In these days of scores approaching 400, there’s something curiously old fashioned about a game where 260 is the target and it goes down to the last few overs. It’s almost a throwback to the 1990s, with Ben Stokes playing the Derek Pringle role by going for six an over and being given out twice, and not out once when he probably should have been for a duck of glorious proportions.
It all meant that after the pyrotechnics of the first match, this seemed relatively low key throughout, where you notice that the Port Elizabeth crowd are not only fond of singing, but offer a rarity at any sporting location of being very much in tune. There’s something rather beautiful about it.
Perhaps South Africa did rather make heavy work of their last ten overs, but at that point a score of around 285 would have been towards the top of their aspirations anyway, so while 262 was disappointing, it is hard to make a case that they lost it just in that short period.
De Villiers’ dismissal to another exceptional catch, this time by Chris Jordan, did come at just the wrong time, but De Villiers was looking to go fully on the attack at that point anyway, with all the risks associated.
Much had been written about the surface being slower and less conducive to hitting, but it still felt at least 30 or 40 short. Of course, the change in mentality couldn’t be better expressed than in the feeling that if the England of a year ago had set that total they’d have walked off to applause from people pointing at their laptops, saying that would win most games historically. South Africa weren’t aiming for a score around that level, it’s simply how it turned out. In any one ODI, this can and does happen.
In truth England seemed in control for most of the run chase. Alex Hales will bat better than that for many fewer runs, and in some ways those are the most satisfying innings. It was cruel on him to be dismissed one short of a hundred he’d have worked so hard for.
When Hales was dismissed England still needed 61 off 52 balls and with half the side out, surely a tight finish was likely. 20 minutes later it was all over, as IPL bound Jos Buttler, aided and abetted by Moeen Ali, finished the match in a flurry of fours and sixes. He’s in some form.
2-0, and England’s transformation continues.
Great win, enjoyed listening to it, this team is really shaping up. Only highlights the complete mess they were in under Cook and Moores!…..speaking of ineptitude, but, is it me? I was kind of half listening to The Analist trying to interview some bloke from Hawkeye, Hughes was just bumbling and burbling, then next thing I knew Simon Mann was finishing it off?? Did Hughes get the big hook from the side of the stage???
As you say, a low key game but a very satisfactory result.
What a finish! Who could have envisaged that from England of old? We have a team bursting with talent. So good to see.
Hales worked hard for his 99. Pleased to see him doing much better in the shortened format. Doubts remain about his test career but a welcome boost to his confidence.
This was a good test for England. A slower pitch than last time. Not a huge score like 350. Needed a solid, good chase and England achieved that. It’s looking a lot better on the ODI side now. And it’s a side you want to like.
I refuse to give any credit to the ECB or Strauss mind. When we pointed out what was needed over 2 years ago they ignored us. England getting it right despite the ECB, not because of them.
Actually, when we pointed out what was needed 2 years ago they didn’t ignore us.
They instead told us that they knew best and we should pipe down and let let the ‘experts’ do their thing.
Spot on. These players were shaped years ago. All that’s happened in recent times is that they’ve been selected and backed.
Incredible depth around with Finn (where does he fit it?), Wood, Woakes, Billings and Taylor close to the team. Feel we lack a killer bowler though…
Some awful analysis between innings – players watch there ball on to the bat but nit into the hand/glove. Ok…
Moeen is quietly doing a great job with his spin, as is Adil. If Finn and Plunkers get fit I’m keen for the World T20. Anyone know where bets are being taken as of yet?
Unibet – for players by players.
Seriously, no idea.
On a betting front, put a fiver on Leicester to beat Man City today. Get in!
I’m more thrilled my lot won at Walsall. When I went, which was a lot home and away, we never won at the Bescot (probably has a shit sponsors name now).
Jazzie B, he of Soul II Soul fame, will be chuffed because his boy got our second goal.
All major firms have prices. Betfair is the place to go for England as best price 7/1 with them.
Imran Tahir to Buttler, SIX, flogged! Monstrous cross-batted assault, down on one knee, not a ring in sight though as Tahir is jilted into the stands, back over his head!
Poetry in the ball-by-ball from Andrew Miller.Such a shame The Cricketer was taken from him and handed to The Analist and his chums.
Buttler is a once-in-a-generation batsman, it’s not even about form for him in the shorter formats – all he needs is a clear mind. In his last 10 short matches he averages 52.7 at a SR of 137. Given that 5 of those scores were 11 or fewer that’s a ludicrous record.
Much as I like Bairstow, Buttler is a better keeper, as shown by the catch today. More importantly his batting ceiling in all forms is so much higher. We need to find a way of getting his mind right for Tests as soon as possible. He needs whatever the posh version of the Stokes treatment is – can you imagine them together in full flow in a Test?
“The door is shut”. Feels about as spontaneous as a late-era Andrew Flintoff wicket celebration –
Some other interesting stuff in there – plenty of it damning-by-implication of the old ODI regime.
Dare you to put ‘Morgan KP’ into Twitter. If you don’t guess who’s responsible for the very first tweet you aren’t trying hard enough…
Hussain:…….”When you were offered the captaincy, ahead of the World Cup, did you feel it was a bit of a hospital pass because it was still Alastair Cook’s side?”
It was never Cooks side. It was The England team who Cook happened to captain. When will they stop with this Cooks England claptrap?
Hussain:…. I have to ask you the question. When you sit there and see KP smashing it around the world, do you think ‘Crikey, we should pick him’? Or do you think, ‘That door is shut’?
Morgan: ….”That door is completely shut. Kevin will not be picked.”
Hussain:…” That’s from you?”
Morgan: …..”That’s from me.”
Don’t believe a word of it, it’s a shame Strauss and the ECBs ego have to hide behind Morgan.