Just Superb: England Reach World T20 Final

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We’ve been waiting an awfully long time for an England limited overs side to put in a complete performance. Many of us doubted whether it was even possible. But today is finally happened. And it happened on a big stage and on a big occasion too.

I’m not sure what happened to the bowling attack that represented England in the group stages (and warm up matches), but today they were nowhere to be seen. Instead we fielded a crack outfit that performed with discipline, accuracy and consistency.

Gone were the daft slower ball bouncers, longhops, bizarre theories and needless variations. Instead we kept it simple: at the death our pacemen simply aimed for the blockhole. Hallelujah!

Although New Zealand were surprisingly passive in the final ten overs of their innings – they looked static at the crease and did little to put our bowlers off their lines and lengths – full credit must go to the likes of Jordan and Stokes. They’re growing in confidence and did a superb job. Even Moeen Ali bowled very well. Ish and Mitchell who?

At the halfway stage New Zealand’s 153 never looked competitive. They were probably thirty runs short. Only nerves and a disastrous lack of composure was likely to undermine our chase.

That’s why England’s approach was exactly what the doctor ordered: attacking from the outset. Over analysis has crippled our teams for years. Thank heavens this horrible habit has been consigned to the dustbin. Even club cricketers know that the best way to chase small totals is to stay positive. Why let the opposition bowlers settle and give them a foothold in the game they don’t deserve?

Jason Roy, of course, epitomised England’s approach. He didn’t change his game-plan: he just whacked it as usual. After a couple of edges flew to the boundary, everyone knew it was our day. He put his boot on New Zealand’s throats ruthlessly.

When Roy was dismissed, there was a mini intake of breath when the captain departed for yet another golden duck, but Root and Buttler kept their composure and knocked the runs off with consummate ease. It was glorious. And so untypically English.

Whether we win the final or not – and I suspect it will be not* – England have exceeded all expectations in this tournament. They turgid days or Peter Moores and Ashley Giles are firmly in the rear-view mirror. Supporting England’s limited overs teams is now a lot of fun. That in itself is a triumph – whatever happens in Sunday’s final.

James Morgan

*Writing us off every game seems to be working rather nicely. Why change now?

27 Comments

  1. I hate to say this but I fell asleep and missed the entire England innings! My excuse is three disturbed nights with grandchildren but still to wake up in a cramped position on the sofa and found out we had won was a bit of a facer. I have been really enjoying this tournament and, once again, bemoan the fact that the vast majority of people in the UK do not have the chance to see this. It is a fun tournament and has had some great games and would galvanise an interest in cricket but instead I think it has hardly registered. Perhaps if we win it might.

    • Its a great shame a wider audience can’t see it. It seems its an epidemic in cricket.
      This tournament is behind paywalls in England, Australia, New Zealand & the West Indies. But not in cricket daft India.

    • I remember reading from you not so long ago that you were utterly delighted
      that England had lost to the West Indies. Since then we have been doing so well. Umm…

      • Yes Jenny you are right. I did. And to be totally ho est with you i would still like to see the Windies win because I find them such a fun team. Of course this could be totally erroneous on my part and they be a horrid bunch in the dressing room, but I like their style. I have been i pressed by the way our side has performed, so etimes, in this tournament and if they win, well good on them . However, I still find it hard to warm to them and when Iread that Willey had been fined for telling abatsman to f**k off after he had just bowled him, I just felt why do they do it. Why? Stokes is just as bad and I get fed up of hearing Nasser say oh he wears his heart on his sleeve, oh he is passionate about the game. Well I believe it but I do wish the English team were a bit more likeable. And this is my own grumpy Old Woman take and totally personal to me. I will try to cheer England on, honest I will……

  2. Loving the commitment to glass half empty James with your prediction!

    Fantastic performance from Roy who seems to serve the team really well in run chases by going on the attack from the start, taking the pressure off. A real weapon – I’ve often wondered if England have picked the wrong limited overs batsman for the Test team, but that’s a separate discussion…

    It was a great team effort too – hard to pick out anybody that disappointed.

    Onwards to the final! Don’t really mind who we get, although hopeful we bat second given that we seem so much more confident that way…

  3. England were superb but you are being harsh on Giles. He led us to a Champions Trophy final. Yes we lost to Holland in next T20 but the players were broken by the Ashes by then.
    Hopefully we can go one better Sunday.

  4. And of course nobody dare mention how well the team have done post Pietersen

    Won the ashes against expectations …. won in South Africa against expectations and now in the final of the T20 against expectations

    poor old Pietersen and his brown nose luvvie Piers Morgan must be crying in their cocktails LOL

        • No you haveme wrong. Not a change of heart re the KP saga which I still think was appallingly handled and the ECB should hang their heads in shame. I will never change my mind on that and it has co.oured my view of English cricket in a way I will never forget, but he is not coming back and we all know this, as does he so whether we like it or not we just get on with it. I just wish that people would stop beinging him up now as it is a pointless exercise. But I will never change my stance on how he was treated .

    • England have only started to do well in T20 after addressing pretty well all the criticisms Pietersen made about how the team was run.
      And had you any knowledge of the subject, you’d know {Pietersen has been entirely supportive of the World Cup team in his press articles.

      You need to let go of your hate. It’s not healthy.

      • Also look how well Roy is playing and the manner in which he plays. I’d say Pietersen has had a big influence on him having been at Surrey together.

        • Well Strauss did offer KP an “advisory” role for Limited overs cricket, so he must of recognised KP had some good ideas.

        • As confirmed by Ali Martin’s piece on Roy in the Guardian:

          “Given Roy’s explosive batting style, their shared heritage and a tattoo or two along the way, it did not take long for the tag of “Mini-KP” to stick. The pair would become team‑mates at Surrey that summer, with Stewart convinced the pair’s subsequent five-year alliance played a key part in the younger man’s rise. “Jason has learned a lot from KP, he’s been very good for him. They are with the same management company and I know they speak regularly still.

          “Jason looks up to him. Whatever people think about KP he had a really good influence on our dressing room and the way he spoke to our young players. Like Kevin, J-Roy’s strength is striking a cricket ball and now it’s about making sure what he did the other day is not a one-off but the start of something.””

  5. James Morgan on

    Who would you guys rather play in the final? I think I’d still rather play the Windies than India. But I have to say it’s close. India haven’t been at their best so far, but like England (up until the semis) they haven’t had a storming performance yet. Maybe they’ve got that complete performance still in the tank? I suppose they played well against Pakistan but haven’t really kicked on. The home crowd would also be difficult for England.

    • No question for me. India

      What an occasion, 90,000 at Eden Gardens.
      Yes Kohli, Dhoni & Ashwin and a few others would be a tough nut to crack. Imagine cracking.
      I always want to beat the best in their back yard.

    • West Indies for me, for several reasons. Firstly, cricket needs a strong West Indies, and (for many reasons, not least the WICB) doesn’t have one. Secondly, they are not part of the ICC’s Big 3. Thirdly West Indian friends. Fourthly, Darren Sammy must be one of the nicest men in world cricket. Loved his reply when the Indian media asked him first up if he was worried about Virat Kohli’s form (which he probably should be). “Not really. Have you ever heard about Chris Gayle?”

      • I fully agree on cricket needing a strong WI side.
        However this strong T20 Wi side just masks the problem. Barely any of them are interested in the longer form of the game and some are nearing the end.

        • Cricket needs some more strong sides, no doubt about it.
          Does one of them need to be the disparate, dissolute, disappointing WI? I’m not so sure.
          Chris Gayle has to be one of the most unpleasant sportsmen in the world. And let’s be honest, he’s up against some stiff opposition. The WICB are useless, the team are on strike half the time – really, they need to go away, work out if they want to do this anymore and if they do to come back and prove it.
          Several countries would love to have the opportunities the WI are currently squandering….

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