Georgia Elwiss will be blogging exclusively for ecb.co.uk during England women’s tour of South Africa. In the second instalment she reveals the identity of her new room-mate in Pretoria, what the girls get up to on their days off and her thoughts on the opening one-day international.
We arrived in Pretoria last Sunday, which meant a change of hotels and the changeover of room-mates. Fortunately (or maybe not!) for me I have been paired up with Danni Wyatt for this two-week stint here.
We’ve known each other since we were nine-year-old girls playing for Staffordshire, so it’s nice to now be living our dream of playing for England together!
We played two warm-up matches for the series against a South Africa Women’s Emerging XI, which allowed the batters to get some time in the middle, bowlers to get through some overs, and for everyone collectively to put into practice some new drills in the field.
One slightly bizarre moment came in the first match when Danni and Tammy Beaumont came out to bat for the oppo, and proceeded to smash it all over the place! But it was a great run out all-round and the girls enjoyed being back together.
We played our second warm-up game at Mamelodi Cricket Club in a township which was a fantastic experience. The England men had delivered a coaching session there just a couple of weeks before, so lots of the locals came down to support us.
This match was another one-sided affair (in our favour!) with Loz (Lauren Winfield), Lottie (Charlotte Edwards) and Jonesy (Amy Jones) knocking off the winning runs for just one wicket.
After two convincing wins, we were allowed some time off and the team embarked on a journey to Planesburg National Park on a safari trip.
Danni and I really got into the spirit by getting matching safari hats and having a competition to see who could see an elephant first… Having just been told by our guide to make sure we are quiet when we saw animals (so as not to scare them, and prompt them to attack us!), upon seeing a rhino for the first time, Danni decided to scream!
Fortunately no attack on our bus ensured (phew), but I’m pretty sure she managed to scare away the rest of the animals in the park!
After another good training session it was time for business, with the first ODI at Willomore Park in Benoni. The whole squad was incredibly excited to get started with the series and to get a win on the board.
Some excellent bowling by Anya Shrubsole meant South Africa were restricted to 196 and it was lovely to see Sarah (Taylor) and Trev (Heather Knight) knock the runs off with ease after some storms.
It’s probably a good job that Jenny (Gunn) wasn’t required to bat as she was hiding in the corner of the changing room as the thunder and lightning struck!
We look forward to celebrating Sarah’s 100th ODI in the next game and hopefully we can hold on to a catch for Nunny (Katherine Brunt) to pick up her 100th ODI wicket! The squad is excited and looking forward to the rest of the series.