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EastStandBlue

Life President
Joined
May 29, 2005
Messages
15,477
Being English, I've come to expect and almost predict roller coaster Summers of sport. So often it takes the form of expectation and devastation that a Football World Cup brings. This Summer, it's been the turn of the England Cricket Team.

The tumultuous Cricket Coaster started with the rise of a resounding Ashes win that sent Ricky Ponting and his collection of Fosters-drinking convict-ancestors smarting, propelling England into the ODI series in sparkling form. They'd performed well enough in the West Indies previously, and winning the most famous prize in Cricket could only help... couldn't it?

No, it couldn't. Of course it couldn't. Australia welcomed Brett Lee back into the team while Stuart Broad and James Anderson departed after three miserable games in order to be rested for the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy. The downturn was almost a vertical leep. So poor the performances were in the series that the Australians were almost embarassed by the way in which they swept us aside. Dizzied by the Cricket Coaster's latest slip, I suspect complacency played a pivotal part in avoiding the most damning result in Cricket, a series whitewash.

England limped into a tournament that, in a congested Summer of cricket and on the back of such poor displays, has almost been swept aside by the press and fans alike. They'll be flocking back now, however, as England have actually performed above expectations in a sport... And it wasn't Rugby Union.

A 22-run victory over tournament hosts and favourites South Africa on the back of a six-wicket demolition of Sri Lanka ensured England's place in the semi-finals, a result which also knocked the hosts out of the tournament.

Setting an impressive knock of 323 to beat, South Africa had given themselves a hard task to start with. Owais Shah hit an impressive 98, including six sixes, while Paul Collingwood, calamitous against Australia in the ODI series, exorcised his demons with 82. Knock of the day for England, however, went to Eoin Morgan who blasted past the South Africa attack to hit five sixes, totalling 67 off just 34 deliveries.

South Africa fought bravely, none more so than Graeme Smith who hit 141, mainly off Stuart Broad it has to be said. It could've been worse for South Africa had Collingwood not greased his hands prior to the game, as he dropped AB de Villiers on 3. de Villiers went on to notch 78.

Most crucially, taking away from Englands brilliant victory for just a second, was South Africa's failure to reach 313 that saw their net run-rate fall lower than Sri Lanka's, ending their tournament early for the second successive tournament.

It remains to be seen whether England can maintain this kind of form, Strauss certainly seems to think so as he talked up England's chances of winning the trophy prior to the match. England are certainly on the up at the moment, but it just wouldn't be English sport without a drastic plunge on the horizon.
 

BLUEBLOOD

Moderator of Moderators
Joined
Sep 22, 2005
Messages
16,223
Location
Southend On Sea
I'm totally shocked at England's resurrgence these last two games, there is a Jamaican chap where i work and we were having bets as to which of us would lose our group games more heavily .. he was saying it would be the Windies, whilst i was equally disparaging of our chances

I honestly thought we would be spanked every game after the 1-6 embarrassment vs the Aussies .. how i'd love to take revenge for that in the Semis, or dare i dream Final !!!
 
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