck in New Zealand!

  • 3.
  • At 11:45 AM on 21 Feb 2008,
  • Liz wrote:

You guys were awesome! Great effort from the whole team and a well deserved victory (and hopefully an appropriate celebration too). Good luck in NZ, stick with it and round off an excellent tour.

  • 4.
  • At 12:01 PM on 21 Feb 2008,
  • Lincoln wrote:

Well done on a fantastic achievement.

Maybe you could give the boys a lesson or two now in how to beat the Aussies at home!

  • 5.
  • At 01:46 PM on 21 Feb 2008,
  • British Fan wrote:

Thank you for the Blog.

Sadly not many people care that you won the Ashes. Just read the papers and listen to the radio.

  • 6.
  • At 01:52 PM on 21 Feb 2008,
  • Matt the Batt wrote:

Greetings and congratulations to you all, fantastic achievement and a special big up to the Sussex massive!

From vegemite and tim tams to kiwi fruit, enjoy!

  • 7.
  • At 01:52 PM on 21 Feb 2008,
  • steve chawner wrote:

MBE's all round!

  • 8.
  • At 03:32 PM on 21 Feb 2008,
  • Nick Mallory wrote:

I was one of the English supporters at the beautiful Bradman Oval and I'll always remember it as a great day for English Cricket. The English girls showed great determination, excellent technique and real talent against a typically tough Aussie outfit but above all I was impressed with their evident joy at just playing the game. It was a delight to see a match in which smiles and laughter were the order of the day on the field, a far cry from the parade of grim faces in the men's game.

Claire Taylor's gritty defiance, Isa Guha's lithe pace bowling and Charlotte Edwards' fine captaincy and elegant stroke play have all been remarked upon but I'll remember so many other things, from Holly Colvin's delightfully old fashioned flighted spin to the impish smile on Sarah Taylor's face, just as warmly.

It's a real pity there was only one test match to decide the Ashes, and that the media coverage of the game was so much less than it deserved. With all the money pouring into cricket at the moment the girls deserve so much better. Cricket, I'm now convinced, is a girl's game.

I also saw England win, and lose, their one day internationals at the S.C.G. and I know that, with the confidence of this win behind them, the Kiwis will have their hands full in the second part of the tour. It was a real privilege to watch England win but, at the risk of repeating a cliche, cricket itself was the winner.

  • 9.
  • At 07:16 PM on 21 Feb 2008,
  • chris Stroud wrote:

Great great result. The easy option would have been to play for the draw but to go over there and win it, and playing by the sounds of it positive cricket is fantastic.

Good luck in NZ - my first experience of watching the England ladies play was at Eden Park in 1999/2000 in front of a handful of spectators. It seems the ladies game has come a long way since then.

Keep it up!

  • 10.
  • At 10:30 PM on 21 Feb 2008,
  • rob clark wrote:

Congratulations to all the girls, especially Caroline & Lydia who I met in the pavilion at Sydney. I'm hoping to get to the 4th game in New Zealand on my way up to the Hamilton test.I look forward to buying the dads of Caroline, Lydia & Isa a beer to repay their hospitality in Sydney! Good luck against the kiwis.

  • 11.
  • At 09:03 AM on 22 Feb 2008,
  • Ankur wrote:

Great win, well done.

  • 12.
  • At 09:07 AM on 22 Feb 2008,
  • Ipsit Rath wrote:

All the best on your Ashes triumph Rosalie & Good luck for your future events.

  • 13.
  • At 01:10 PM on 22 Feb 2008,
  • courteousNorman wrote:

Fantastic achievement

  • 14.
  • At 04:51 PM on 22 Feb 2008,
  • Stephen Mills wrote:

When I was a student way back in the last century my college played a match against the university's ladies team. I thought I was being very funny when I lined up pints of beer behind the stumps so I could take a swig between each wack of the ball when I was batting. Now, as an apology and in honour of your winning the Ashes - again - I propose to eat my cricket bat. I think it is absolutely brilliant to have such a talented and determined women's national cricket team. Congtratulations and have the very best of luck on the rest of your tour.

  • 15.
  • At 10:57 AM on 23 Feb 2008,
  • Paul Grunill - BBC Sport wrote:

Rosalie's behind the scenes photo diary from the tour is now on our site - see http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/cricket/womens_cricket/7260291.stm

  • 16.
  • At 12:12 PM on 23 Feb 2008,
  • Robbie wrote:

Forget about England mens,

The ladies are more entertaining!

  • 17.
  • At 09:40 AM on 25 Feb 2008,
  • Golden Duck wrote:

A quick mention for one aspect of the Test victory that has received very little coverage. Having skittled the Aussies out for 150 odd we had 16 overs to survive on the first day. As Boycott would doubtless have said, this is Test cricket, it is vital to lose no wickets, to turn the screw, to give the Aussies absolutely nothing to take from the first day, and let them sleep on it. Lose a wicket or two and things don't look so good. Congrats to Caroline & Beth for grinding that session out. Congrats to whole team for a fantastic achievement.

  • 18.
  • At 07:32 PM on 27 Feb 2008,
  • David Shield wrote:

Well done to all the team, fantastic news!

  • 19.
  • At 08:48 PM on 02 Mar 2008,
  • Reg Atkins wrote:

For the benefit of the barmy army at a wet day at Lincoln from the 100 England international footballers
the two we did not get were Guppy and Knight. Good luck to the England girls in the 5th ODI

  • 20.
  • At 12:24 AM on 06 Mar 2008,
  • stephen, durham wrote:

well done. a fantastic result. now over to NZ and the men's team......oh dear.

  • 21.
  • At 08:23 PM on 21 Mar 2008,
  • anthony from canada wrote:

I think women's test cricket is the greatest sport there is.It is so enthralling and immersive.Great spirit shown by all world teams.The epitome of what sports should be.I'm no longer disillusioned by sports anymore when you see the girls great spirit.Keep it up and i'll be watching and spreading the word.

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