England vs Pakistan: 2nd ODI

No form of cricket can guarantee close matches or excitement, and the first game somewhat petered out in a drizzly mess.  But even though England’s win was ultimately confirmed by Messieurs Duckworth Lewis and Stern, there was little doubt which way the match was going anyway.  It was a curiously old fashioned game, at least as far as Palistan were concerned, as their innings brought back memories of England under Flower and Moores as much as anything.  260 may even be a “winning score” as far as the statisticians are concerned (probably not) but England were in complete cruise control throughout.

The second match therefore will be interesting to see how the visitors look to approach it, for England look a real force in the one day format, one who seem quite capable of reaching another hundred on top of that.  That’s not to say they can’t fall in a heap, for the shorter the game, the higher the level of risk, and the greater the opportunity for collapse.  One of the more pleasing things about this England side is that when that does happen, they regard it as an occupational hazard, shrug it off and continue in the same vein.

Yet if the batting is doing well, it was the bowling, or more specifically, one element of the bowling, that caught the eye.  Mark Wood has shown he has ability and pace before, but his entire England career to date has been while labouring with the presence of an ankle problem.  Having been away for quite some time getting it sorted, he is now back – and my, how he is back.  His pace is right up there with anyone, and it was startling to read that he feels he’s not fully there yet and could get quicker.  It may yet be the best news of the summer providing he suffers no reaction.

In the days between these matches England confirmed that they will tour Bangladesh this autumn.  The ECB rarely earn praise from anyone – well, apart from one or two for whom they can do no wrong no matter what – but while it is impossible to judge the rights and wrongs of this particular decision, they do deserve praise for at least trying wherever possible to ensure these tours go ahead.  It’s not the first time, back in 2008 after the Mumbai terror attacks, England returned to the country, ensuring that normality was restored in sporting terms.

Again, we must trust the Foreign Office and the ECB’s own advisors that this particular decision is the correct one, but assuming it is so, it would still have been easy to use the security situation to cancel it.  Indeed, there must be a suspicion that other countries may well have done so, and thus with the proviso that we do not know the reality of the decision, the ECB do deserve credit for not using it as an excuse to avoid going.  Notwithstanding Pakistan’s wonderful rise to the top of the Test rankings, it would have been crippling to Bangladesh had it got the go ahead.

The ECB have told England’s players that they can drop out of the tour with no effect on their careers, but whilst this is a good thing to say, the truth of the matter is that for all but those absolutely certain of their place, it means nothing.  Players who do well are always going to be in pole position, the man in possession has the advantage.  It means that for some, there will be some soul searching about whether to make themselves available or not.  It is hard to think how else the ECB could have done things, they may be many things, but they are not fools, and they will be as aware of this as anyone.

Finally in other news Somerset have announced the prices for the T20 international between England and South Africa next year.  It is the first time they will host an international in 30 years, and they seem determined to make the most of it, by announcing ticket prices of between £60 and £80.  It’s not the biggest ground, it is a big event for them.  But it is still an outrageous price.  There seems little doubt they will sell out, and therefore in commercial terms it’s justifiable.  Yet once more it is those who support the game being used as a cash cow and nothing else.  Commercially sensible yes.  Grasping and greedy, also yes.  I trust they’ll use the financial bonanza wisely.

2nd ODI comments below

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32 thoughts on “England vs Pakistan: 2nd ODI

  1. SimonH August 26, 2016 / 6:36 pm

    I definitely don’t want to make capital out of the Bangladesh situation – it’s a difficult decision at both institutional and personal level. However the vibe here –

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/england/content/story/1050517.html

    – is rather different to the “we’re not pressurising anyone” line of the last few days. Some have suggested that that line, rather than a prepared position, was something the ECB were bounced into by Eoin Morgan’s statement.

    I’d take slight issue with –

    ” it would still have been easy to use the security situation to cancel it. Indeed, there must be a suspicion that other countries may well have done so”.

    I’m reading that as a reference to Australia – I don’t see who else it could mean. Wasn’t there a difference in that there were specific threats against Australians which is not the situation with England. I’m happy to be corrected if that’s inaccurate. Australia didn’t only pull out of the Test tour to Bangladesh but pulled out of the U19 WC as well and I can’t see how perceived benefits from the Test tour cancellation could also have applied there.

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    • thelegglance August 26, 2016 / 6:47 pm

      On the terrorism thing, not quite – the Australian government talked about a “threat to Australian interests”. Now here’s where it gets all muddy – the UK government issued the following “There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria.” late last year which applied to ALL destinations globally.

      The current specific advice for Bangladesh includes “there is a heightened threat of further terrorist attacks and foreigners, in particular westerners, may be directly targeted; crowded areas where westerners are known to gather may be at higher risk of attack”

      So it wasn’t a dig at Australia, because they do what they must, but I do think it reasonable to say that some would use this as an excuse not to visit simply because there’s such reluctance to tour Bangladesh anyway.

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      • SimonH August 26, 2016 / 7:01 pm

        What do you make of Strauss’s remark – “I’m very hopeful that we’ll have all the squad coming together and saying ‘let’s go’ as a group”?

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      • thelegglance August 26, 2016 / 7:03 pm

        I honestly don’t see that as trying to exert any pressure, more that it’s just the sort of anodyne corporate bollocks about pulling together that you normally get.

        I’ve no inside view on it at all, I’m just seeing the same words you are. You could well be right.

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    • jennyah46 August 26, 2016 / 8:16 pm

      The message from Strauss sounds very clear to me. ‘If you are worried come and talk to us and we will put you straight’ It’s a very touchy freely way of saying we expect you to fall into line. I doubt that we will see any non senior player who pulls out of Bangladesh being selected for India. The writing is on the wall. I hope to goodness that they and the supporters are safe.

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      • jennyah46 August 26, 2016 / 8:35 pm

        Damn auto correct! Touchy feely! 🙂

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    • jennyah46 August 26, 2016 / 8:18 pm

      Btw. I didn’t see Morgan’s statement. In essence, what did he say?

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      • SimonH August 26, 2016 / 9:09 pm

        Morgan said in a Guardian interview on Tuesday –

        ““There’s always room for a personal decision. You never put anyone under pressure to go on a tour. You also have to understand guys are in different situations and might have different priorities”.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Rooto August 26, 2016 / 7:14 pm

    Simon’s point on the last thread is also very valid – the Banglas tour seems to have been set up as the “preparation” for the India tour. I can’t see many people (exceptions for Cook, Root, Anderson and Broad) being excused one and waltzing straight back in for the other. Especially as the Banglas ODIs are before the tests.

    That arrangement of ODIs before tests is generally considered by fans as the best. What a situation we’re in where it could legitimately be seen as, not a sign of progress and listening to the fans, but as a cynical sop to the more important Big 3 tour following it.
    I don’t know if I believe it or not, but the fact that I entertain the doubt is a sign of the lack of trust from a fairly moderate fan like myself to the ECB. The ECB is really up shit creek.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thelegglance August 26, 2016 / 7:16 pm

      Saw his remark on that and thought it stood in its own right and didn’t need me repeating it.

      Like

  3. Sean B August 26, 2016 / 7:18 pm

    I’ve been chatting on Twitter today about the whole Somerset pricing model around their T20 international and I must admit it really gets my goat. Yes they will probably sell out owing to the fact it’s their first international game and due to the small capacity of Taunton, but £60-£80 for a T20 game, well you’re having an absolute laugh.

    I get that the counties are financially challenged (though off the top of my head, Somerset are one of the more financially stable counties, though correct me if I’m wrong), but to treat your support with that level of contempt is astounding – hell, I bet it’s even more expensive than Lords, which is a complete rip off.

    This just again proves that growing the popularity of the game is a but a myth, supporters are the cash cows and you better have the readies available to watch ‘our game’. The ECB’s ‘right type of family’ model rearing its ugly head again.

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    • jennyah46 August 26, 2016 / 8:28 pm

      Sean, it seems that your sword never sleeps in your hand! 😄

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    • Ian August 28, 2016 / 8:46 am

      Outrageous by Somerset although how much of this price is necessary because of the staging fee the ECB are charging?

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    • thebogfather August 27, 2016 / 2:22 pm

      One of the best neutral personal investigations, sadly lowered by silliness at the end which scuppered the original concept – still a great piece

      Like

  4. BoredInAustria August 27, 2016 / 6:01 am

    I personally find the ECB /Strauss are not fullfilling their duty of care. Either it is safe and we tour – ALL. Or it is not and we dont. Shifting the responsibility on to the individual players is failing to show leadership.

    “So Mr Hales, your place is under threat, you have been in the dog box, you do not need to go, really not …. what do you think?”

    PS – I see KP said in hindsight his decision to go back to India was possibly wrong.

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  5. Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) August 27, 2016 / 9:23 am

    While it is sad in one way that winter cricket is possible in South Africa (the severe drought is a real problem for parts of the country), it is nice from a purely sporting point of view to see them get a start today. Looking like the Kiwis have dropped a blooper by inserting the Saffers with Cook and de Kock dealing very well with a bouncy wicket. Could be in for a cracker if the weather holds and the Kiwis are not out of it after the 1st innings.

    Pakistan win the toss and bat at Lord’s. I agree this is an exciting England team, although even in ODIs England’s strengths (a whole load of aggressive batsmen, excellent medium-pace bowling and unprecedented all-rounder depth and strength) will at the final hurdle be stymied by their weakness in playing and delivering genuine pace and high quality spin.

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    • SimonH August 27, 2016 / 10:08 am

      SA 100/0 at lunch probably not what NZ were hoping for when they won the toss and put them in. One dropped catch (QDK by Watling – who possibly also dropped Cook but it’s uncertain whether he hit it) and one LBW (Cook against Wagner) that would have been out if NZ had used a review (or the umpire had got it right first time).

      Weather forecast a bit iffy for the Florida T20I later today and even worse for tomorrow there.

      Pakistan must surely give Asad Shafiq another run in the ODI team?

      Like

  6. LordCanisLupus August 27, 2016 / 9:40 am

    Erm… I wouldn’t have wanted to be hung on that evidence. Sami Alsam may have gloved that, but you wouldn’t put your life on the line betting that he did.

    Like

  7. Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) August 27, 2016 / 9:52 am

    Seen plenty of one day finals in late summer that are reminiscent of this, wonder if Pakistan knew about them? fair to say the wicket is somewhat different from that served up in the Test series.

    Not sure that review offered overwhelming evidence to overturn…

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus August 27, 2016 / 10:36 am

      I get the “put them in at Lord’s” theory, but this wicket is green. Certainly compared to a match played last year v Australia. MIddlesex fans are going mad over the roads served up week after week. Then Hunt does this.

      Last year’s Aussie pitch, played in September, after an hour’s delay for rain. Aussie made 309.

      Compare it to the colour in this clip

      Like

  8. d'Arthez August 27, 2016 / 10:07 am

    After 2/3, it will be a wonder if Pakistan can make a real contest of it. Can’t see it happening.

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  9. SimonH August 27, 2016 / 2:41 pm

    Fifty off twenty balls for Johnson Charles in Lauderhill.

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    • SimonH August 27, 2016 / 2:55 pm

      WI 164/1 off 11 overs. Just the 32 off the last one from Stuart Binny.

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      • SimonH August 27, 2016 / 6:06 pm

        And they almost contrived to lose from there….

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  10. Rooto August 27, 2016 / 3:42 pm

    Good day for SA in the test. Solid contributions which will help to cement some places for people like Cook and QdK. Looking at the NZ attack, you have to say that once you’re past Boult and Southee (and I don’t see Centurion as being Southee’s kind of ground), then Wagner, Bracewell and Santner probably fulfil the dictionary definition of ‘workmanlike’ (with apologies to fans). The classic NZ problem.

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    • d'Arthez August 27, 2016 / 6:50 pm

      New Zealand forgot to review the lbws that were not given. Duminy and Cook were thus spared. Amla and Duminy reviewed successfully themselves. Good day for DRS, bad day for NZ decision making with regards to DRS.

      Duminy is a very, very lucky man to still be playing Test cricket for South Africa.

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  11. SimonH August 27, 2016 / 4:37 pm

    Tucked away at the end of a Vic Marks’ article on county cricket –

    “Some research, not commissioned by the ECB but put together by Oliver and Ohlbaum Associates, who are sports media rights specialists, suggests: “There is little consumer demand for the proposed city-based T20 competition even among younger and currently more casual fans of cricket.”

    They regard the ECB’s enthusiasm for the franchise system as a quest for lost revenue. “The main impetus behind the new competition could be that it gives the ECB new broadcast rights to market. The ECB has been locked in a contract with Sky for all forms since 2012 and has not been able to capitalise on the buoyant UK rights market. The length of the current cricket deal (this runs until 2019), which included an option for Sky to extend by two years, has stagnated media growth.” “

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    • LordCanisLupus August 27, 2016 / 5:12 pm

      You needed to be a “sports media rights specialist” to write that out.

      Next – Sunday follows Saturday.

      Like

      • SimonH August 27, 2016 / 5:21 pm

        Bit of a change of tune from the line peddled by Selvey and Bull though…..

        Like

  12. BoredInAustria August 27, 2016 / 5:45 pm

    Dobell in Cricinfo: “A statement released by the ECB explained that “Anderson requires ongoing rehabilitation of his right shoulder and Broad, who last played in the NatWest T20 Finals Day for Nottinghamshire last week, is recovering from an ankle problem.”

    Like

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