England all-rounder Nat Sciver reports from Australia with the second of her Women’s Ashes Diaries – she looks back on cutting the deficit, seeing whales and storms, and curating the perfect tour playlist…
We’ve just arrived in Sydney after a week in Coffs Harbour and we’re feeling good, even if we have left the beach behind us! Had we lost the third ODI, we’d not be in quite such a good mood – but now we may have gone some way to taking back the momentum. Fingers crossed!
A SLOW START
It was good to make it 4-2 in points because we weren’t at our best in the first two ODIs.
We probably should have won the first game but we didn’t have a batter set in the last 10 overs and that meant we couldn’t post such a big total. Then Alex Blackwell came in and did what she’s done for so long and saw them over the line.
While that was close, the second ODI wasn’t our best game. Rachael Haynes played really well for them but we still looked a bit rusty. It was nice to see Katherine Brunt get her first ODI fifty, though.
Georgia Elwiss and Laura Marsh were making fun of me because I was encouraging her from the sidelines – but I had a bit of a cold so I sounded like I had a peg on my nose!
BACK IN THE SERIES
The third ODI was much better. We hit our highest ODI total against Australia and Heather Knight got her highest individual score against them.
We did well to get to such a good score because Megan Schutt was bowling really well – she’s getting a lot of movement and she has good death-bowling options.
We’ve been really good against spin in the last year, though, and that’s something we work very hard on, so we were happy with how we played the slow bowlers. I think afterwards we just felt a sense of relief.
We had started the series slowly so it’s great that the Ashes is now alive again. It’s like anything, you can take a bit of time to get used to something and we struggled to adapt after not playing a warm-up game, but I think we can take a lot of confidence from the third ODI.
On a personal note, I was glad to bowl well on Sunday – I wasn’t consistent enough in the first two matches and batters had joy when they looked to be aggressive. I was pleased to execute better.
WHALES AND STORMS
It hasn’t all been about cricket, though. Coffs Harbour had a beautiful coast and we all took the opportunity to see some whales. I’d never actually seen one before this trip, so nice to tick that off!
Some of our parents who are out here saw some dolphins, which I was a bit jealous of. It was really nice to be by the sea – I had to be careful with my Instagram post about it.
Obviously, all of us had to let everyone know we were by the beach but people always joke that we’re on holiday, so I went for the sarcasm angle to hopefully remind them we were playing a lot of cricket as well!
OUR OWN BARMY ARMY!
It’s been nice to have my dad out here. He’s one of four families out here at the minute – my mum joins him soon – and alongside the Elwisses, the Marshes and the Hartleys, as well as Heather’s boyfriend, they’re making our own little supporters’ club. I think my dad is delighted to have some extra voices to help get behind us!
Three games in and I’m yet to receive any major criticism of the tour playlist that I’ve put together. It’s on every day in the dressing room, for training and matches, and everyone gets to contribute three songs – staff included.
That means we cater for all tastes! It’s a job I’ve had since I’ve been in the England team and it’s a high-pressure role! I’m currently enjoying Beat It by Michael Jackson – hopefully it can inspire us for the Test match.
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