Saturday, 27 July 2019

England vs Ireland

England thrashed Ireland by 143 inside three days, as we all knew they would.  Except it wasn't quite that simple as England done there usual trick of not actually turning up for the first day of a Test summer and were bowled out for 85.  Ireland finished with a lead of 120+ and that was just day one.  Or not quite...  Jack Leach who gone in at no.11 in the first innings went in at no.1 in the second, to fend off the one remaining over in the day.  He carried on the following morning and ended up top scoring with 92.  Jason Roy hit 72 in his second test innings and it looked like normal service resumed, until England collapsed again to leave Ireland chasing 182 to win.  Just what we need at the start of an Ashes summer.

I was perched in front of the TV on Friday morning with a confident feeling, if we could strike early I was sure we'd win comfortably.  Woakes and Broad combined in perfect bowling conditions to rout Ireland for 38.  It was top class bowling that would have troubled any of the test playing nations let alone Ireland, just a shame the action was over so quickly as I had nothing planned for the rest of the day.  

Afterwards Joe Root was very critical of the 'bowler friendly' Lords pitch which seemed out of character, was he just sticking up for the batsmen?  The Ashes squad has just been announced and it includes both Burns and Denly so I'd say that's a yes.  It's probably a fair call at this stage as who else do we have?  Looking at the squad and the team almost picks itself;  Burns, Roy, Denly, Root, Buttler, Stokes and Bairstow all play.  There's only one spinner so Moeen Ali will come in at no.8.  Anderson and Broad will both play leaving Woakes, Curran, Stone and Archer in contention for the last bowling spot.  Who they pick will depend on the pitch, at least it should...

Almost two weeks have passed since that traumatic day which ended in England lifting the World cup.  English cricket has been justly celebrating but there has been a lot of hate from other parts of the world, declaring England as fake champions as we didn't actually win the match, apparently.

The Aussies started but soon went quiet when it was pointed out that they didn't actually win the famous semi final in 1999... 

Mostly it's been teenagers from the sub continent killing time between wanks by spouting this 'fake champion' rubbish.  
It was fun reminding them that of the last twenty ODI series played England have only lost two away series against South Africa and India as well as a one off match against Scotland, a drawn series in West Indies and a Champions trophy semi final defeat.  So that's fifteen wins out of twenty.  

We are unbeaten in a home series for the last four years which may be why the ICC decided to make the pitches for the World cup completely different to what we're used to playing on?
  
We went into the world cup ranked no.1 in the world.

Of the teams that beat us during the group stages we beat Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia both home and away in the series preceding the tournament and of course we also thrashed Australia in the semi final.  We also beat the other semi finalists during the group stages.

And of course, given the written match rules that nobody even mentioned before the day we won the final fair and square, albeit with a fair slice of luck that was long overdue.

England World cup winners 2019 still sounds wonderful.  Are we going to add '2019 Ashes winners' to that too?  If England's top three score runs then I think we'll do it comfortably but that is a massive 'If'.  If we assume they don't then it is a much more even series.  Both sides will be capable of taking twenty wickets it will just be down to who can bat long enough to exert pressure.  I think England should just have enough to win and predict a golden series for Ben Stokes.

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