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Perfect setting for semi-final

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Ebony Rainford-Brent Ebony Rainford-Brent | 17:00 UK time, Wednesday, 17 June 2009

So we're through to the Twenty20 semi-finals and will be playing at The Oval on Friday - for me, it's the perfect setting, my home ground, right where I grew up.

I know it's going to be a top-class wicket which should allow us to show off our skills before the men's game later in the afternoon.

We beat Pakistan by 60-odd runs in our final group game but didn't perform anywhere near our best and to get through to the final on Sunday we know we'll have to play much better against the Australians.

It's been a great competition so far. We had an official 'garden party' to open the women's tournament at Somerset's County Ground but were soon back into a similar routine to the World Cup earlier in the year - play, train, play, train, with little time off.

Unfortunately, I tweaked my hamstring, which meant I could train, but not sprint, so the last few days have been a little frustrating but have made me appreciate the benefits of having a full-time physio and strength and conditioning coach on board.

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I am now back up to full speed thanks to the correct treatment and training programme - a luxury we have only had in the last six months, but which is obviously paying off and helping keep the team successful.

Ahead of our opening game against India, I was brimming with excitement. There were a lot of people in the ground when we arrived and it continued to fill as we warmed up.

There were cheers for us from all over the ground and although India can be a tough team to beat, we did so in style by 10 wickets, setting our mark on the tournament and providing a good buzz in the camp.

Looking back a year or so, we were lucky to fill even one stand, let along the whole ground and it's great for women's cricket that so many girls were there watching - I hope it continues for many years to come.

Next day, there was a bit of amazing news - that Lottie (Charlotte Edwards), our captain, had been awarded an MBE. I hadn't read the morning paper and when it was announced to the team, we were all absolutely delighted.

What can you say - there's no doubt she deserves it for what she has given the game, and her award also demonstrates how far the profile of women's cricket has risen.

Lottie has already lifted one trophy this year - and we're all determined to get past the Aussies and help her pick up another at Lord's on Sunday.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    We're all backing you to give the Aussies a good stuffing! All cricket lovers are backing the team to go all the way, it's just a shame we can't watch it all on tv and give the womens side of the game an even bigger boost. And it would certainly be more exciting than watching the men!!

  • Comment number 2.

    Good luck to you and the team - we will be cheering you on all the way to Lord's.

  • Comment number 3.

    what was going on with all those run outs the other day - has Owais Shah been training you ?

    Hope you smash the Aussies, btw...

  • Comment number 4.

    Well! It's "God for Harry time! Relax, concentrate, take no prisoners. - And we'll see you at Lord's.

  • Comment number 5.

    Will be watching you on TV on Friday at your home ground before you go to Lord's on Sunday. Then the real one dayers and Test against Australia in Stratford-upon-Avon and Worcester - see you there. Keep on winning.

  • Comment number 6.

    Will be rooting for you on Friday - got to get home in time to watch the match on TV! Haven't heard any news about Katherine but hope she's OK & will be fit to play.

  • Comment number 7.

    good luck tomorrow, we'll be taking watching you on tv its great to finally get to see womens cricket

  • Comment number 8.

    Re No6 above : There is a close up photo of Katherine's face with bruise on the Getty Images website. She's smiling and it doesn't look like the sort of thing that would prevent her bowling.

  • Comment number 9.

    I'll be there on Friday cheering you on. Beating the Aussies is what we all want. It must be the most enduring rivalry in the cricketing world. I'm also planning on seeing you do it all again at Chelmsford at the end of June! Best of luck to the team.

  • Comment number 10.

    If winning the World Cup was hard this'll be twice as difficult. Firstly the Aussies and then an on-fire NZ if we beat the Aussies.
    The Oz batting scares me. Nitschke kicks things off and then Rolton and Sthalekar pop up at 5 and 6. Crikey, get 'em 4 down and you're staring at Rolton and Sthalekar. Oh joy. Given our bowling/fielding has been our strength it looks an irrestible force meeting an immovable object.
    The other innings will be interesting for different reasons. Our batting has been, save the top 3, a bit, well, uncertain. Cannot really see us winning without at least one of our top 3 scoring heavily. The Oz bowling hasn't exactly lit the place up either - South Africa belted about 66 off the first 6 overs against them.
    Finally, Michael Holding has at last lost the title of owning the most silky smooth bowling action. That now passes to Ellyse Perry.




  • Comment number 11.

    "my home ground, right where I grew up" - I've had a flat round the corner in Langley Lane since 1965, though I now live near the Gabba rather than the Oval, I'll cheer you on as a local girl made good!

  • Comment number 12.

    "Finally, Michael Holding has at last lost the title of owning the most silky smooth bowling action. That now passes to Ellyse Perry." (LahdarBheinn)

    Ian Chappell said something very similar in commentary. I think there's something of the Stuart Broad in her (maybe just looks).

    How England won today after Edwards was out defies belief. Taylor we all knew about but I really didn't think Morgan had it in her to play an innings like that - seriously impressive...

  • Comment number 13.

    Brilliant, brilliant, England! No euphoria yet, though. I bet Edwards and Lane aren't celebrating too much. I bet they've got heads together working out how we're going to beat the Ferns on Sunday. -

  • Comment number 14.

    I have to agree with Oliver Brett's commment above. Saw Beth's 77 a couple of season's ago but didn't think she'ld be able to better a run a ball. To do it in today's situation when it really matters is what its all about.
    Rightly Tails will get the headlines but a word for Boggy (Laura Marsh). To go for only 12 runs in 4 overs when there is carnage everywhere else was a stunning bit of bowling.

  • Comment number 15.

    I only hope you bat first tomorrow.

 

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