Thursday, May 23, 2024

ECB: England Women U19s – Sri Lanka Tri-Series Diary

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Photo Credit: ECB

Head of England Women Performance Pathways, Richard Bedbrook, gives an insight into England Women U19s’ tour to Sri Lanka.

The side, captained by Josie Groves, played a number of T20 and ODI matches in a Tri-Series against the hosts and Australia over the last two weeks. With three wins out of four in the T20 leg, England were looking on good form to sweep the series. The ODIs proved a new challenge and the team learnt a lot from their first defeat to Australia. Taking in what had happened in the conditions and new wicket, the team finished on a high beating Sri Lanka in their final match of the tournament.

The girls did incredibly well on the pitch and they had a great time away from it too. For many of them it was their first away tour and first time in Sri Lanka. We were looked after incredibly well by the hosts and got to experience much of their culture during our stay. I hope you enjoy a little insight into our trip.

Monday 25 – Thursday 28 March

On the day of arrival, our full staff and playing group visited a local Buddhist Temple. We were in complete awe of the design and learning more about what is one the main faiths in Sri Lanka.

Over the next few days, we trained at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium. Gradually building up the bowling and training workloads as we acclimatised to the heat and humidity. On a typical day it was 34 degrees with 59% humidity… slightly different to the cold English air!

On our rest day we visited a local school where players integrated with young Sri Lankan girls in the classroom and in their cricket lessons. The players were brilliant and really open to the opportunity, experiencing a new style of learning and interacting with the students.

Friday 29 March – MATCH DAY

Friday saw our first match of the Tri-Series and it was a brilliant one. We beat the Australia u19s by 35 runs in the first IT20.

We had five debutants too, which made it quite special. Erin Thomas, Jodi Grewcock, Charlotte Lambert, Corteen-Coleman and Mary Taylor all made debuts for their country.

After a stand out knock from skipper Josie groves (57 from 41) we were 146 all out from 19.3 overs. It was Josie’s first match as captain so it really gave her a boost having started the series with a bang.

It was the bowlers who brought it home, leaving Australia 111 for 5 from their full 20 overs. The star bowlers were Sophia Smale’s 3 for 19 and Alexa Stonehouse 2 for 17.

Saturday 30 March – MATCH DAY

A quick turnaround saw our first loss of the competition, losing out by six runs to home nation Sri Lanka.

Another round of debuts saw Abi Norgrove, Amu Surenkumar, Katie Jones and Ava Lee all pull on their international shirts for the first time.

Sri Lanka opened up scoring an admiral 128 runs from the full 20 overs. Despite our best efforts, the girls fell 6 runs short scoring 122, losing 7 wickets in the process.

Stand out performances included two of the fresh faced debutants, Norgrove scored a strong 31 from 36 balls and Lee bowling 4 for 19 runs.

Sunday 31 March – REST DAY

It was an early start on Sunday with a 5am departure to Udawalawe Elephant Park for a jeep experience! We journeyed across across a dam that holds back the magnificent Udawalawe Reservoir making a stop at the local elephant sanctuary.

Monday 1 April – TRAINING

Following a well-earned rest day it was back to training which was cut short by a famous Sri Lankan downpour.

Tuesday 2 April – MATCH DAY

Tuesday was another great showing from our girls, beating Australia by 7 wickets.

The Aussies set a target of 124 having been well restricted by our bowling attack, Coleman bowled a very tidy 3 for 15 backed up nicely by Grove and Lee taking two a piece.

Davina Perrin was pick of the batters with her 56 from 38.

Wednesday 3 April – MATCH DAY

Katie Jones lead the side as captain for the first time on Wednesday, and to victory over Sri Lanka by six wickets.

The home side put on a very respectable 126 but our girls in red reached their target in just over 14 overs.

Perrin was yet again pick of the batters, with 54 from 34, and Lambert and Lee bowling up a storm taking two a piece again.

Thursday 4 April – TRAVEL DAY

Thursday we travelled from Hambontota to Galle. Upon arrival we had a team meeting to review the T20 series and then headed out for a walk around the Galle Fort before storms brought it to an abrupt holt.

Friday 5th April – REST DAY

A lovely relaxing rest day spent with travelling parents and family who had come out to support the players. A few went snorkelling at Unawatuna Beach.

We all met up at the end of the day for a team meal in Galle Fort.

Saturday 6th April – TRAINING DAY

We started preparation for the first 50-over match against Australia on Saturday. We worked on physical prep before heading into a meeting to discuss a slight plan shift for the longer format.

Sunday 7th April – MATCH DAY

It wasn’t our day as we took on the first ODI of the series against Australia. They seemed to find their form as we slightly lost our way.

Having been bowled 239 all out, we headed into the second innings hopeful we had a defendable target. Great work from Jones (57 from 46) Taylor (33* from 48) helped us reach such a score. But Australia came out fighting and knocked it off in just over 45 overs, despite Corteen-Colman’s 2 for 37 with the ball.

Monday 8th April – REST DAY

Monday was a complete recovery day. We did very little outside of coaching staff meetings and letting the girls recover from a long day in the sun the day before.

Tuesday 9th April – FINAL MATCH DAY

To finish on a well deserved high, England Women U19s beat Sri Lanka by 6 wickets in their final match of the Tri-Series.

Jodi Grewcock took the baton, captaining the side who bowled the hosts out for 226 leaving just one ball un-played.

Our girls then brought it home, notably with Norgrove (54 from 34) and 20+ from Surenkumar and Pavely each.

A terrific end to a terrific tournament.

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