Too Easy

It was a shame in many ways. Obviously we’ll take the win – World Cup wins for England have been thinner on the ground than active follicles on Doug Bollinger’s head – but the crowd deserved a better spectacle really.

Before the game I thought it could be a humdinger. The West Indies have played some aggressive and attractive cricket so far this tournament, but today they simply weren’t at the races. It’s almost like their heads dropped when they lost the toss.

Yes the toss was crucial – a fantastic one to win – but the Windies might have stayed competitive if they’d batted sensibly and posted a half-decent total. Instead they played with little conviction and without much of a plan. They gave their bowlers no chance. 211 was never going to be enough.

I imagine we would’ve seen a totally different game had England batted first. The ball moved around at the start, and our batsmen would have been under considerable pressure. This might have been ideal preparation for later in the tournament. Instead it was all too easy.

Most importantly of all, had England batted first then Jason Roy and Eoin Morgan might have avoided the unfortunate and somewhat alarming injuries they picked up in the field. The word is that Morgan will be ok (it was just a back spasm), but the suspected hamstring strain suffered by Roy could be very bad news. He missed a few weeks with a similar injury not long ago, and hamstrings are notoriously difficult to shake off quickly. Poor Jason could easily be out for a month. In which case his World Cup will be over.

Although I’m tempted to get into an Alex Hales discussion here – I doubt anything would be more reassuring for the dressing room than the sight of a world class white ball opener fitting seamlessly into Roy’s spot – we all know that’s never going to happen. Instead England will have to pick Vince or Denly, and that means our batting order will be somewhat diminished.

The good news, however, is that the manner of this victory will only enhance the team’s confidence even further. The seamers bowled beautifully on the whole, and the chase was as fluent and nerveless as it gets.

I thought England might have a few awkward moments knowing that Morgan and Roy were on the treatment table, but Bairstow and Root looked completely unflustered. Granted the pitch turned into featherweight in the afternoon, but our batters never gave the Windies a sniff.

Joe Root, once again, was particularly impressive. The bloke’s just yum class. He makes it look so easy. And Chris Woakes also batted very well as the emergency No.3.

Seeing Woakes at 3 predictably started a conversation about whether he could bat at first drop in test cricket – playing purely as a batsman. Personally I think there are worse ideas, but it wouldn’t say much about the state of the first class cricket in England if we can’t find a specialist batsman capable of stepping up from the county circuit.

Have a great weekend folks. And let’s pray the rain stays away.

James Morgan


  • Are WIndies Pakistan in disguise? You never know who’s going to turn up.
    Did you mean featherbed rather than featherweight, James?
    As for the England 3, more and more commentators are coming round to the idea that it must be Root. I can’t understand the objectors on this site.

    • Because.. umm.. you know… he doesn’t want to do it ?? Plus he will be better as a four. Just because county cricket is only producing 6/7’s doesn’t mean you mess with your best bat.

      For the ashes, throw Woakes in.. Bette him than the likes of Bairstow, buttler, Stokes , Pope Etc Etc

  • To be honest when the Windies were out for 200 odd I turned the radio off. Game over. Lost interest. That’s the problem with one day cricket though.

    • I left it on the tv but stopped watching once Gayle etc had gone. It was obvious barring something randomly special (lucky) that it was game over

      This World Cup is predictable and this format is way too predictable to be enjoyable unless you are a beer head or simply enjoy slogging. There is nothing competitive or close about 99% of the games it’s simply boring and this World Cup is literally raising no ones interest. Quite pathetic really for a sport and a ‘world cup’

  • Then no need to turn the radio back on in the next three weeks Doug M.

    We are now basically at that stage in the tournament, where the next 26 games are practically nothing more than glorified warmups, just to determine who plays who among New Zealand, England, Australia and India. If those 26 warmups won’t excite you I don’t know what will.

    So unless you are really concerned about England playing say India in the semis, or are desperate to know who among South Africa, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan will finish 8th, 9th and 10th, there is nothing at stake. Or if you are a sado-masochist, you could watch the rest of South Africa’s games, to see if JP Duminy will retire without making a 50 over his entire ODI career in England (currently 22 games with a HS of 45 from 19 innings).

    Was the 1992 World Cup that boring, or were teams (outside of the qualifying four) at least somewhat competitive? Naturally the ICC will see the extreme lack of competitiveness among teams this World Cup as a success story.

    • As I suggested on a much earlier thread, this over-extended structure must surely be a mistake?

    • Well take you points, but I’ll always watch a competitive one day game when occasionally there is one! Of course even in 50 overs cricket you rarely get the peaks and troughs of the longer game which too me is cricket. But yeah your right, this competition is far too long. Even in this format if you had day 3 games a day it would sustain interest and allow reserve days for rain offs. The Final is mid July, I fear many of us will be pretty bored with it all by then, especially if England should get knocked out.

    • The 1992 tournament was much more entertaining for several reasons. First, everyone was fascinated by the returning South Africa and how competitive they would be. Second, Australia were favourites but failed to make the semis after a series of shock losses (and their first win was a last ball thriller v India). West Indies continued their decline but people noticed their very young opener B C Lara played some exquisite shots (not long after he scored his 277 v Australia to confirm his genius). England started strongly but were burnt out by the final. New Zealand shocked everyone with innovative tactics and a brilliant Martin Crowe, but finally came acropper against a surging Pakistan, who then beat England in the final despite being dismissed by them earlier in the tournament. In fact Pakistan played a classic World Cup (applies to any sport): fiddle around in the early stages and come good when you need to.

  • I genuinely thought we might struggle a little more with that run chase, but WI did not bowl very well and some of their big pace bowlers have injury niggles. Nice to see Woakes bowling and batting well, and Root enjoyed himself with bat and ball. Morgan juggled his bowlers well and Rashid bowled better than his figures suggest. It was, as you say, all too easy in the end. I hope England can boost their NRR further against Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, for which games Roy could presumably be rested if that hamstring is still playing up. Curtley Ambrose was thoroughly annoyed by the Windies performance today.
    The best games so far have been Eng v Pak, Aus v Windies, NZ v Bangladesh, Bangladesh v SA. Real shame about the rained off games, India v NZ would have been interesting.

  • Dharmasena seemed to be trolling the comms by seeing how bad his umpiring could get before someone would feel compelled to say something.

  • For the good of the international game I had hoped that Windies would make the final 4.
    However they switched off – bad for them, bad for the game. Pretty damn disappointing, but that
    does not detract from England’s performance which was very good. Again.

  • Just 24 matches to go to find out that the three richest countries and one-other-probably-NZ are going to be in the SFs.

    This is where the format’s flaws become even clearer. The Big Three can start resting players as they’re almost certainly through and it makes no real difference if they qualify first or fourth. Most of the other teams will know soon it’s all over them. It’s not exactly a recipe for gripping cricket. It’s almost like no other major team game using this format for their WC was telling us something.

    If only anyone could have predicted the rich making themselves richer would have this impact on the game. If only….

  • Oh look, another over hyped game is one sided and predictable within the first 90 mins of play. This format is dire unless they move back to a balance between bat and ball. Boring boring boring

    • Yes, may as well go straight to the semis, England, Australia, New Zealand, India with Windies an outsider. Then we can do away with the next 20 odd rather pointless games. No doubt we’ll have a thread on yesterdays game, but what a total farcical ending, I thought we got rid of this nonsense after the 1992 debacle.What ever happened to common sense?

  • I see Cricinfo has a desperate article entitled “Where the top-four battle could get interesting”.

    They could be honest and just say, “the Semi-Finals”. However, as good strategic partners, they’ve concocted some guff about an SA revival starting tomorrow. It would be laughable even without the awful weather forecast.

    Despite it all, I watched most of yesterday’s match, Well as Bangladesh played, WI were just terrible. Gayle and Russell aren’t fit enough for 50 overs and their tactics haven’t understood the conditions that now pertain in most English ODIs (roads for pitches, balls that do nothing, short boundaries). Coulter-Nile’s wagon-wheel showed a No.8 could nearly score a century off them with hardly an off-side shot and Bangladesh could have chased down 400 if they’d had to.


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