The Fourth ODI

Here’s our thread for the fourth ODI at Trent Bridge. We’ll be updating this post throughout the day as the match progresses. Please feel free to add your comments. New Zealand are currently 97-1 off 16 and looking good. The man out was Brendon McCullum.

The pitch is good, our bowlers are looking average, and the catching has been terrible again. We’ve already put down three chances. This is getting beyond a joke. On the positive side, I’ve just had a lovely piece of cake. It reminded me of the Ladies pavilion at New Road.

Update: The kiwis have just finished batting. We’ll need a paltry 350 to win. A walk in the park, surely? Ahem.

The pick of the bowlers was Mark Wood, closely followed by Steve Finn. They both conceded just five per over and picked up a wicket each. Willey and Rashid were hammered I’m afraid, but at least the latter kept his composure in the final over after going for a mammoth 28 in 48th over of the innings.

I’m afraid I can’t tell you more about the cake I had earlier. Needless to say it was delicious in every way. Now I’m off to light the BBQ. Toulouse sausages, brought back from Belgium a few weeks ago, are on the menu. That might give Jenny a hint as to who is writing this.

I’ll be back at the end of the England innings.

Update: We won! And yes, it was a walk in park. One might say it was a piece of cake. Mmmmmm. Cake.

Two fantastic centuries saw us home. Eoin Morgan looks back to his very best. How long before Michael Vaughan wants him back in the test squad? Meanwhile, Joe Root played another innings of splendid maturity. He’s pretty bloody good, isn’t he.

A word too for our openers. The other day I questioned whether both should play in the same side. On today’s evidence, I was completely wrong. The start they gave us was absolutely fantastic. There will be days when they don’t produce the goods simultaneously, so let’s enjoy it when they do.

Overall today was a fantastic win. Positive thinking will win you more games than not. A few months ago our ODI team was a laughing stock, while the test team were generally considered the stronger outfit. I can see this changing very soon.

This limited overs side has the charisma England fans have been crying out for. They’re likeable and dynamic. With a tough test schedule approaching, I can see the ODI side becoming the standard bearers for English cricket.

It’s still early days, of course, but the potential seems to be there – in the batting at least. The bowling is another matter, and our reserves look painfully thin, but let’s discuss this another day.

Just enjoy it folks.

James Morgan



  • The fulltoss innings has fallen apart …………
    I had a four course dinner last night – 3 sausages and a potato
    homework – Is Nick Knight intelligent?

  • I could never see Cook having the cojones to bring on Rashid for the last over…mind you, Rashid would never be in his side, so pointless speculation!

    • Yep.
      That exemplified the difference between the old and new regimes – and Rashid’s final over showed who was right.

      Incidentally, loving the England reply… and funnily enough, Swann’s commentary.
      It occurs to me that his trenchant critique of England’s previous approach – now conventional wisdom – was basically the same critique which got Pietersen sacked as England captain.

      • I wonder what Moores makes of it. You’d think even he must realise at this stage that he’d got selection, batting order and tactics completely backwards ; that his plans executed optimally were in fact inferior to the correct plans executed sub-optimally.

        Does Cook still think England should have left him in charge, and that they were a better batting side when plan A was for him to clog up one end at a strike rate of 70 odd for as long as possible?

        There were some discussions on TFT pre-WC about whether more conservative players like Bell or possibly even Ballance (Did his name come up? Can’t quite recall) were good ODI selections. Surely this series has demonstrated that doing away with the conservatives and moving the quickest scoring players up a position is just a better bet.

  • Big wow. Super performance by England, great chase.

    Four 300 plus innings in a row (three of which could have been around the 400 mark) is extremely promising.

  • Feels like a new century, not just a new era. So we do have the players after all!

  • Couple more thoughts…

    England’s ODI performances against NZ put into context the test team’s performance.

    Also, England’s current form makes our cricket journalists, now that they are not defending the indefensible, sound more like analysts of the game, and slightly less like employees of Pravda.

  • Its amazing the difference just playing some aggressive cricket and not obsessing over obsolete statistical goals makes.

  • This series is the first time I’ve actually wanted to watch England play cricket in about 3-4 years.

    What really baffles me is that we’ve had the personnel and the talent to play this way for years, and yet we’ve only just started doing it. Yet more proof that Cook and Moores (and Clarke and Downton and Flower) were poison.

    • Yep…sports teams are no different from any others – if the management sucks the life and enjoyment out of everyone, the team won’t perform, however talented the individuals. This, of course, is exactly what Pietersen identified about Moores in 2008/09, but unfortunately didn’t have the political skill to say it “in the right way” to the clowns at the ECB.

    • Is there anyone still prepared to argue that the appointment of Peter Moores was anything more than a political decision? Sure, he was shabbily treated in the end, but he really ought to have expected nothing better, given the circumstances in which he was re-appointed.

      It still infuriates me that Pietersen’s book has so much personality-orientated sensationalism in it (albeit less than some correspondents seem to think). Because, in terms of the substantive issues pertaining to the England cricket team over the last five years, I don’t think he gets a single thing wrong. It’s probably his final act of self-sabotage, to ensure he will end up receiving no credit whatsoever for the accuracy of his diagnoses.

      • “Is there anyone still prepared to argue that the appointment of Peter Moores was anything more than a political decision?”

        George Dobell on the latest Switch Hit. He argues that the players were told to play like this in the WC and it was the fault of the senior players that they didn’t.

        GD has a deep well of affection for his reporting of the ECB but his fondness for Moores has bent his analysis in recent months out of all recogniton (which is not to excuse the senior players of all responsibility for what happened in the WC).

        • So, let me get this straight. The coach wants us to play aggressively and without fear, yet:

          – he retained for eight months a Cook-based strategy that was hopelessly outdated even before he took the post
          – he and others then made an out-of-form batsman the new captain, and apparently expected him to transform the approach of a side that had spent nearly two years playing the same outdated way, with diminishing returns outside England
          – he found an in-form ODI no.3 but shifted him to six
          – he replaced him with a Test no.3 who hadn’t played ODI cricket for months, right at the start of a World Cup
          – he left one obvious potential matchwinner at no.7
          – he asked an opener who had until recently been messed around and dropped for the sake of Cook to play a sort of upgraded version of, er, Cook, i.e. a foil to the more aggressive Moeen Ali or Alex Hales.

          Yeah. Can’t see why any of that didn’t work.

      • Well said Aaron. He has been proved right because he has a great cricketing brain and cares more about the team than cook, flower or Strauss ever could. They are missing out on another golden opportunity by not utilising him one way or another. We have to remember this is an ODI success of which Cook has no part of. When it comes to Ashes I truly hope we have the stones to make the hard decisions that were needed in ODI. He has recovered his batting to a certain extent but his captaincy skills are just not there and never will be. Let’s hope Bayliss can influence things quickly or it will be back to business as usual for the test team.

        • Bayliss will be the key man. I suspect that Cook won’t last long under his tenure – certainly not as captain and quite possibly not as opener either.

      • I’m sure it was, and I’m also convinced that the main reason they sacked KP was so that they could re-appoint Moores.

    • My two cents:

      Lyth (ob)
      Root (ob) (c)
      KP (ob)
      Stokes (rfm)
      Buttler (wk)
      Plunkett (rf)
      Wood (rf)
      Anderson (rfm)
      Riley (ob)

    • Eh, why?? I realise Hales has batted very well over the last four ODIs, but Cook has also been in good nick in recent Tests. Don’t understand how it makes even an iota of cricketing sense to (reluctantly) put up with Cook during his miserable eighteen months but then drop him when he finally comes into decent form again!

      Thank goodness some of you lot aren’t selectors :D We would just end up with history repeating itself… dropping a top-scoring batsman, who has surely got more runs to give, due to problems with his character and a dislike of his personality! :)

  • I’d just like one MSM journalist to ask Cook if he still stands by his disengenuous remarks after his sacking, that he would bring “real leadership” back to the team? I will wait a long while methinks

  • Would you now describe yourself as a supporter, or just as a follower of cake? Or merely as a consumer perhaps?

    21st May 2015: “…part of me is ashamed to say it – I can no longer count myself as an England ‘supporter’. I really don’t give two hoots about the result. I’ll be interested to know what happens, of course, and I’ll be keeping an eye on the score, but I’m now firmly in the ‘follower’ bracket. You could say I’m entirely disengaged.”

    Or perhaps a more complicated situation is emerging: a follower of cake in general and a disappointed former supporter of the Cake Management Team, but now an excited supporter of the fast-rising, quick-bake chocolate cake and merely a follower of the longer-form game, sorry – cake.

    I haven’t made any comment over the course of the NZ Tour, but I have to say that exactly the national characteristic that seemed to have blocked our national bake-off in both the longer and shorter format of baking (incipient pessimism and natural conservatism) was in the ascendancy here at the TFT bakery…if you aren’t excited at the prospect of cake at all, then you simply won’t enjoy that slice of delicious chocolate confectionery when it’s passed your way….

    • Xan. I wrote exactly what I felt at the time on 21st May. The difference between the blogging community and the broadsheets is that we’re allowed to be emotional and subjective now and again. Our feelings are allowed to evolve over time, are they not?

      For what it’s worth, I still find it difficult to support the England team as passionately as I once did, because I have nothing but contempt for the ECB. However, this blog has always been supportive of our players, and gives credit and criticism where it’s due.

      When we win I feel immensely happy and proud of our players – and the joy in my post above is an expression of that. To be miserable, or dismiss the wonderful performance by our batsmen yesterday would have come across as churlish in the extreme.

      I feel particularly pleased this morning for Eoin Morgan, whom I defended during the World Cup. There’s even mention of cake :-)

      However, the ECB have a long way to go if they’re going to win me over. The preparation for this summer’s Ashes has been deplorable, and if we lose they should take a large share of the blame. The World Cup debacle can also be placed firmly on their shoulders.

  • A fantastic day’s cricket. Wonderful to watch and enjoy. Morgan and Root playing beautifully, Hales doing very well and Jason Roy better, while still a work in progress.

    Great to see Finn and Wood bowling to great effect with the white ball. It was incredibly stupid of Morgan to bowl Rashid in the final overs. An unnecessary risk. All credit to him for showing courage and character in the final over.

    Congratulations to everyone involved for such scintillating cricket throughout this super series. Very much looking forward to the deciding game.

    • That would explain his acknowledgment that maintaining Pietersen’s exile wasn’t his decision then. I knew I was missing something. He does, however, deserve praise for maintaining Morgan.

    • I assume you will just as quick to remind us that Andrew “the secret to winning one-day games is bowl dot balls” Strauss is “his own man” if England loose the Ashes. (If? I made a funny)

      Why don’t we start by praising the people who deserve it the most – the players. As for Strauss, I’m happy to praise him when it is deserved but I’m not sure what he has actually done. Who ever got the director’s job was going to sack Moore’s and Finn claims that playing attacking cricket was the plan at the world cup. If Strauss was involved in team selection, then he deserves praise but if not, what’s he actually done?

      Retaining Morgan seems like a stroke of genius (again, whose decision was it?) However, I can remember when even talking about the IPL was an unforgivable sin punished by life-long banishment from the realm. Now, you can put playing in the IPL above captaining the side and still keep your job. I’d have sacked him which apparently makes me more “establishment” then Strauss / the England selectors. It really is a funny old world.

    • This is very interesting. The team were clearly talented but there was obviously something wrong. It’s astonishing that a small shift in direction can bring such radical results. Long may it continue.

      • It’s the transformation from ‘risk averse’ to ‘risk embracing’….Risk is how we all develop and grow!


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