Caroline Atkins Tour Diary - Most Exciting Win Ever
Caroline Atkins is writing an exclusive diary for Cricket World from India where she is on tour with the England Women's cricket team. In her latest report, she describes the action from the first two One-Day Internationals in Bangalore.
" didn’t go to plan; it started well but finished badly. Playing good cricket for three quarters of the match doesn’t earn international victories very often, and unfortunately it left us 1-0 down in the series.
"We bowled first and with the exception of my spill at deep third man, we put together a very good bowling and fielding performance to restrict India to 199.
"Katherine (Brunt) and Anya (Shrubsole) set the tone with the new ball and we took two run out chances through Anya and Laura (Marsh). Charlotte Edwards’ tight spell in the final overs meant we went to lunch satisfied with the target of 200.
"We lost out first wicket for eight runs and later realised that would be Sarah Taylor’s final appearance on this tour, as she pulled her hip flexor in the field. Ebony (Rainford-Brent) came in at number three and made a splendid 64, but it was Lydia (Greenway) who I joined at the crease with the score 100/4.
"We added 45 for the fifth wicket and it was my departure for 21 that started our downfall. We lost our last six wickets for 19 runs when chasing five an over. It was a defeat hard to take, but with four matches to go, sulking wasn’t an option.
"Training the next day wasn’t about flogging ourselves silly, but taking responsibility for individual needs.
"Personally I took my time over catching practice and when it came to having a bat, I approached the net as though I was opening the innings.
"This reshuffle in the batting order was forced by Sarah’s injury. Then on the day of the we also played without vice-captain Nicky Shaw, because none of the fielding positions involve sitting on the loo which is where she spent most of her day!
"We won the toss and batted first, aware of the fact it was the third game on the same wicket. It was a slow start for us but a solid one keeping their spearhead out of the wickets.
"I was backing myself for a big contribution to repay the time I had spent getting in. Unfortunately though, I went for a paddle sweep and neglected to make contact.
"It’s a simple game really, when you miss a straight one you get bowled, and knowing it’s simple makes all the more infuriating. Walking back to the pavilion with 22 runs wasn’t what I had in mind.
"Still, I put those Theraband exercises to good use by throwing my gloves across the dressing room. One glove landed in my bag, the other hit the floor short, a bit like doing half a job properly.
"I sat on the balcony for the next 35 overs and that’s a long time when you want to be out in the middle. Nonetheless, I did enjoy seeing Jenny’s (Gunn) fine 64 and the other highlight was Katherine’s quick-fire 21 at the end to get us to 183 for 8 off 50 overs.
"We knew it was below par, but losing wasn’t an option and Katherine’s bowling proved that by taking four wickets with the new ball.
"She also forced a retirement with a sharp bouncer so effectively India were 35 for 5. Then came a 106-run partnership which Isa (Guha) interrupted with a timely yorker.
"They needed 56 runs from 12 overs and with their next partnership worth 45 India, were in the box seat.
"It came down to the last wicket in the last over with five runs required. Lydia pulled off a diving stop that saved four and brought number 11 on strike. Jenny bowled full and straight, the ball came straight to me, I picked it up lobbed it back to Jen who broke the stumps in time for a run-out.
"We looked around, just checking if their retired batsman was coming back, the umpires were taking the bails, the management were shaking hands on the sidelines and it sunk in that we had pulled off the most exciting win I’ve ever known.
"We’re now in Vizag for the next two ODI’s and we’ll finish the series in Mumbai on Monday. It’s weird to think that in a week’s time we’ll know the result of the series.
"What’s hard to explain is how part of me wants the week to be over; having played brilliantly and won the series, yet the other part of me loves every minute. Another obscurity is how I can spend a whole rest day in my hotel room when there’s a pool outside and the seaside in sight!
"Oh well, I’m just going to unpack and keep thinking through how we’re going to win the next game of cricket. Come back after Friday and hopefully I’ll have written some good news!"
© Cricket World 2010
Caroline made her England debut in the Ashes series in June 2001 and has to date played in eight Tests, 56 One-Day Internationals and 15 Twenty20 Internationals. Her ODI top score of 145 came when she shared a record opening stand of 268 with Sarah Taylor at Lord's.