Somerset Captain Anya Shrubsole played a vital role in England’s two recent series wins in South Africa. During the tour she has been keeping us up to date with an exclusive Tour Diary. Here is the final installment:
After a series victory in the ODIs, it was quickly into the T20I series. With the ICC Women’s World T20 just around the corner it was an important series to try and start putting plans into place.
The 1st T20I was at Boland Park in Paarl and we got the series off to a good start with a win. Sarah Taylor was in a class of her own scoring and unbeaten 74 as we posted 147. It was a first for me getting to bat with Sarah at the end of innings. There’s no better place to watch her bat than at the other end. South Africa got off to a very good start with the bat, putting on 96 for the first wicket. Jenny Gunn and Heather Knight then dragged us back in the game with some tight overs and once we picked up the first wicket we managed to restrict them for the rest of the innings, eventually winning by 15 runs. It was a really good fighting performance from us in the field, having been up against it for a while.
The 2nd T20I was the next day at Newlands. I think it’s safe to say that it was a ground that everyone was excited to play at. It’s one of the most iconic grounds in the world, so to be able to have the opportunity to play there was amazing. Unfortunately our performance didn’t match the venue. We posted 156, with another superb innings by Sarah, but then weren’t able to defend it. Rain curtailed the game with a few overs left to play but South Africa won quite comfortably by D/L.
It meant that it was all to play for in the last game at the Wanderers, the same venue as the deciding ODI. This time we bowled first and managed to restrict South Africa to 131. At one stage we had them 6-3 after 2 overs and such a good start allowed us to restrict them, despite a brilliant innings from Lizelle Lee. We went at the total with a lot of intent, with Amy Jones hitting 14 off the first over. We never really looked back from there. Sarah once again led the innings with another half century and we won with 5 overs to spare.
Overall it had been a successful trip. We have come away with 2 series wins and our first experience playing under Mark Robinson. We know there is still plenty to work on in all areas of the game but winning is also important and we have done that on this tour. It is now very quickly into the World T20 in India, a tournament we are all looking forward to and will go in to with confidence that we can win the title.
Anya was the leading wicket taker in both the ODI and T20 series’ taking a total of 12 wickets on the tour.
England get their ICC World T20 campaign underway on March 12th against New Zealand in Chennai.