A fifer from England’s Kate Cross, which was crucial in the host’s comfortable five-wicket win in the second ODI against India in Taunton on Wednesday, has the seamer in good spirits.
“(It’s) always good to pick wickets. I’ve always said that sometimes I get the boring, rubbish jobs where you’re bowling into the wind or up the hill and kind of have a holding role that creates pressure at the other end, so it was nice to pick some up myself today,” Cross told reporters after the game.
Cross underlined the importance of the fifer for her own confidence.
“I don’t think I needed one, I think I was due to have a day like this. This might sound arrogant, but I’ve been bowling well ,I have the confidence of the coaches behind me. it’s always tricky when you’re trying to find a place in the team, and this is a hard team to get into,” she added.
England bowled out India, despite the visitor completing its regulation 50 overs, restricting the side to a modest 221. Cross was the pick of bowlers, removing Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur, Deepti Sharma and Sneh Rana.
Ask Cross which scalp was her favourite, and she struggles to choose between two.
“Mandhana’s wicket is probably my favourite as it got us going, but I also liked Harman’s wicket because we are going to be able to have a laugh about it someday,” Cross said.
Kaur and Cross are friends, having played together for Lancashire Thunder in England. There’s also a running joke on how similar they look among their friends.
However, there was no friendship on the field. England was out to seal the series, with a low target to chase down once more, courtesy specific plans for the Indian batting line-up.
“We knew some of the Indian batters didn’t like the short ball. We kept improving our plans. We have a variety of fields for each bowling plan, especially when you’re bowling to someone like Shafali,” Cross explained.
However, it was not without its hiccups
“I was a bit nervous when we still needed 120-odd to win, however, I thought it was amazing to see the likes of Sophia Dunkley and (Katherine) Brunt – a girl who has not batted in ODI cricket, and a girl who has batted a lot in ODI cricket – to put us over the line,” Cross said.
Dunkley and Brunt put on 92 runs, the biggest sixth-wicket partnership for England in ODI cricket, helping the side to a win with 15 balls to spare, despite a shaky start up top.
” I think it was just good to show the depth that we’ve got in the batting line-up and that we’re not just reliant on our top four to be scoring the runs all the time. Obviously, Tammy (Beaumont)’s been fantastic for us in our last couple of innings – more than our last couple of innings in one-day cricket – and if she’s not scoring runs it’s great to see that someone else can pick that up and do a job for the team, so it was a pleasing win really. Good to win under pressure,” she added.