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More discipline, more aggression, more fabulous

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Ebony Rainford-Brent Ebony Rainford-Brent | 12:59 UK time, Friday, 13 March 2009

So we arrived in Canberra after a long three-hour drive and got straight into our training session in preparation for our first World Cup match after the two warm-up games.

Our first game against Sri Lanka saw a comfortable win with a 100-run margin. We posted 277-5 and managed to restrict Sri Lanka to 177-7. The highlights were the batters who put in some good performances with Tails (Claire Taylor) cashing in with her first century of the tournament, her third consecutive one against this opposition at a World Cup, and Caroline Atkins with a nice opening 50.

Although we won there were many areas as a team where we felt we needed to be more disciplined, including being more aggressive batting in the last 10 overs and tightening up on the fielding.

For the four of us who didn't play it was the hard core post-match fitness session with our strength and conditioning coach Ian Crump. These sessions involve sprint work to keep our fitness levels up and core stability work focussed on keeping areas such as our backs and shoulders ticking.

Recovery after the games included ice baths and work in the swimming pool to ease muscles and lactic acid.

To make the most of the last afternoon off, the team decided to give our youngest member a mini makeover, and put in a collection to get some nice highlights and a sexy-looking cut. So myself and Anyanka (Anya) Shrubsole spent the afternoon together in the hairdressers for a fresh and fabulous look.

After this point the schedule has become play... train... play ...train, with no days off. Our focus has become recovery, picking up extra hours of sleep where possible and relaxing.

Sue our physio is also making sure we stay hydrated by giving us random urine tests and weighing us in and out of games and training to see how much fluid we have lost.

Our next game was against India, our biggest match in the group. We were going to be tested by a good team and we needed to look good for the TV!

We played at North Sydney Oval and the Indians batted first on a good track. They looked good and despite a flamboyant burst from Amita Sharma at the end of the innings, we kept them under 200, getting them all out for 169. We managed to knock them off comfortably with Tails and Shaggy (Caroline Atkins) each finishing on 69 not out.

The last game in our group was another televised match against Pakistan, and it was my first World Cup game. Surprisingly, although I was excited, I felt calm which I was happy about. I knew I would be opening the batting which I enjoy and my goal was to spend as much time as possible at the crease as there may not be many opportunities. I therefore needed to make the most of it.

Ebony Rainford-Brent

We lost the toss and they elected to bat on what looked like another road. They got off to a good start putting away anything short, and using their wrists well.

However the spin twins Holly Colvin and Laura Marsh turned things around doing the business with Laura bowling amazingly well on a flat track and picking up some amazing figures of 5-15 off her 10 overs. We restricted them to 78, after they had been 51-1.

So it was a 10-minute changeover and I was out there. I really enjoyed the experience, the pitch played nicely and I was seeing the ball well, which allowed me to play some nice shots.

I was out for 18 trying to take on an off-spinner to get them to put the field back. Lottie (Charlotte Edwards) and Lydia (Greenway) finished the job off clinically in the 23rd over for two wickets down which has now left us top of our group.

We are set to play New Zealand on Saturday in the first stage of the Super Sixes. They are also currently unbeaten so it will be a tough contest.


  • Comment number 1.

    Congratulations to all of you for what you have achieved so far, you are all a credit to English cricket. Obviously harder games are coming, just keep working hard and giving it everything and the rewards will come.

  • Comment number 2.

    Congratulations and good luck in the next round!

  • Comment number 3.

    Congratulations in the games so far. Best of luck for the rest of the tournament!

  • Comment number 4.

    Many congratulations!

    Looking forward to the Super Sixes games...

  • Comment number 5.

    Its Sat morning (UK) and the great news of the win against NZ has come through. At 97-4 at 1am or so things were looking a bit rocky but Lottie, Beth and Jen did a great job to get us up to 200. Then over to the bowlers who seemed to have squeezed the life out of NZ.

    Can't believe India beat Oz (I thought India were totally shot but they've really put themselves back in the frame). And Pakistan continue to impress - looks like a possible 5th place for them.

    So what now ? The results today mean that victory against the West Indies on Tuesday and we're in the final !! We would be on 8 points and only 1 other team would be able to reach 8 points (India and NZ have to play each other so only one of them can reach 8 points). Amazingly Oz look out of it because they can only reach 6 points and 2 teams are highly likely to reach 8 points. Gu'day sport.

    Its a pity the final is a one off game because based on results so far we're the best team, something that counts for nothing in a one-off.

    Anyway let's enjoy today's win. Congratulations. Proud of you all.

  • Comment number 6.

    Good luck England! You're doing us proud Down Under. Bring that cup home!

    (PS Can we have Charlotte Edwards batting at 3 in the men's team? She's better than any of the men on offer)

  • Comment number 7.

    Absolutely fantastic! At last, an England team to be proud of - just a crying shame that the tv companies dont agree!!

    Keep up the good eork, the cricket fraternity of this country is immensely proud of you.

    ps, being from Chester, any chance of Lauren getting a game??!!

  • Comment number 8.

    oops, should have said work!!

  • Comment number 9.

    I would have thought Lauren (see Themagic7 request for a game ahove) might well get a game - especially since I think she is the only member of the squad not to have played a world cup game yet. I guess Laney has to pick the strongest team against West Indies given a win puts us in the final. If England do something like what they did to the Windies at Loughborough last summer where only the openers got any time in the middle then even the strongest team shouldn't be required). Suffice to say a win makes the Aussie game of no significance (other than maintaining the 20 odd game unbeaten run) so Laney might want to rest some players for the final. Enter Lauren perhaps (not neessarily in place of Squirt given Squirt's batting alone make her invaluable - I'm sure Squirt wouldn't mind some time in the outfield). It'll be a nice debut: England V Oz in Oz in the world cup.

  • Comment number 10.

    I'm sorry, but after a fascinating and, in the end, thrilling Test Match series in the WIndies, all this limited overs cricket (whether male or female) is like being offered a stale cheese sandwich after you've just eaten a 6 course Alain Ducasse dinner.

  • Comment number 11.

    How much of that Test series did you find thrilling, LA Odicean? The final days in Antigua and Trinidad excepted, the rest of it was a thorough bore! I really think the men's coaching set-up need to consult Mark Lane and get some advice, perhaps on the mental side of things at least. Trouble is, they're probably too proud to do that.

  • Comment number 12.

    Everyone to their own delights. Given a choice between a ticket to a men's Test match (and a truly pathetic maximum of 90 overs a day) and a ticket to a Women's World Cup ODI I'd take the latter.

    I think its a bit unfair to lump Women's one day cricket in with the Men's when referring to "all this limited overs cricket". The contrast in media coverage and number of ODIs played is marked.

  • Comment number 13.


  • Comment number 14.

    "The final days in Antigua and Trinidad excepted, the rest of it was a thorough bore!"

    Oliver, there's always been more that's fascinating than thrilling about Test cricket. These days, when thrills are what those with a short attention span demand, many people cannot last more than a few hours without a 'result' unfolding. It's a sad state of affairs. I really do.


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