Saved by the rain

I always feel a bit cheated when a game I’ve been watching is washed out. However, I think the Pakistan team are probably a little more upset than I am that their innings was lost to rain. Barring the slight stutter at the loss of Shoaib Malik in the second over, handing Stuart Broad his first ODI wicket, the touring side looked more than comfortable in their seven overs of reply.

Again, a mixture of excellent, accurate bowling and poor shots had England’s innings tottering to a barely credible score from their 49.2 overs. Ian Bell, continuing his good form this summer and against Pakistan with his highest ever score in ODIs, had the only innings of note. Extras came third in the home team’s attempt to set a total, and before Darren Gough’s 18 from 16 deliveries, a score above 200 seemed unlikely.

It’s hard to take anything from Pakistan’s innings, except the sheer difference in attitude from their upper order. The Pakistani’s more positive approach could be seen with the naked eye, but statistics are even more damning. All three players who faced England’s bowling had strike rates above 70. Of England’s top order, only Bell managed this, with 12 of England’s 20 boundaries to his name.

So what now for England? After being completely outplayed by Pakistan this match, they are lucky to have been given a life. I can only hope that this prompts a change in attitude from England’s batsmen. I’m not holding my breath.

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