Posted by: tootingtrumpet | March 3, 2011

England vs Ireland – The Final Over of the Day

We don't do stereotypes at 99.94

Ball One – Having seen five England men hit sixes in Sunday’s thriller, today the innings faded away, with nobody able to take responsibility for finishing the innings. England, with eight wickets in hand and ten overs to go, raised their run rate from 6.42 to 6.54 – not a recipe for winning many ODIs.

Ball Two – It’s too anglocentric to believe that all countries look forward to a game vs England as their biggest match, but it’s a fair bet that the Irish lads, many with county cricket experience, did identify this match as their cup final. The reaction of Will Porterfield to his unfortunate diamond duck suggests that he was distraught about missing his chance to put one over his mates.

Ball Three – Matt Prior was a controversial selection for the World Cup and is doing little to suggest otherwise, excelling with neither bat nor ball. Talent will out, but the critics will be sharpening their claws again soon, hankering for a chance to debate the England wicketkeeper position yet again.

Ball Four – On Sunday, Tendulkar started slowly, but finished strongly, making a magnificent century because, well, that’s what he does. Ed Joyce started slowly today, but he’s handy rather than great and was dismissed for 32 off 61 balls. One could see the thinking behind Joyce’s knock, but class tells and Joyce, like the vast majority of associate nations players, is just a bit short of it.

Ball Five – One of the many reasons why The Ashes surprised England fans was the ruthlessness with which England closed out victories – all three by an innings. England have little history of putting sides away without fuss and, at 192-5, England are already making hard work of a victory – and in danger of making hard work of a defeat.

Ball Six – Which is what England did – or rather, it’s what Ireland did because Alex Cusack batted very well, John Mooney batted very well and Kevin O’Brien played the greatest one-day innings I have ever seen. Congratulations to Ireland – a truly great performance.

The Tooting Trumpet, whom you can often find at Testmatchsofa.com and on Twitter at @garynaylor999

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Responses

  1. Really disappointed not to have watched more than the last 2 overs of this match. I was following it at work on cricinfo but after about 20 overs of the Irish innings I lost interest since it seemed pretty much finished as a contest. Then I happened to check back in in the middle of the batting powerplay and my interest was piqued a little bit. Ended up stopping behind at work for 10 mins just so I could see whether O’Brien managed to break any records in reaching his hundred before dashing back home as quickly as possible to catch the final moments.

    Fantastic result for Ireland. Shame it had to be England they put one over but with the way we’ve bowled and fielded in this competition it was coming.

    • It was Sassenach, but O’Brien, Mooney and Cusack were superb.

  2. “Up yours, ICC!” …is what Ireland and the other associate nations have said tonight! (paraphrasing Bumble, who was on air on Star Cricket)

    Magnificent! Missed it live…but will certainly have to watch the highlights! Kevin O’Brien just SMASHED the WC record for fastest ton…beat Hayden by 16 balls! And that’s also a WC record for the highest chase ever.

    Anybody still not excited by this World Cup!??

    • In fairness to the ICC they are talking about a 10 team comp which would have included Ireland who are ranked ahead of Zimbabwe.

      • But wouldn’t it be fairer if we had a 12-nation WC? The top 8 + Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Ireland and the Netherlands?

        I appreciate that the ICC have a 16-nation T20 WC in mind, but surely one can see that Ireland and the Dutch bring enough to the ODI WC too?

        I’m really hoping that the ICC have not shut their minds on this issue.

        • Possibly going over very old ground here, but I think the following would be the optimal setup:

          Two groups of 6. Group winners progress drectly to the semifinals, 2nd in each group plays off against 3rd in the other group for the remaining two semifinal slots. I think this has a number of advantages over any of the other formats that have been mooted. It guarantees a minimum of 5 matches for each team. It ensures that pretty much every match has significance because everybody will fancy their chances of sneaking into 3rd place, but at the same time it probably ensures that that only the best will ultimately qualify for the knockouts. But still, there should be very few dead rubbers. It also, by my calculation, eliminates 14 matches from the current schedule allowing the tournament to be about 2 weeks shorter.

          The main drawback as I see it is that it seriously curtails the possibilities for most of the Associates by restricting it to only 2 of them. Realistically though this probably makes sense because there are currently only two that can compete. Besides which, the fact that there are only two slots to shoot for ought to make the competition for those slots more fierce, which may actually have a positive effect in terms of raising the standards in the Associate qualifier tournaments.

          I also quite like the simpler idea of just having 4 groups of 4 with the top 2 from each group qualifying, but that would almost certainly mean that the vast majority of matches are largely meaningless until we hit the knockouts.

          • Sassenach, do you want to guarantee five games for every side. Most of the associate games (and several of the full member ones) are woeful mismatches. Romance is good, but it doesn’t hurt to limit them to 3 or 4 as in other sports.

            Importantly too, the total number of games between the top-8 and the rest doesn’t vary much by tournament size. A 10,12 or 16 team world cup has 16 of them, a 14, 20 or 32 team tournament has 24 of them, a 24 team tournament has 20. Obviously the gap between associates widens out with more teams, but more teams mostly means more associate vs associate games, and they are generally competitive (if low rating).

            Personally, I think you need to offer the associates a reason to be there (which best 6 of 12 doesn’t, nor best 8 of 16 – it is tough at the very top), so I’d plump for 20 teams, 4 groups of 5, 1st to the quarters, 2nd/3rd to a knockout. 4 games guaranteed (5 for test teams barring disaster), a tussle for first place, and a realistic chance for most teams of taking third. 51 games (3 more than the broadcast contract requires), 40 in 20 days over the group stages, and 11 knockout games in 15 days to finish.

  3. Oh the joy of having people who have not followed cricket for 4 years trying to figure out exactly how monumental KO Brien’s innings was.
    This will get the banks and politicians off the front pages tomorrow.

    And thanks Kev for proving my point about it being easier for weaker teams to bat second.

    India v Ireland; Australia v Kenya and Australia V Canada all still to be played on this pitch.

    • I wouldn’t look for anything from the Kenya and Canada matches. The difference between those two teams and Ireland is immense.

  4. Sassenach – all the associate nations will believe now.

  5. I wonder what makes Ireland batting so strong suddenly…except Porterfield, all other batsmen gave good contribution to the team winning total.

    • O’Brien has been threatening to do that in all his matches even against Bangers where they fell apart.

      He just seems fearless.

  6. O’Brien and co were fearless – relatively easy when there was nothing to lose, but they were still fearless when in a position such that they were favourites to win. And that’s very impressive indeed.

  7. I’m still awestruck by how they went about it. As tooting said – they played fearlessly when they were 112/5, with O’Brian going absolutely apeshit on the bowlers.

    Once they got themselves to a favourable position, I was stunned by how they approached it! Cusack first, and then Mooney took charge and got aggressive, while O’Brian continued to hang around for singles and twos (he was tiring too and hence there was no need to put him in any further pressure). This really came as a surprise to me at least. Normally, in such a scenario, we’re used to seeing the “set” batsman continuing the aggression, and I suspect England must have thought the same. Not surprisingly, Mooney was well set , and aptly saw them across the finish line!

    The other teams should brace themselves for a fight with Ireland. They are not just here to make the numbers.

  8. Indeed the greatest ODI innings I’ve ever seen. And by an Irishman, to boot. What a great day.

    It’s easy to be hard on the England fielding and bowling, but sometimes the tide turns on you and there’s not a lot you can do about it. Yesterday was one of those days.

  9. Irishmen created waves by beating Englishmen. Make way for Kevin O’Brien.


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