Monday, 4 June 2018

Another week, another test match

Another week, another test match, another one sided thrashing but this time it was England in the ascendancy.  How could we be so bad last week and so good this?  What was different?  We bowled fuller and held our catches, the commentators all agreed England looked "up for it" this week.  So why not last week?

What else was new?   Keaton Jennings only scored 29 runs but actually looked good in doing so.  He scored freely to begin which allowed Cook to just play his game without scoreboard pressure. Together they put on a fifty opening stand, England's first since Adelaide.  Put in context with what has gone on in the recent past, Jennings done very well.  None of England's batsmen gave their wicket away cheaply this time.

I think Mark Wood should feel deservedly gutted to miss out in this match after doing as well as anyone at Lords.  Chris Woakes took advantage of his luck with three wickets in the first innings.  Maybe a better 'horses for courses' bowler for Headingly.

Stokes was injured so little 19 year old Sam Curran got a game.  A future 'batsman who can bowl a bit' apparently.  He did OK, probably a bit better than big brother Tom a few months back.  It could be some while before either gets another game for England but at least now they're capped they won't be tempted to play for their father's native Zimbabwe.

England's two big stars of this little series both grew up playing cricket at Taunton.  Dom Bess could hardly have done better with his opportunity.  A maiden half century in the first test, followed by 49 as night watchman in the second.  He didn't look like a tailender, he looked like a test batsman.  He's been sharp in the field at all times and took a brilliant catch in the second innings at Leeds.  Then he bowled eleven tidy overs and finished with 3-33.  Joss Buttler done exactly what he was brought into the team to do, he scored runs with the tail.  His batting on Sunday morning was the most fun this England fan has had since last summer.

Pakistan done better than anyone expected in this series and it's a shame there isn't a third match to settle things.  I think it highly likely England would have taken the series had there been another match, like we did last year when West Indies won a test against all odds.  Pakistan fans would disagree, fair enough.  No doubt this latest Pakistan side is full of talent and the next time the two teams meet will be interesting.

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