Pakistan Turn It On, Then Wave Goodbye

I think it’s best to forget last night’s T20. Pakistan shocked everyone by looking motivated, aggressive and desperate to win. England, on the other hand, looked somewhat complacent and relaxed. Mentally we weren’t at the races and made far too many mental errors.

It’s always hard to gauge Pakistan’s mood. They’re usually entertaining to watch but one never knows if they’ll rise to a challenge or shrug their shoulders and go AWOL. Yesterday they were strangely at the top of their game – who knows whether it was Sarfraz’s captaincy or the partisan Pakistani supporters who seemed to outnumber their English counterparts?

If only I had a quid for every horn blown and delirious cheer whenever a player wearing green touched the ball. It seemed more like Multan than Manchester yesterday. The atmosphere was electric.

The game itself can be summarised thus: England made a good start with the bat, then collapsed in a heap when Iman came on to bowl his crafty spinners. Our batsmen played a host of lazy, ill through through shots, and nobody down the order pulled us out of the mire this time.

England’s 135 might have been a good score in an U16 match twenty years ago but it was never going to be enough last night. Our only chance was the bowl tight early on and take a few wickets. All chance of that happening evaporated when Chris Jordan was thrown the ball. He conceded 20 runs in his first over and that was basically that. Sjahjeel Khan and Khalid Latif took us to the cleaners.

Although it was only a solitary T20, bolted on at the fag end of a tour – I still don’t know why they don’t put these limited overs games before the test series as an appetiser – it was a disappointing way to round off the international summer.

Pakistan will return home feeling quite good about themselves. England, on the other hand, will have a little reflecting to do. It was great to win the ODIs 4-1, but only drawing the test series, and then losing the last two limited overs game leaves a slightly unsatisfying taste in the mouth.

James Morgan 


  • Why was Chris Jordan wearing all that bling, James?

    There was so much shining gold that I’m wondering if it pulled his upper body, shoulders and neck down too much in the delivery stride disrupting his line and length and enabling the batsman to make hay in his first over?

    Remembering my own days as a club seamer (once referred to by Surrey’s David Thomas as a ‘bread and butter bowler’, a description that hurt especially considering my dislike of dairy products ), I used to get put off if a sleeve came loose in delivery, let alone a mass of precious metal throwing itself around my neck and face area.

    I spent the rest of the highlights trying to spot similar bling adorning other England players but was disappointed; there wasn’t any.

    Well played to Pakistan. They bowled smartly, fielded efficiently and batted ruthlessly.

    PS Love a packed house but not so keen on all those pyrotechnics and vuvuzelas. Let the event, the cricket and the crowd create the atmosphere, don’t manufacture it.

  • This time next year the Test series against the West Indies won’t even have finished and there will still be five ODIs and a T20 to play. September the 29th 2017 at the Rose Bowl – book your tickets now!

  • Simon Hughes’ Twitter feed is worth having a look at yesterday and today. He seems to have taken it upon himself to be the salesman for the ECB’s city-franchise plans. He even seems able to quote stats from ECB surveys that don’t appear to be published anywhere. One survey claims that just 2% of 5-15 year olds rate cricket their favourite sport and 8-18 year olds rate cricket their 11th favourite sport. One might conclude that the ECB’s evidence (if one can believe it) is the most damning indictment of their management of the game – but that’s not the conclusion Hughes wants to draw. For him, it just proves their latest whizzy idea must be right. The only thing in his favour is it’s all slightly less embarrassing than that Power List in ‘The Cricketer’.

    Elsewhere, reports are confirming Eoin Morgan has said no to Bangladesh. There are some good explanations of his reasons – especially from Lawrence Booth in the DM.

    • I’ve seen those stats published in all out cricket. They also had fairly damning figures on the number of kids who even remembered there was a sport called “cricket” when asked simply to name 10 sports.

      It just shows what happens if you remove a major sport from national television and therefore public consciousness for over 10 years. An entire generation grow up who have barely even heard of cricket, never mind actually watched a game.

      • Bingo. They really are idiots aren’t they. Golf is also declining now. It’s s cop out to blame social change. Cycling takes ages and it’s booming.

  • English cricket team good in test cricket but they are struggle in limited over games. Most English genlemas still think test cricket is the best format. Definately test cricket is the best format.
    However England cricketers should adapt to this format. If not England can’t catch Pakistan,India or west indies in t20 format


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