Up And Running

Nice and easy. That’s exactly how I like it.

There were no nerves at The Oval today. England cantered to victory by eight wickets against a limited Bangladesh team. It looked like a banana skin on paper, but all the Bangladeshi bowlers could do was blow raspberries. What a difference from the last time these two teams met in a major 50 over tournament.

Although Bangladesh’s 305 might have looked decent to some, I’ve seen enough games at The Oval to know that chasing runs is usually a pretty simple exercise when the sun is out and the pitch is good. The outfield is usually fast and boundaries are easy enough to come by.

And so it proved. In order to restrict England the visitors needed regular wickets. But they never looked like getting anyone out other than poor old Jason Roy … who’s having about as much luck as Theresa May at present. Alex Hales, Joe Root and Eoin Morgan were simply too good for an attack that lacked both depth and any discernible cutting edge.

Although the Tigers put up a fight – Tamin Iqbal excelled with that bat – England looked in control throughout. Things looked somewhat hairy when Bangladesh reached 261-2 with six overs to go, but our bowlers delivered when it really mattered and pegged the visitors back by taking regular wickets at the death.

England have now put the dire showing at Lord’s behind them and will march forward with a spring in their step, or, in some cases, a gingerly limp. I’m afraid it wasn’t all positive on the injury front.

The goodish news is that Ben Stokes managed to complete seven overs and pick up a wicket. He didn’t look entirely comfortable but at least he soldiered on.

The bad news is that Chris Woakes entered the game with a sore thigh and ended it with a sore side. He was only able to bowl two overs and his participation in the rest of the tournament is now in doubt. Bit of a bummer that. Losing Woakes, who is probably our most experienced death bowler, could come back to bite us.

The only other bad news was the performance of Jake Ball, who was surprisingly (and probably a bit daftly) preferred to Adil Rashid. I’m not sure what to make of Ball at the moment. He doesn’t quite have the accuracy an international bowler should. His List A statistics aren’t particularly great either.

If Ball’s a better white ball bowler than Stuart Broad, then I’m Ryan Ten Doeschate. I wonder if Broady will get a phone call from Whitaker if, as many expect, Woakes is ruled out of the competition?

James Morgan


  • Michael Atherton commentating said he was expecting an up in the average number of runs scored compared to four years ago, making it harder to know what a good score would be. If so, toss important and batting second quite likely to be a help.

  • Days like today at the Oval you need 350.. however the weather is changing and so good old fashioned English conditions may play a part for the next few days. The loss of woakes will be felt then.

    I understood the Rashid omission. Although I didn’t like it, I’d have backed him to take a couple even if the good players of spin that Bangladesh are may have hit him. Hell lose more confidence from being left out than he would have done leaking a few runs.

  • Broad does have a heavy schedule ahead of him. He seems like the best option but only if it’s very short term.

    Otherwise, Finn, Toby Roland-Jones, Sam Curran or David Willey to choose from. It would be Finn or TobyRJ for me but then I’m with Middlesex. :-)

  • ‘If Ball’s a better white ball bowler than Stuart Broad, then I’m Ryan Ten Doeschate’

    Wouldn’t Jade Dernbach be a better comparison?

  • Basically this was a bit of a bore really. Not much excitement here. Don’t understand the England management putting in players with injury niggles, especially against Bangledesh. Would have been better to give Stoakes and Woakes a day off. It’s insane if they don’t include Bairstow for Roy who needs to go back to Surrey to get some form, and why not Broad? Next game will be harder than this.

  • Firstly, I think you do Bangladesh a bit of an injustice. They’re far from the pushovers in ODI’s that they were a few years ago (the same could be said of England). I’m baffled by dropping Rashid for Ball (who did nothing to justify his selection). It just smacked of England making last minute changes to their plans on the eve of a tournament (where have we heard that before?). Ironically, Chris Woakes probably helped Jake Ball more than Jake Ball (though, if there’s swing in the air, I’d consider David Willey). Jason Roy is a tough one: I like consistency of selection (Adil Rashid …), but he’s clearly out of form, and there are a couple of good replacements available (Bairstow, Billings).

    • Bangladesh have definitely improved but you’d expect England to win in home conditions on a pitch like that. A slow turner in Dhaka is a different proposition though!

  • Before anyone starts complaining about the late hour at which the BBC are broadcasting the highlights, please be aware (unlike Mike Selvey and Paul Newman) that the BBC are prohibited from broadcasting them until Sky have finished their first highlights’ show which is 9pm and consider which programmes the BBC might have dropped between 9 and 11.20pm at one week’s notice to fit in a niche sport which has treated the BBC with duplicity and contempt for nearly two decades.

      • How so? You can hardly blame the BBC for the Sky deal. They have maintained TMS (even though it may not be quite what it was…) and developed their online coverage.

    • It’s even worse – according to today’s DT, the BBC are prohibited from showing highlights before 11.20 (with presumably an exception for England/Australia which is on at 10.30 on Saturday – but every other game, including the SFs and Final, is on at 11.20 or later with one not on until 00.45).

  • I’m a bit puzzled about the coverage. On Talksport I heard David LLoyd crooning away and Michael Atherton was on the Beeb highlights. Are these two organisations so bereft of talent they have to call on peeps from the Sky box?
    And talking of radio, there was an excellent programme on Radio 4 called The Imperial Inversion of Cricket by Amol Rajar. All about how the former colony of India, and to a lesser extent others, are now cracking the cricketing whip. Catch it on iplayer.

    • I’m abroad and haven’t​ seen the BBC coverage, but I saw it explained elsewhere as a centralised ICC comms team and TV feed which the Beeb has access to. Everyone gets Nass and Athers. Probably different for other countries’ matches.
      Watch out for Ravi Shastri’s BBC debut this evening!

  • The Beeb are showing highlights of England v Australia at the slightly more civil time of 10.30 this Saturday


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