England v South Africa: 2nd ODI report

Saturdays are often the day for doing things, whether going out, doing the shopping, or spending time with family and friends.  But sometimes they are days where the sporting content on offer makes some plan to spend the day in front of the telly soaking it all in.  With cricket spread across the day, it left time to take in the rugby Premiership Cup Final, and the FA Cup final.  If there was one thing all three had in common it was that they were undeniably exciting. 

Of course this being a cricket blog, the others are peripheral, although the chances of the cricket getting too much attention in the Sunday papers probably aren’t great given events elsewhere.  But a warm up for the Champions Trophy it may be, it was still a fine game in its own right.  

England have consistently scored heavily when batting first over the last couple of years, one painful collapse against Australia aside, and they go about their business in a similar manner each time.  The batting order is unquestionably a powerful one, even if the opening pair are probably not quite functioning perfectly as a partnership.  But there’s a happy knack of someone getting in and making a decisive score – Morgan in the first match, Stokes here.  Whether Stokes should have even been playing is a matter of some controversy. He said after the game that he’s fine when batting and fielding, but gets pain when bowling.  It is something of a puzzle why he would be risked, and certainly why he would be asked to bowl at all.  As it was he managed only three overs.  With England playing up to seven bowlers including him it does seem a curious risk to take with their talisman so close to a tournament England have set their stall out to win. 

That aside, Stokes was magnificent with the bat after an extraordinarily rocky start, three edges and two dropped catches in his first three balls.  The batting support came all the way down, Buttler producing some extraordinary shots in the closing overs, and Moeen once more quietly scoring rapidly.  He may dislike life at number seven (he was talking about Tests in fairness), but he does it well.

South Africa were fairly shambolic in the first half, the fielding was abysmal, the catching worse.  Yet they showed more than enough to suggest they are capable of beating anyone, and a tournament is all about what happens on the day.  These warm ups mean little in terms of the trophy itself.  Rabada is a real handful, and his dismissal of Roy was something we see all too rarely these days – a batsman beaten for sheer pace.

330 is a decent score, if not impregnable these days, and it’s certainly true that the visitors had the best of the conditions.  The cloud of the morning dispersed and it couldn’t have been better for batting.  But South Africa still should have won.  De Kock batted beautifully, De Villiers did what he does so well, and with Miller and Morris hitting cleanly and with some distance, to lose a match where only seven runs were needed off the final over, and with five wickets in hand was remarkable.  Mark Wood unquestionably bowled superbly, and despite figures of 0-48 from his ten, had a reasonable claim on the man of the match award.  Such is the lot of the bowlers at the end, whose figures take a pounding even when they have they have done something impressive. 

And so England take the series.  They got out of gaol a bit with this one.  And it was a good game to boot.  But then so was the FA Cup Final and so was the Premiership Cup final.  At least one of those will get acres of coverage.  Pity.  The cricket was good today. 

One last thing.  Elsewhere Kumar Sangakkara turned his fifth successive first class century into a double.  Those who have seen him play know just how special a cricketer he is.  Those that havent, time is running out.  Go and watch him if you can. 

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14 thoughts on “England v South Africa: 2nd ODI report

  1. Mark May 27, 2017 / 8:50 pm

    Yes, I thought it was a good game. To be honest for most of the SA innings I didn’t fancy them to get the runs, and then with the last over they were suddenly in the box seat. Mark Woods last over was excellent, and it was great to see an England bowler produce under pressure becasue to be frank this team is based mostly on the batting.

    England need to pile up 300 plus because they are going to struggle to defend less than 300 unless the conditions offer help to the bowlers. When you keep racking up 330-360 it puts huge pressure on the opposition. England do depend a lot on Hales, Morgan, and Stokes. So far they all seem to chip in at some point. But the batting is powerful, and they go all the way down the order.

    It’s worth remembering that only 2 years ago at the World Cup we were still in the age of the laptop score of 230. This is a huge change, both cultural and skill wise. And it has proved Cooks churlish rant about how the selectors got it wrong in dropping him to be another example of his delusion. The credit for this in my view goes to Morgan, yet the media seem determined to give all the credit to Strauss. But the media are full of idiots who have been wrong on almost everything. As far as I can see the one thing Strauss’s deserves credit for was leaving Morgan as captain when the morons in the media were calling for his head. (And the number of morons in the media are too many to count.) Perhaps it’s because they all sit in the ECB press box, with their ECB rules and regulations that they are incapable of thinking for themselves. Group think Rules in the ECB box.

    Of course this is all a warm up, and England can still fall flat on their face in the CT. But even if they do, the more positive style of play seems to be becoming hard wired into their DNA. There appears to be no turning back. Thank goodness no one listens to Ollie Holt. The worry of course is the batting will short circuit, and the bowlers will be left exposed. But when you think back to the utter durge that was served up for 20 odd years, this is like the world moving from black and white to colour.

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    • thelegglance May 27, 2017 / 9:00 pm

      The way England play they will flop in the batting sometimes. It’s important people accept that and don’t beat them up when it happens. It’s high risk and high reward. From: Being Outside CricketSent: Saturday, 27 May 2017 21:50To: chris@blueearthmanagement.co.ukReply To: comment+la3cmpylf7yn8to2d_rjcau4gmvz@comment.wordpress.comSubject: [Being Outside Cricket] Comment: “England v South Africa: 2nd ODI report”

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  2. Adam H May 28, 2017 / 5:21 am

    It was probably the most best game of cricket in the last 12 months. It most certainly was the best game England have been involved in the past year at least. Surprised to see so few comments here!

    Like

    • northernlight71 May 28, 2017 / 7:28 am

      I expect everyone was watching the Scottish FA Cup final instead . . .
      😊

      Like

  3. "IronBalls" McGinty May 28, 2017 / 9:24 am

    Ambivalence, is the word that springs to mind. A game so closed down by it’s “administrators” that has now become an expensive and exclusive irrelevance. A press corps that can only gain accreditation if they sign the official secrets act, duty bound to sing the company song at all times, with scrutiny left to those renegades outside of the game.
    Hopefully the BBC2 highlights will be a full hour of cricket, devoid of adverts and competitions and the mind numbing slot from #39 talking shite in his obligatory ill fitting shirt! A man who gets all the FTA gigs whilst on the other hand decrying it’s importance to the game!
    Enjoyed the game though, the last over was pure gold!
    Rant ends.

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    • Mark May 28, 2017 / 10:26 am

      Did you see the Kia car adds during the game?

      At one point they referred to “The Cricket Analyst!” I don’t think they meant 39. Perhaps he is getting a commission? But then the word Analyist was never his to take in the first place.

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  4. Benny May 28, 2017 / 3:20 pm

    Popped in and out of the cricket on TV. I enjoy seeing Eoin’s chaps doing well but I was a bit busy.

    Sky’s expert commentators brought up the subject of Stokes and Woakes playing the IPL and now being injured. Failed to notice that Rabada and Morris seemed to have no problem. They also missed that Anderson, who didn’t do the IPL, happens to be injured now, so maybe Sky’s common denominator is incorrect and may be worth considering the medical teams.

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    • Benny May 28, 2017 / 4:20 pm

      Ooooh just seen they’re sending Stokes for a scan. Better late than never

      Like

      • Mark May 28, 2017 / 6:40 pm

        Well according to the Sky commentators yesterday, if there is a difference between the player and the medical dept, you go with the player. So maybe you should just ignore the scan results?

        I find it odd that they are now sending him for a scan after he has played 2 games with an injury. Especially, as according to Nasser he had been ” managing” the injury.

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          • LordCanisLupus May 28, 2017 / 9:58 pm

            Just read the piece in the Cricketer. Etheridge finished his little piece by saying “come on opponents. Don’t be a bunch of dinosaurs. ”

            Weren’t me taking ECB copy three years ago. A load of your fellow big beasts did. Extinction followed.

            Like

      • Mark May 28, 2017 / 10:06 pm

        Etheridge still shrilling for the ECB I see. And 39 showing us his true class. Not many of them left now. Most have been sacked.

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        • LordCanisLupus May 28, 2017 / 10:09 pm

          Not sure what John’s stable mates at Sky will make of the call for free to air either.

          Like

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