Fiona Urquhart - Blog from Australia #2
Fiona Urquhart sends back her second blog from down under after a hectic few months for the Scotland internationalist.
November started well and I was lucky enough to be invited along to train with state side The ACT Meteors. The training session was very intense and of an extremely high standard - target bowling drills, several fielding drills and finishing up with a team fielding drill in which there was no room for error, otherwise it resulted in a roasting from the coach - I can see why these state girls are very skilled in the field.
Unfortunately a couple of days later, I received a phone call from home to say my mum had become seriously unwell. 36 hours later I was back in the UK, and to cut a very long story very short, Mum was home and recovering well from her operation two weeks later - she sure is an amazing lady and a huge inspiration to me! She was also very keen and supportive for me to get back out to Sydney to continue my Aussie adventure so exactly four weeks since leaving, I arrived back down under.
First game back was a disaster, I was comprehensively beaten for pace and was given out LBW for no score (I'm still adamant it was the jet lag). We lost that game quite convincingly by Unis - a team that included Australian Internationalists the Blackwell twins and Rachael Haynes who smashed 98*.
The following week I turned out for the 1s and 2s in a T20 double header. Chasing 81 to win after a good bowling display, I finished 30* having opened, so was good to spend some time in the middle.
The second game was bit of a non-contest as we won by over 100 runs! Good day all round and great to go into the Christmas break on a high.
Christmas was good, very relaxed spending time with the Craze family who I stay with. I went up to Melbourne to watch the Ashes, which was a ridiculously good atmosphere, sat in amongst the Aussie army!
My New Year celebrations were spent in the city, watching the fireworks and a beach party on New Year’s Day. This was an unbelievable day until I sliced my foot on some rocks and ended up in hospital. Probably the most amusing trip I've ever had to A&E (and there has been a few), eight stitches later I was good to go! Thankfully I had ten days until my next game, which was more than enough time to recover.
Another double header would see us take on the Sydney Tigers. Batting at 6, I found myself heading out to bat with the score at 16-4, and facing a hat-trick ball. I calmly edged it for 4 - nae pressure!
Together with the captain we started rebuilding the innings, putting on a stand worth 90 runs, before I missed a straight one and found myself dismissed for 30.
Sydney chased down our score of 127 with relative ease, meaning our next game was a must win against current champions Bankstown. We posted 129 for 4 and I got to have a bit of a hit for 2 overs at the end which was fun.
We bowled and fielded so well, rolling the opposition for 80 and picking up a bonus point along the way. Another must win game followed - we had to beat Northern Districts with a bonus point to have any chance of making finals day. The score was 50 for 4 when I went in, again having to do a bit of a rebuilding job. I felt so comfortable at the crease and was hitting the ball well, eventually reaching my first half century in Australia!
I finished up on 71 of 43 balls, including two 6 (I've been working on the guns) before I stupidly got myself run out with one ball to go. I was chuffed to finally produce some of the form I had found during our summer. We won the game and have finals day to look forward to in two weeks - superb!
All in all, I'm having an absolute blast. Loving the cricket, the Ghosts are an awesome bunch to play with and feel like I'm learning and improving each week. Loving Sydney, been lucky enough to visit some beautiful beaches, had some fantastic days out and met some awesome people. Loving the weather, it's been roasting! With lots of cricket coming up, it's going to be an exciting few months ahead.