#CWC22: England v India – All You Need Is Positivity… And Three Magic Moments

The positive way of looking at England’s World Cup is that they’ve suffered one real “defeat”, to the West Indies, and two losses to once-in-a-lifetime performances – Rachael Haynes 130, the highest score in her long career; and Marizanne Kapp’s 5-45, the best figures in her even longer career. They came into this tournament as the second-best side in the world, and one bad result wasn’t going to change that.

Nonetheless, they came into this match with their lives on the line, needing a win to stay realistically in the hunt for a semi-final spot. There was still a mathematical opportunity for them to qualify with just 3 wins, but the stars would have had to align perfectly in terms of other results going their way for them to do so. To put some numbers on it, if they’d lost they would have qualified in just 2% of the possible remaining scenarios where they won their remaining games; but having won, they now make the semi-finals in 83% of possible outcomes where they win their last 3 matches, though some of these are quite implausible (e.g. every other game being rained off).

All it took was three moments of magic in the first 10 overs to put them in a position to win this game.

MAGIC MOMENT 1: Anya Shrubsole has lost none of her ability to swing the ball over the years, but it was all becoming a bit samey. Opposing sides have much more access to analytics than they had even 5 years ago, and so batters have known exactly what to expect from her – the fast ball that swings in sharply, or the slower one… that swings in sharply. But to the left-handed Yastika Bhatia today, she got one to shape away and then come back in just enough to slip through Yastika’s defences and take out middle stump.

MAGIC MOMENT 2: Last summer in the RHF Trophy we watched Sophia Dunkley drop two sitters in two balls on the boundary at Beckenham against Vipers. And we just shrugged: that’s our Dunks! So when she appealed for a spectacular catch diving forwards at cover to dismiss Mithali Raj, the on-field officials were probably right to just double-check with the third umpire. But the TV replay showed no doubt – she’d grasped the opportunity literally with both hands.

MAGIC MOMENT 3: After losing two early wickets, the last thing India needed was someone trying to run a suicidal single; but that’s exactly what Deepti did, presumably thinking that she was safe going to Kate Cross’s weaker hand, to her left at mid off. But Cross angled her run perfectly to intersect with the ball on her right hand and hurl it in for a direct hit.

At 28-3 it was always going to be uphill for India from there, and they limped to 134 all out, giving England a fantastic opportunity to not only win the game but also massively boost their Net Run Rate.

And somehow they still nearly stuffed it up!

The loss of two early wickets wasn’t great, but… it happens. Nat Sciver and Heather Knight rebuilt and looked to be cruising, until Sciver lost her concentration for a moment, getting a top-edge off Vastrakar which ballooned up for Jhulan Goswami to take the catch. Amy Jones then came in, and immediately went into her shell – she was on 4 off 26 balls – a Strike Rate of 15 – when she finally decided to hit one, and for a moment the Amy Jones of domestic cricket was unleashed as she smashed Gayakwad back over her head for a huge maximum. But the Amy Jones of more recent international cricket returned two balls later, trying to play the same shot again, but barely clearing the circle to be well taken by Harmanpreet.

Enter Sophia Dunkley, looking sharp at the crease, but she couldn’t see it through either… and nor could Katherine Brunt, who lasted just 2 balls. It was left to Sophie Ecclestone to bring it home and hit the winning boundary in the 32nd over.

Nonetheless, a win is a win. Net Run Rate doesn’t care about wickets, luckily enough, and England’s NRR is remarkably now better than South Africa’s, even though South Africa have won 3 games and England lost 3.

So England are back in with a shout – they still need things to fall their way, but their chances are much better than they were 24 hours ago. As ex Head Coach Mark Robinson pointed out on the radio yesterday, if the results fall the way England hope, they can make the semis, and then we know they can win a one-off game against anyone, even Australia. It could still happen!


6 thoughts on “#CWC22: England v India – All You Need Is Positivity… And Three Magic Moments

  1. Magic Moment #4 : Nat Sciver playing onto her wicket but the bails didn’t move. Pay back for her previous dismissal.

    “but having won, they now make the semi-finals in 83% of possible outcomes” – I can’t see how this is so. Regardless of whether one uses just win/loss combos or win/washout/loss combos it doesn’t seem correct to me. For example the simple win/loss combos gives England qualifying in 624 cases, needing NRR in 1780 cases and not qualifying in 5788 cases. Where have I goofed ?

    Moving from Combos to Prob, assuming
     there is a 2% chance of any match being washed out
     AUS are 97% likely to beat BANG
     AUS are 59% likely to beat other teams they have to play
     ENG/IND/NZ/WI/SA have a 95% chance of beating BANG or PAK
     ENG/IND/NZ/WI/SA are equally likely to beat each other in matches between themselves

    then England’s probability distribution is now as follows:-

    Qualifying outright = 9.87%
    Requiring NRR to qualify = 35.23%
    Not Qualifying = 54.90%

    For those wondering what result England want tonight, well, if NZ win then England’s probability distribution becomes:-

    Qualifying outright = 2.88%
    Requiring NRR to qualify = 42.57%
    Not Qualifying = 55.15%

    If SA win, then England’s probability distribution becomes:-

    Qualifying outright = 16.95%
    Requiring NRR to qualify = 28.44%
    Not Qualifying = 54.62%

    If one feels confident about England NRR one might not really care which result is better for England – but a SA win (a) makes it more likely England finish higher up the table and avoid Australia in a semi and (b) puts NZ under the same sort of pressure as England in their upcoming match.


    • It is the number of scenarios where they definitely qualify, out of the number of scenarios where they win all their remaining games.

      So 59,049 scenarios where they win all their remaining games, and they definitely qualify in 48,810 of them.

      I’ve updated the piece for clarity.


      • Ah, okay. I’d read it as ‘if they win their next match’ rather than ‘if they win their 3 remaining matches’. Thanks for the clarification.


  2. The Magic Moments you mention were certainly key, but I’d also point out that without Dean’s magic performance, India’s middle order (Kaur, Rana, Ghosh) could have easily taken their total over 200 with late bashing from Goswami! Amazing not to see any mention Charlie’s brilliant display here!?

    So the new Mt. Maunganui pitch didn’t really look any better than the old, used one – it had a bit of inconsistent bounce in it, but wasn’t the raging bunsen that it might have looked from the scorecard, given the excellent performance of England’s spinners. That’s 2 arguably match-winning performances already from Dean in her short career so far. As an offie she might go for a few runs sometimes but her line, flight and drift cause a real danger for batters. She’s a wicket-taker and that’s the most important thing. There actually wasn’t much turn assistance from the pitch, so she did brilliantly. In fact, with the excellent spells from Ecclestone, England really “out-spun” India in this game.

    Finally the fielding clicked, and lo and behold England turn in a good performance. I have a bit of concern that we’ve used up our best performance in the field and with the ball so far, when that would have ideally been in the knockout stages but I guess England have put themselves in trouble and are already in the knockout mindset. That level will need to continue from now on really. Hopefully England won’t have to skittle the opposition out for sub-150 scores in order to win.

    Key to England’s chase, especially after a sketchy start, was the way they attacked the Indian spinners. Anything off line was swept with aplomb, and England did a good job of hitting the spinners both sides of the wicket with sweeps. One has to ask the question where the sweeps have all been so far in the Comp.

    Some of England’s wickets seemed unlucky – but that’s been the case all the way through, batters continue to find novel ways of dismissing themselves. We’ve had the non-striker run outs, pulling the ball to slip from leg-side (yes, really!) Today Wyatt got a bit of a snorter that seemed to leap off a length, Dunkley played slip catching practice when she could have glided it down to third; Sciver was early on a front foot pull and Brunt was late on a back foot pull. Knight and Sciver played very well though and that was just about enough. Question is – will the bowling first become a new tactic, and can they repeat a variation on this performance against NZ?

    Interesting that it arguably doesn’t really help England that much if SA beat NZ. I’d have thought it would help a lot. I guess we really need the Aussies to beat everyone else for the rest of the group. Maybe Bang could pull off something vs WI or Ind as well?


    • “I guess we really need the Aussies to beat everyone else” – well we certainly need AUS to beat IND. Assuming the WI beat BANG then an IND victory over AUS changes things. Using previously quoted probabilities; if AUS beat IND then ENG are Q=25.17%, NRR=23.50% and NQ=51.33% but if IND beat AUS then then ENG are Q=2.25%, NRR=37.42% and NQ=60.33%. Both ENG and NZ will be hoping AUS continue their serene progress.


      • The basic fact is that, as of now, whoever loses between ENG and NZ would have to rely on BANG or PAK winning another match to have any chance of qualifying. As Shaggy would say “Zikes” !


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