Random Thoughts: England v Pakistan 1st ODI

Pakistan

The visitors weren’t awful – they weren’t overawed, but ultimately they were overwhelmed. With the bat they preserved their wickets at the expense of scoring runs; and they lacked that little bit of professional sharpness in the field, as witnessed by the massive let-off for Tammy Beaumont when she really ought to have been run out after a horrible mix-up with her skipper when she was on 49. Are Pakistan anywhere near up there with England? No! But do they belong at this level? On the evidence of today, absolutely; and playing in these kinds of conditions now sets them up to be ready for the World Cup next year, for which they will still hope to qualify via the Qualifying Tournament.

England

England’s “Brave New World” didn’t look that brave or that new today – no new cap for Alex Hartley… and not even a game for Fran “Like A New Cap” Wilson. It is to be hoped that we see the two of them later in the ODI series, especially as ODIs rather than T20s would (you’d think) be their preferred environment. But the really important thing is that they got the victory – they aren’t 100% happy with their bowling or their fielding, and rightly so, but a win is a win!

Heather Knight

Those who know Knight won’t be surprised to find that the “burden” of captaincy has quickly affected her form in the most positive of ways. She might not be “flashy”, either as a player or an individual, but as captain at Berkshire, Hobart Hurricanes, and now England, she has stood up and taken responsibility. Bowling-wise, she might not turn it much at all, but she lands it on a spot, and when you build pressure like that, the bad shots will come and the catches will follow. With the bat, she played quite conservatively, a lot off the back foot; but if her role going forward is to anchor the team coming in at 4, that is the game she needs to play in this kind of situation. (But in another situation, she can (and would) play differently.)

Tammy Beaumont

This was TB’s best performance in an England shirt, and it really does start to look as if Robinson might have had a transformative effect on someone who has always been able to do it at county, but has consistently struggled for England. She moved her feet like Ginger Rogers and punched like Nicola Adams; but she does need to remember to play to her strengths, driving in front of the wicket – the only times she looked shaky today were when she became a bit too expansive, not least the terrible shot she got out to.

Katherine Brunt

Brunt finally got her 100th ODI wicket, something which has been weighing a little on her, because it has taken some time to move past 99; but that’s what happens when you are the best – people play you differently, and the wickets are genuinely harder to come by. So don’t panic – she isn’t struggling or losing her form – and she remains key to England’s World Cup prospects next year.

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3 thoughts on “Random Thoughts: England v Pakistan 1st ODI

  1. “as witnessed by the massive let-off for Tammy Beaumont when she really ought to have been run out after a horrible mix-up with her skipper when she was on 49” …… and as witnessed by the edge from Beaumont that went between the keeper and 1st slip that should have been taken and as witnessed by the dropped catch at mid-on off Beaumont that should have been taken. Neither easy but the sort of chances England would expect to take.

    I concur that they deserve to be at this level. Having played naff all cricket due to the weather I thought they did remarkably well.

    Beaumont getting to her 1st 50 for England seems to have taken ages. It is better (for her) if we just look at ODIs. Things don’t look too bad. This 50 came in her 17th ODI innings – others have taken much longer (Connor (62nd !!), Leng (50th – how appropriate), Smithies (41st), Greenway (28th – surprise), Newton (27th), Morgan (23rd), Brindle (21st), Marsh (20th) and Gunn (19th)). Of course things do look a bit worse if one considers both ODI and T20. Connor is still out top with a first 50 in her 63rd innings and Leng is still 2nd with her 50th innings but Beaumont is 3rd getting her 1st 50 in her 44th T20/ODI innings. If at first you don’t succeed and all that.

    Knight, as has been widely reported, is the first player to take a ‘5-for’ and score a 50 in an ODI.
    She is the first England captain to score a 50 in her first match as captain. The previous highest score was by Goatman, who managed 41 in her 1st match in charge (in fact her first match !) way back on 6th June 1979. Lottie managed only 15 in her 1st ODI as captain and got a duck, would you believe, in her first T20 as captain.

    On only 4 occasions has an England player bowled in their 1st ODI as captain : Shaw (8-2-27-1), Connor (7-0-21-0), Smithies (4-1-13-1) and Pilling (8-4-15-1).Needless to say Knight’s figures trounce all of these.

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  2. It was a very good England performance in my view but I have some concerns over the player selections and batting order. I can’t understand why Farrant, Wilson and Hartley aren’t playing. Wilson should be in for Wyatt or Winfield and Cross only bowled 4 overs so could be replaced by one of these bowlers.

    Elwiss is quite a positive, aggressive player and is more suited to 6 than 3. She has played quite well at 5 or 6… Not sure of the logic there.

    Beaumont, Knight and Sciver played beautifully; it was a pleasure to watch them. Amazing footwork from Tammy who was down the track every other ball it seemed. Also a superb all-round performance from Knight, it looks like she has responded well to the extra responsibility and the captaincy could be just the boost her game needed. She has always been a player with a lot of ability.

    Can’t wait for Worcester tomorrow and hoping for minimum rain possible!

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  3. Pingback: Random Thoughts: England v Pakistan 3rd ODI | CRICKETher

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