England win by six/nine wickets

Suddenly I’m writing the words ‘England win’ a lot. A couple of nights ago the women’s side won their first T20 by six wickets. It was rather closer than it ought to have been, Anya Shrubsole took 5-11 (all five bowled or lbw) in four overs as the Kiwis finished on 80-9. It was at this point that I made the in hindsight ill-advised comment ‘should be a straightforward chase’ on Twitter. Needless to say we got bogged down and after losing a few wickets were actually behind the rate for a time. For the Kiwis, Kate Broadmore at one point had figures of 2.2-2-0-1. Unlike Shrubsole, however, she couldn’t take more than that one wicket and Sarah Taylor hit a composed and unbeaten 31 off 34 to see England home with six wickets and 14 balls to spare. Never in doubt… The second match of the series is tonight/tomorrow morning and whilst New Zealand will take heart from their bowling display I’m tipping England to win again.

The far more surprising win was for the men’s side. If I had known before the tour that there would be 3-0 scorelines in both the Test and ODI series I would have assumed that we had won the Tests and been hammered in the ODIs. As it was, England turned in one of their most comprehensive ever ODI wins away from home. Only three times previously have England played top tier opposition away from home and chased down a target with more balls to spare than the 76 balls to spare that they had in this match. The most recent was against South Africa in November 2009 when England lost three wickets en route to 121 off 31.2 overs. England also won with 94 balls remaining at the MCG in January 1979, a 40-over ODI in which Geoffery Boycott scored an unbeaten 39 off 107 deliveries. England took just 28.2 overs to chase down the 102 they needed for victory and I’m sure the crowd went home thinking that they got their money’s worth. I think a case could be made that this was a more comprehensive victory than any of those, however. England looked today like they could easily have chased down another hundred runs. There were standout performances from Cook and Finn again, but KP was the real star. He looked today like the KP of old, a man bristling with intent and for once not likely to give his wicket away. Once he got into his stride the only thing that looked like it might stop him from reaching three figures was if England ran out of runs to chase. As it was, Cook’s dismissal meant that KP could get to an unbeaten 111, his joint highest ODI score.

This puts England in a very rare position for overseas ODI series. Excluding Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, the last time England won an overseas ODI series by two or more matches was a 3-0 whitewash of New Zealand in 1992. If England can win the last match, it will be only the second time overseas and fifth time ever that England have won four or more matches in an ODI series.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s