T20 WORLD CUP: Monarch of the Glenn

England strolled to a comfortable victory against Pakistan in Canberra, keeping their World Twenty20 campaign on track for a spot in the semi-finals next week in Sydney.

It was Heather Knight who walked off with the Player of the Match medal for the second time in succession, having scored 62 off 47 balls; but it was England’s performance with the ball that was most impressive under lights at the Manuka Oval.

England did a job with the bat, but it wasn’t the perfect performance by any stretch – their run-rate flat-lining at 8 runs per over through the middle overs, despite having wickets in hand. It was the perfect opportunity to showcase their new “Closing” strategy, but it didn’t really come off, and they ended up scrambling round in a bit of a panic at the end, losing 4 wickets in the last 3 overs.

Of course, it was plenty enough to win the match; but largely thanks to some brilliant bowling and fielding. This World Cup has not been a great showcase for the fielding side of the game (we’re looking at you in particular, West Indies) but England were really sharp tonight. Yes, Lauren Winfield put down a very tough chance; but England’s ring fielding was top-notch and probably saved 10-15 runs in the powerplay alone – that doesn’t sound like much, but it could easily be the difference between winning and losing a World Cup final.

And then there was Sarah Glenn.

Glenn hasn’t quite come from nowhere. In 2018 she was mentioned in dispatches after a brilliant bowling performance for Loughborough Lightning against the Vipers; and by 2019 she was rated 5th overall in our KSL Bowling Rankings, after taking 11 wickets at 6.05. But nevertheless, her England selection for the tour to play Pakistan in Malaysia at the tail-end of last year was definitely a surprise.

Sophie Ecclestone was obviously long-established in the team by this stage, and rated by many as one of (if not the) best left-arm slow bowler in the world; but the search for her perfect spinning partner on the field had been a long and not entirely fruitful one, taking in the likes of Linsey Smith, Bryony Smith and Kirstie Gordon along the way.

So the question was: was Glenn finally Ecclestone’s “Miss Right”?

Well, after 12 internationals, I think we can finally say that the slipper is fitting pretty well, and she was fantastic today, taking 3-15 at 3.75.

As she freely acknowledges, she is not the spinniest spinner: “I don’t naturally get as much turn,” she admitted today. But what she does do is stick to her plans and bowl stump-to-stump with unerring consistency. And it sounds like the England coaching staff are doing the right thing too: “They don’t throw a load of stuff at me, telling me to change this, change that – they’ve just told me to keep it quite simple.”

Cricket can be a complicated game, but if what works for you is keeping it simple, then keep it simple!  And if Glenn can continue to do so, then she and Ecclestone have got a beautiful future ahead of them.

17 thoughts on “T20 WORLD CUP: Monarch of the Glenn

  1. Best women’s T20I bowling figures for an English spinner in Australia:

    3-15 Glenn v PAK, today
    3-28 Glenn v AUS, 1st Feb 2020
    2-12 Ecclesteone v PAK today
    2-18 Glenn v AUS, 9th Feb 2020
    2-19 Ecclestone v AUS, 9th Feb 2020
    2-19 Ecclestone v SA, 23rd Feb 2020
    2-21 Colvin v AUS, 12th Jan 2011

    Liked by 1 person

    • ………….. which opens up a debate about what ‘best’ means in T20 (or to a lesser extent ODI). Should ‘best’ be primarily measured by runs conceded per over bowled ?

      The question might seem odd but if a team is facing getting 150 runs to win do they care whether the opposition were 150-0 or 150 all out; the challenge is the same and the wickets meaningless.


  2. Anyone awake at some ludicrous hour on Sunday morning wondering what is the best result for England in SA v Pak match …

    Given the point of the round robin is to qualify and given it really makes no difference whether we face Ind, Aus or NZ, the best result from the SA v Pak match for Eng would be an SA victory.
    If that happens England qualify if they beat West Indies
    If Pak were to beat SA it’s really messy : (a) Eng would not be certain of qualification if they beat WI and (b) we could easily be looking at 3 teams (Sa, Eng, Pak) ending up on 6 pts.
    If case (b) happens it may look like SA and Eng are well up on NRR but Pak have not played Thailand, the others have and in case (b) Pak beat SA and thus must have improved their NRR. However, gut feel – SA and Eng to qualify.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I just can’t see Pak beating SA in their current form though. The scenario I’ve been thinking of is England still being able to go through if they lose to WI, but then SA do us a favour by beating WI and we have a better NRR…


      • In the scenario you describe you need to include Pakistan in the NRR scenario because Eng, WI and Pak (who are almost certain to beat Thailand) would all have 4 pts. Odds on Eng having the best NRR but I suspect no Eng fan would want their qualification dependent on SA having to beat the WI.


  3. Had to make do with good old wireless for this one, so difficult to comment in detail.

    However, in essence, England did what was needed.

    Is it a concern that we are “over-reliant” on Knight and, to a lesser extent, Sciver? Possibly. Jones remains a worry, but at least Wyatt got some runs and is staying true to her natural game, which I think she has to do. So far, we’ve only seen the lower order (6 onwards) in last few overs slog mode. They are on a hiding to nothing and will “fail” more often than not in that scenario. The bigger test will be rebuilding if we are in early schtuck, which is the real reason for Beaumont and Winfield being where they are (rightly or wrongly).

    Ecclestone and Glenn seem to be blending well, and given the better results from spin generally in the tournament I wonder if a space might be found for Villiers? It would be a tough ask, throwing her in cold, but she contained Australia well with her “darts” at Bristol last summer and my instinct is that she would handle it. But I think Winfield would have to be the one to make way and you just KNOW that would be the day our batting collapses in a heap…

    One other thing. Very little seems to have been made of the 17 wides coughed up. Not an issue today, but against better opposition…?

    We’ll know more by 8 am on Sunday, but as it stands England could win but still go out, and could also lose yet still go through, which suggests to me it’s been a very competitive group, all things considered.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Looks England have only twice managed to produce a wide-less T20 bowling performance, whilst the opposition have manged it 13 times against us.
    In total I think we’ve send down around 622 wides whilst the opposition have yielded 496 wides against us.
    We have twice sent down 18 wides so the 17 isn’t the record (although it still beats anything the opposition have managed against us).
    Think you’ve highlighted any area for improvement.


    • There were 2 “5-wides” though I think, which are actually only 2 deliveries bowled wide, so it skews the statistics a bit.


  5. So far, so good. Let us hope it continues !
    What is a pleasant surprise is Alex Hartley in the Radio 5 live comms box.
    Light, informative, bit of fun thrown in and a decent players view of what goes on.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. England’s best performance so far. Sarah Glenn has been a revelation, her and Sophie Ecclestone bowling wicket to wicket worked well today against a Pakistan side that only seem to attack spinners cross bat.

    I can’t see England changing their opening combination, the problem is that none of Tammy Beaumont, Amy Jones or Danni Wyatt are suited to the ‘finisher’ role. Batting one of them at three would be the best solution but Nat Sciver and Heather Knight are playing so well at the moment you want both of them facing as many balls as possible. Knight would probably be the best finisher in the England side at the moment.

    On another note, listened to TMS at work, agree with Red Rose Renegade, Alex Hartley has been brilliant on commentary. She also sounds like she’s having the time of her life up there. I’d imagine her style of commentary might annoy some of the more ‘Traditional’ TMS listeners though!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The spin twins have been absolutely superb, I completely agree. They are more accurate than you’d expect, work very well together too and both are decent fielders.

    I wonder which West Indies will turn up tomorrow, the side that looked so average against Pakistan or the team that beat us in the group stage in 2018? It will have a massive effect on the game but England are capable of beating both if they play really well.


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