India 338 (49.5 overs) England 338-8 (50 overs). Match Tied.
‘Boring’, ‘stale’ and ‘dying’ – that’s how some people have been describing fifty over cricket during this World Cup. But today’s contest against India was anything but. It was the proverbial emotional rollercoaster – and the result wasn’t decided until the final ball.
In fact, we still weren’t sure of the result after the final ball because (a) I was still in a state of disbelief after Ajmal Shahzad had hit his first ball for six (you beauty!), and (b) I wondered whether England would get the points by virtue of losing fewer wickets – which we didn’t.
We shouldn’t be disappointed though. There are so many more positives to come out of the game than negatives. Bresnan bowled beautifully. Strauss’ 158 was the best ODI innings by an English player since KP’s debut in South Africa. Plus we got to see Sachin Tendulkar at his best – again.
I really don’t care that Anderson was wretched. And I couldn’t care less that we messed up our batting powerplay like a Venky’s chicken that had just had a close encounter with a guillotine. We’ve just been part of the greatest ODI since South Africa chased 438 against Australia in 2006. That’s a big improvement from the CB series – and it’s a damn sight better than nearly losing to the clog makers.
Hopefully England will generate some momentum from this match. We’ve stopped the rot and the batsmen will think that we can chase anything. It’s just such a shame that Eoin Morgan isn’t fit. With KP moving up to open, Colly batting like a blind Collie, Prior new to number six, and Mike Yardy struggling at seven, our middle order looks incredibly weak on paper. Maybe we should forget about the numbers five to seven and move Swann and Shahzad up the order?!
But now is not the time for post mortems. Let’s just sit back and reflect on a great game of cricket. The World Cup is alive and well. Fifty over cricket is making a comeback – and we never doubted its vibrancy nor its long term viability. Honest.