Alice Davidson-Richards says England ‘really frustrated’ as rain ruins ODI

By Sports Desk September 12, 2023

England were left cursing their luck as the second ODI against Sri Lanka was abandoned but even that misfortune could not wipe the smile from the face of Alice Davidson-Richards.

The all-rounder took a couple of wickets in her first England appearance in nine months as Sri Lanka were left teetering on 106 for nine after 30.5 overs before rain wiped out any more prospect of play.

Despite a “really frustrating” outcome – with England denied the chance to move into an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series – Davidson-Richards is happy to be back in the international ranks.

She joined the group on Monday after gaining some perspective over the weekend, watching a club cricket game on Saturday which freed her up to make a ton in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy 24 hours later.

“It’s been quite a fun few days,” she said. “I went to some club cricket on Saturday and remembered how wonderful cricket is in its actual true form, which put me in quite a nice position.

“I’ve tried to bring that (attitude) into here. If I put pressure on myself that’s when it tends to go a bit t*ts up. It was just remembering how relaxed I was when I was playing club cricket.

“I was watching mates I used to play with when I was 15 and just see people play just for the fun – you retire after (scoring) 30 and if you haven’t made 30 after 10 overs, you got bunked off as well.

“On Sunday, I was just envisioning playing on that little club ground and remember how stress-free it was. I think that really helped calm my brain down and not let Alice get in the way of Alice.”

Davidson-Richards, who was drafted in for the lone Ashes Test but went unused, initially put off answering the phone call that would have informed her of her England recall as she was out cycling.

“I could see it coming, I was like ‘I’ll just deal with this afterwards’,” she said. “I was out on the bike ride in the countryside, it was quite hilly.”

Davidson-Richards and Charlie Dean were England’s only changes from the side that thumped Sri Lanka by seven wickets. The tourists were coincidentally all out for 106 in the north-east on Saturday.

Off-spinner Dean also impressed with figures of 7-3-12-2, including the key wicket of Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu, whose run-a-ball 34 was ended after being beaten by an arm ball and given lbw.

Sri Lanka were 53 for two after nine overs but Athapaththu’s dismissal before the end of the powerplay took the wind out of the tourists’ sails and they gradually unravelled before rain had the final say.

Lauren Filer also took a two wickets, with England’s fringe players, having been given an opportunity in these white-ball matches at the end of the summer, building a case for increasing involvement.

“The best teams come from environments where there’s a lot of competition for places,” Davidson-Richards said.

“You don’t want the same people being picked every single time, you want people pushing the XI that are there. I’m doing my job if I’m making it difficult for them to pick an XI.

“Charlie Dean is exactly the same, if you’re leaving her out then you’re probably in quite a good place because she’s an unbelievable player.

“The more people we can get up to that level, the better for the England team and we’ll keep pushing each other on.”

As for what she is expecting when the teams head to Grace Road for Thursday’s final ODI, Davidson-Richards added: “Hopefully similar but without rain.

“This was really frustrating. It’s frustrating we got ourselves into a really great position only for it to rain.”

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