England win a one-day international

How dastardly rude of them. It’s just not the done thing in England circles, ending tours on a high. How dare they? Did anyone else laugh at the fireworks at the end? How inappropriate can you get?

Nice to see them win though. Me and my editor have been musing on them all day, almost praying they’d lose just to ease our final pieces. Mine’s here and his is there.

Also…why have I not written more about Michael Yardy? I’m sure he’s a terrific bloke but I’m unconvinced he should be playing cricket (for England). As for Chris Read, well…say goodbye to Brisbane I’m afraid. Geraint Jones was like a pig in proverbial at Sky…

Time for wine.

It had to happen some day

This game was hardly a thriller, but it was a win. England can take positives from this match on to Edgbaston, as well as a much-needed dose of confidence.

It seems fair to say that the game was won in the field. In fact, if it were not for the 47 runs scored in Pakistan’s last twelve balls, courtesy of some fantastic play from Abdul Razzaq, England would have wrapped up the game around about the 40th over of their reply. Pakistan’s bowling performance showed signs of the problems that have been hounding the hosts all summer – tiredness and inaccuracy. Whilst England batted well, Ian Bell in particular, only Asif and Hafeez really troubled in what was a comfortable run chase.

England bowled well for the majority of their 50 overs. Whilst I’m happy to give credit, especially to debutant Michael Yardy, I do hope Strauss starts to think his bowling changes at the death through a little more for Edgbaston. There seemed little sense in cutting Dalrymple off after 9 overs, or in taking off Broad after his over took a wicket for only a single. Nevertheless, for the moment, I’m going to celebrate a one-day game mostly memorable in its result – England’s first win in a series that wasn’t already dead since last year – and in the fact Trescothick was dropped for the first time in his England career.

Same old England…

England and limited overs games don’t seem to be a good mix. I wouldn’t like to take anything away from Pakistan, who played the unfamiliar format extremely well, especially when put in the context of what has happened off the field in the last week. However, anyone who has ever so much as glanced in the direction of a Twenty20 match could tell you that 144 after electing to bat is not enough.

I don’t like to appear jaded, though, so instead of listing what went wrong, I’m going to pick up a couple of positives. After several months of shuffling various opening partners around the ever-present Trescothick, Bell’s promotion to number two seemed one of the more convincing attempts to find two styles that compliment each other. Before Bell misjudged a late cut to Younis Khan in a wide slip, the England innings had looked to be fairly secure. Good to see Trescothick find a bit of form. The only other batting of positive note belonged to Michael Yardy, who did well to provide some impetus in the last over.

In the bowling department, it was nice to see my concerns over introducing Stuart Broad to the big stage too quickly seem to have been unfounded. With confirmation that Harmison is going to miss the entire one day series, he is certain to be given another outing tomorrow. Yardy, too, might also make the mark after contributing well to what was a generally good fielding performance by England.

Oh, and, after losing a tooth in the domestic finals at Trent Bridge, I’m glad Chris Read has decided to wear a helmet when standing up to the stumps. But I’m not sure that counts…