Random Thoughts: England v Pakistan 2nd ODI

Thoughts from Syd Egan & Raf Nicholson (And don’t forget to add yours below!)

Short Boundaries

Tomorrow’s back page story will of course be the fact that England smashed their highest ever score in one day internationals. And yet it’s hard not to feel a bit cheated by this, given that the boundaries – at 55 yards – were at the absolute minimum required by ICC regulations. At one point Tammy Beaumont, fielding at deep backward square leg, was actually starting off outside the boundary rope to give her space to “walk in” as the bowler ran in to bowl.

Officially the boundaries are at the groundsman’s discretion. However, it’s pretty obvious from what Mark Robinson has said in recent interviews that he is strongly pushing for shorter boundaries – he thinks it encourages attacking play. Maybe; but if it turns everything into bish-bash-bosh we’re going to see a LOT of records smashed in the next few years. Surely allowing players to start mishitting sixes not only devalues the skill of someone like Nat Sciver – who as she showed today is perfectly capable of hitting big without any artificial assistance – but the women’s game as a whole?

Pakistan’s Fielding

It might be hard for their bowlers to adjust to the English conditions; but Pakistan could help themselves massively if they upped their game in the field. Leaking boundaries through your legs, or sliding past the ball and turning round to watch it pass behind you over the rope, only makes life easy for the opposition. Something to work on before Monday?

Centurion Central

We can’t remember the last time we saw two English players hit centuries in an ODI (anyone know when it was?); and the fact that the boundaries were short shouldn’t take anything away from the fact that Tammy Beaumont and Lauren Winfield fully deserved their maiden hundreds. It’s interesting that Beaumont reflected in the post-match press conference that she felt Mark Robinson’s faith in her as a batsman during the World Twenty20 had provided her with the level of confidence which she needed to translate her ongoing excellent domestic form into England level cricket. Both Winfield and Beaumont seem to be thriving under the new regime, and that’s great to see. Having said that…

England’s Batting

Mark Robinson told the press a couple of weeks ago: “Lottie would have filled her boots against Pakistan but we would not have learnt anything.” But you have to ask: what have we actually learnt here? Lauren Winfield and Tammy Beaumont can fill their boots against innocuous bowling? Nope – we already knew that! Nat Sciver can bosh it when the pressure is off? I think we probably knew that too! Yes, England were very good with the bat, but it isn’t time to get carried away yet, if only because…

England’s Bowling

We tend to think of bowling as being England’s main strength… and with Shrubsole and Brunt – the most feared opening pair in the world – why wouldn’t you? Perhaps because (whisper it) they looked a mite toothless again today. They did the job – they bowled Pakistan out – and admittedly, it is difficult when a team play as defensively as Pakistan have done, but nevertheless it wasn’t the “bossing it” performance with the ball that we saw with the bat.

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12 thoughts on “Random Thoughts: England v Pakistan 2nd ODI

  1. In answer to your question:-

    Bakewell (101*) and Thoams (134) in England 1st ODI against an International XI on 23rd June 1973.

    Hodges (113) and Plimmer (118) against Ireland on 24th July 1993.

    Brittin (138) and Daniels (142) against Pakistan on 12th December 1997.

    Sarah Taylor (129) and Atkins (145) against South Africa on 8th August 2008.

    Greenway (125*) and Brindle (107*) against South Africa on 21st October 2011.

    so the most recent is 2011.

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  2. I think it was a phenomenal day’s cricket. Yes Pakistan were a bit average. Yes the boundaries were too short, so yes let’s keep this in perspective. But I have never seen innings like those from Winfield or Beaumont, nor hitting like that from Sciver, in women’s cricket before. That has to count for something, at least it does for me. It was incredible, Sciver’s innings especially. She’s been threatening that for a couple of years now but this was the first time it really felt like the shackles came off.

    The boundaries issue has a whiff of red herring about it, not least because most of the fours, and some of the sixes, would have made a 70-75m boundary, let alone a 55m one. It’s debatable if having them so short is a good idea, if the difference is significant or mainly in the mind of the batsmen. Maybe try it for a while but I’d think the ultimate goal would be to have them out further at 65m.

    We already knew Winfield was a very good player but to perform in an England shirt is something that has not come along to often for her. She had failed yesterday so she in particular needed this, I think.

    After all is said and done I still feel this was a special day, a game changer, the like of which I may never see again. And so I feel incredibly privileged to have been there.

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  3. A couple of bits of Winfield trivia:-

    Lauren Winfield is the first England player to get a golden duck in one ODI innings and follow it with a century in the next. The only other case of a duck being followed by a century was Jan Brittin (0 and then 138) but her duck took 3 balls to ‘achieve’.

    Winfield achieved her first ODI 100 in the same innings as her first ODI 50. Bakewell (101*) and Thomas (134) in England 1st ODI (obviously) achieved this. The other 3 that have done this are : Jan Brittin, Rachel Heyhoe-Flint and a certain Charlotte Edwards.

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  4. Certainly doesn’t feel like a new era just a continuation but maybe that was the point. Beat what is in front of you but also build for the next big thing in ECBs case the ODI world cup.

    What CC and the captain of Worcester had to say in the interval was far more interesting. But in my opinion making changes in 2017 and affecting clubs in 2018 will be too late for some.

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    • I must admit to being too bedazzled by the England innings highlights being played on the big screen to hear much of what CC or the Rapids captain said…naughty me. CC is always going to try and talk down the impact of what she is doing on the rest of the game, though. I’m not sure she has convinced even herself…

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    • It maybe on iplayer but basically:

      50 overs still in play for next season.

      County cricket 2 divisions of 8 with rest regionalised.

      Trying to arrange structure to avoid county clashing fixtures with WSL consider how best to leverage women’s and men’s t20.

      Money found to fund regional talent pools, replacing U15 ECB academy with open age – opportunity.to identify and develop talent.

      Reviews to start later this year on whole structure under new participation and development team that reports into Matt Dwyer.

      My concerns:

      Club cricket will lose landmark players to WSL & County demands, how long will it take to rebuild the club structure with depth or will it continue to be by passed?.

      Talk of counties developing WSL players but what is the benefit and where is the funding?

      Worcester are investing in women’s cricket despite being outside the WSL other invest the minimum and rely on the ECB stars.

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  5. The short boundaries is an image issue. Those who know cricket will question them in an ODI rather than a T20. Those who don’t will suggest that this is needed for the women’s game, when in fact the women’s can and do hit longer boundaries just not as often.

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  6. In the long run I hope the boundaries aren’t that short too often, but I think it served a purpose yesterday in encouraging England’s batters to go for more expansive shots. Hopefully that will then start to ingrain a more attacking, risk-taking psyche (albeit there’s clearly always a balance to be struck there!). Remember what we saw at the World T20, where England failed to pick up either enough boundaries OR enough twos/threes and got bogged down? I suspect that wasn’t so much to do with an inability to hit the big shot, as much as a wariness of it not coming off, and a reluctance to take a calculated risk. England looked shackled in India – yesterday the shackles were well and truly off.

    Robinson has clearly given licence to take the attacking option. Was this licence not there before? Or was there not the belief and confidence to follow it through? Was that a failure of coaching, of captaincy, or of each individual player’s thinking, or a combination of all of those?

    Yesterday (in fact, both games) was a huge step forward. Never mind the opposition, the fielding, or the boundary sizes. The fact is that England collectively and individually set out with the right mind-set and a clear plan. Might it have been different had their been a couple of early wickets? Perhaps, but then we were 33-2 on Tuesday (granted, chasing a modest target), and that sort of situation has gone on to get sticky in the past.

    One other thought. I feel an inner guilt at praising this “new England”, as though it means an implicit sideways swipe at Charlotte Edwards and her captaincy. Whilst that isn’t the intention, it does reinforce my view that – taking CE herself out of the equation – ten years under any captain is a long time, perhaps too long, and sometimes change is necessary, however unpopular at first.

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  7. Irony :
    Robinson complaining about the player’s fitness after the World Cup and their inability to takes 2s that were on offer.
    Robinson agreeing to 55 yard boundaries which means the batsmen can’t run any 3s and not many 2s and merely has to stand there and belt boundaries therefore alleviating the need to be fit.

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