Sunday, 30 June 2019

Match Thirty Eight

Work was busy.  So busy I didn't have time to remember about the cricket (though this may also have been influenced by my feelings of moodiness towards the team since those two poor defeats).  When I did remember I had a moment of panic; what would I find when I logged into cricinfo?  With a quickening heartbeat I waited for the page to upload...  Breathe easier, England had won the toss and batted first and made an impressive 337/7 with 11 from Bairstow, 66 from Roy and 79 from Stokes.

India's reply had started and they had crawled along to 28/1 from ten overs.  Things looked good for England.  Several deep breaths of relief later I considered this was a decent position and against almost any opposition I should expect England to bring it home.  However if any team in the world can make us sweat its India.

By the time I got home Sharma and Kohli were going well with the score 140/1 I feared the worst but soon after the skipper was out and I was able to relax again.  Sharma completed yet another century but was out soon after.  Pant played an expansive cameo but was well caught on the boundary by Woakes.  226/4 with ten overs to go, England should be favourites but it's still game on.

Even with Dhoni at the wicket Pandya still looked like the danger man but when he was caught off the brilliant Plunkett It seemed the game had tilted towards England.  MS played a strange innings which showed no urgency, lots of singles but few boundaries and the run rate climbed at such a rate I was able to relax and watch England bring home the win.  Woakes and Plunkett shared the wickets but Archer bowled very well too.  This evening England looked like world beaters once again.  You'd think Plunkett, who has been left out of late, has done enough to remain in the side for as long as the tournament goes on now.

Over the last couple of days Australia thrashed the Kiwi's, handing them their second defeat in as many games.  India beat West Indies despite a Brathwaite onslaught and Pakistan struggled against Afghanistan but scraped a win to pile the pressure on England.  South Africa scored a rare win against Sri Lanka which leaves me wondering how we managed to lose against them?  As I sit here the top four is back to normal with Australia on top followed by India, New Zealand and England.  Bangladesh and Pakistan both hold hope of qualifying and play each other next week.  If England beat New Zeland on Wednesday then this result won't matter.

There are seven more group games to go in this World cup, at the same stage in 1992 New Zealand were sitting on top of the table followed by England, with South Africa and India holding the last two semi final places.  But this changed over the last week of the group games...

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