We arrived in Sydney at the start of the week and had warm-up games on Tuesday and Wednesday – we beat Pakistan and then lost to India. On Thursday we went for the opening ceremony of the World Cup. First to the Sydney Opera House for some photos and then across to Luna Park by ferry. The ceremony was very nice and after that we busied ourselves with captains’ interviews, eating and drinking.
Today there was a good crowd at our game and it was nice to see Wasim Akram, Debbie Hockley, Belinda Clark and Danny Morrison giving TV commentary. The pitch was doing a little early in our innings and the Australian opening bowlers were getting the ball to move off the seam. They dug in the ball and it nipped off the pitch so we had to play knuckle down play cautiously.
We got two half-century partnerships but need to look at how we can convert them into hundred-run stands. The spinners tied us down for a while but I think we played positively against them. Most of the teams will have decent spinners and what one needs to do is not let them settle down into a rhythm. I don’t mean attack them right from the start, but play positively and be clear about what shot you want to play before you play it.
We used the batting Powerplays during the Rose Bowl Series so we are familiar with them but I can’t say we utilised them well today. We should have taken it in the 41st over – the one I got out in. But you know I feel the batting Powerplays do make a difference by giving you a chance to get back into the game.
Though we won, we need to improve on our performance. Our middle order lost the plot today - from 171 for 3 we were bowled out for 205, losing our last seven wickets for 34 runs. To get totals over 250 we need someone from the top order to stay put through the innings. That’s what I was trying to do today when I got out to a silly shot.
I’d like to mention Kate Pulford’s performance here: she made her return to international cricket after six years. She took a year off in between to go overseas but has been playing domestic cricket in between. She did exceptionally well this season and is looking like she’ll be the star for us this World Cup.
Our plan ahead is to just be consistent, use our resources well and bat wisely. Let’s hope we can do it.