Hales Make EMS Eat Its Words

Just a few words on yesterday’s ODI. I’m feeling a little crook today (the combination of a tummy upset and sinusitis isn’t pleasant) so I’ll keep it brief.

Yesterday’s win in the cricket was absolutely superb. It was most unexpected too – at least from my perspective.

Whereas our openers were a liability in the first match, they all but won the game yesterday. Kudos to them. Alex Hales scored his first ODI hundred – he played excellently and certainly rammed the critics’ words down their throats – and Jason Roy played an absolute gem of an innings too. He looks seriously talented and took all the pressure off his partner.

Where Roy needs to improve is converting some of these cameos into something more substantial and gratifying. Hopefully he’ll learn from Hales’ knock, which was pretty much the complete one day innings.

I must say I still have doubts that Hales can succeed at the top of the order against quality pace attacks in test cricket – I guess we’ll find out in a couple of months – but this innings will give him a massive confidence boost. Good luck to him.

Our bowlers also looked like a completely different proposition yesterday. I don’t need to tell you why. It’s obvious: the ball swung. When they can get some movement, they’re no longer cannon fodder. For David Willey it was just like Beggars’ Canyon back home.

Of course, it also helps if you’ve got a good total on the board to defend. It’s a shame we didn’t make over 300 with the start we had, but you can’t have everything I suppose. A little bird told me that England score less runs in the last ten overs than any side in the world other than Zimbabwe. Can that be right? It wouldn’t surprise me.

This series is set up rather nicely now. I said before the series started that contests between two poor / average teams can often be fascinating, and so it’s proving. You never know what you’re going to get from either side. England and Pakistan’s performances are oscillating rather like my stomach.

James Morgan


2015-11-14T14:20:50+00:00November 14th, 2015|News, PakvEng2015|8 Comments


  1. Benjit November 14, 2015 at 6:36 pm - Reply

    Love the Star Wars reference!

    • James Morgan November 14, 2015 at 8:00 pm - Reply

      My lad (about to turn 5) is addicted to Star Wars. He’s just discovered it. Makes me proud!

  2. Benny November 14, 2015 at 10:00 pm - Reply

    I’m philosophical. Sometimes batsmen get out, fielders drop catches, it’s ever been thus. ODI 1 was a bad day at the office, ODI 2 was a good performance. Very happy the top 5 are excellent. If Buttler could rediscover his batting skills, how good would that be. Just give us one brilliant bowler and I’d take on anyone.

  3. Nick November 15, 2015 at 12:07 pm - Reply

    Hales played excellently, but Roy looks like the star of the two.

  4. Metatone November 15, 2015 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    Strategically, I think it’s a mistake to write off Roy’s performances as a cameo.
    50 at a good clip is very useful to this England side.
    It allows Hales, Root and Morgan time to bed in before getting up to speed – and they all prefer to do that.
    It would be a tragedy all too typical of England if we push Roy into a slower approach in the search of centuries…

  5. maggie November 15, 2015 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    if you’ve watched Lumb and Hales playing together for Notts, Roy played exactly the sort of innings that Lumb plays – gets going quickly and scores freely, leaving Hales to take his time. Which is what I think his county stats show that he does. His first 50 balls don’t bring him nearly as many runs as the 2nd, and hopefully 3rd. And it’s better if he can play like that.

    I have often wondered if his tendency to get caught early on in the slips has been because he has been told to get out there and score quick and he’s tried to do so before he’s got settled. This worries me a bit putting him in with Cooky as he may feel he needs to make up for Cook’s more steady and slow accumulation of runs. I just hope they leave him to play his own game. The new management set-up seems more likely to do this, thank the Lord.

  6. Exiled Yorkie November 15, 2015 at 7:51 pm - Reply

    Looks like it’s going to the tipsy turvy series people predicted due to the lack of consistency in both sides.
    Guess we should enjoy it for what it was.
    Like James I’m not convinced Hales will cut it at test level and it’s about time he got a score in the ODI arena. He has been well supported by the selectors and before this his average of c20 certainly wasn’t repaying the faith.
    Personally I think his innings will be a one off and I’d rather back Roy and hopefully give him the same opportunity.

  7. Hungerpang November 16, 2015 at 1:22 am - Reply

    I don’t think you need to eat your words just because Hales happened to make 100 here. Plenty of England batsmen have made the odd 100 in ODIs but proved overall to be failures. I’m sure as a Worcs fan you can remember Vikram Solanki making a sublime one 10 or so years ago, for example. The questions over Hales won’t be erased on the basis of one innings. They’ll be decided over the next 20 or so by whether he can overcome his habit of getting out for next to nothing more often than not.

    Couple of other thoughts:
    1) It was more excusable in this case than usual (approaching his first 100 and on a pitch with a softening ball that got increasingly difficult to score off), but too often England’s batsmen decelerate alarmingly as they approach 100, get out shortly afterwards and the team’s momentum is hard to recover. Once upon a time an individual first innings 100 won you most games, but it doesn’t any more. The modern ODI batsman needs to be able to ignore this personal landmark and storm on towards 150 (which almost always wins you the game).

    2) There was a good example in this game of the kind of caught behind decision that should be overturned, even in the absence of snicko and hotspot (by contrast with the one for Hafeez in the Test match, which in my view shouldn’t have been). Hales was given out but replays showed his bat to be miles from the ball AND that the ball flicked his trouser. Clear error, so overturn the umpire’s decision. For Hafeez in the Test, it looked as though he probably didn’t hit it, but there was a small chance he might have got a feather, the kind that we’ve seen only snicko is capable of picking up in the past. On-field umpire thought he hit it, and that should have been the deciding factor.

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