24 February 2015
Where England’s pool campaign stands now
Although England may have lost their first two matches against the two co-hosts, they got their campaign back on track with a comprehensive win over Scotland yesterday. We take a look at how the rest of their Pool A fixtures may play out
Chris Woakes celebrates with team mates.
The impressive crowd of more than 12,000 people who had packed into Hagley Oval on a Monday looked on as England claimed its first points of the tournament over local rival Scotland.
Waving either the St George’s Cross or the Saltire, they were treated to a match that, despite the large final margin, provided highlights for both teams: Moeen Ali’s century, Kyle Coetzer’s fifty and what will possibly be the stumping of the tournament from Scotland keeper Matthew Cross.
In the lead-up the attention centred on England, which was coming off heavy losses to host nations Australia and New Zealand. A win against Associate Scotland was the popular tip, but whether England could do enough to set its World Cup campaign back on track was the main question.
What England fans should be pleased about:
“Bounce-back-ability”: Despite crushing losses in its first two matches, England did not come out the jitters as some had predicted, instead providing a measured performance that did the job soundly without being exceptional.
- Moeen Ali: After scores of 10 and 20 in the opening two matches, the opening batsman was back on song in Christchurch, smashing 128 runs off 107 balls. He combined with Ian Bell (54) in a 172-run opening stand – England’s best at a World Cup. Eoin Morgan also batted well after a run of low scored, posting 46 off 42.
- Steven Finn: After being smashed for 49 off two overs against New Zealand, Finn bounced back well with 3-26, leading the wicket-taking with a tidy economy rate of 2.88.
- Concerns England fans might have:
- Once Ali and Bell were removed, the Scotland bowlers uncovered some vulnerability in the middle order, losing Gary Balance (10), Joe Root (1) and James Taylor (17) cheaply.
- The big opening stand between Ali and Bell set England up for a score in excess of 350 but England was unable to capitalise on it during the batting power play, scoring just 22 runs and losing two wickets.
- Bell dropped a big edge from Coetzer, letting the batsman off the hook on five. He went on to score 71.
With two points on the board, England is fourth on the Pool A ladder, trialling New Zealand (six points), Australia, Bangladesh (both three points) and Sri Lanka, which is also on two points but with a better net run-rate.
It makes Sunday’s match against Sri Lanka in Wellington a must-win for England. Even if it wins that encounter, its clash with Bangladesh at Adelaide Oval on March 9 is likely to be the equivalent of an elimination final, should the latter’s results go as expected between now and then.
Bangladesh’s strong position comes courtesy of the point it picked up after Saturday’s washed out Brisbane match.
Gayle and West Indies break records everywhere!
West Indies v Zimababwe preview, Match 15, Canberra