The Cricket Tier


It started with a 'Free Hit'

Living only 5 miles from Old Trafford means I've got to watch a lot of cricket over the years, from domestic to international, from T20's, ODI's to Test Matches and Ashes Series. Now though a World Cup!                                               

Yes, yesterday was the fist time I'd ever been to a World Cup match and after a hour or so I got to watch Eoin Morgan on the charge and it what a privilege to witness his innings. Even more so, when Morgan was actually doubtful for the game after a back injury in England's last game against the West Indies.

It started with a free hit as well as Morgan hit his first six of the day off one as he faced just his eighth ball of the day. After that the Dublin born Irishman who qualifies for England because of his mum, went on the rampage.

You expect such an innings from the likes of Roy, Bairstow, Buttler, Stokes and Ali but not Morgan as much. His astonishing innings was just phenomenal to watch though and I was gutted in the ground when he finally got caught on 148.

He was so impressive throughout his innings with both his body and feet positioning for all his shots as near to perfect as you can. Apart from maybe just one shot where he didn't quite catch it right and if he'd been playing against one of the better teams, he surely would have been caught near the boundary rope. He wasn't though and the dropped catch actually then went for four.

After that he never looked back and yesterday's win for England put them top of the group overall via net run rate. It wasn't all Morgan, even though he rightfully takes all the plaudits. Vince got off to an okay start but was then caught in his twenties and he must know he missed a massive opportunity of getting a big score. He'll get another chance though with Jason Roy set to miss at least one more match through injury.

Bairstow and Root just missed out on centuries themselves, but both their innings were excellent as well, but all the talk was of course about Morgan and the various records that were broken:

  • Morgan's century was England's fastest ever in a World Cup
  • England total score of 397 was their highest ever in a World Cup
  • England's 25 sixes in an innings was the most ever by a team in ODI history
  • Morgan's 17 sixes was the most ever by an individual in ODI history

It's safe to say that the white ball game suits Eoin Morgan so much with his power hitting, but he is a very clever all-round batsmen. For me, even after his innings yesterday he is still not the best batsman in ODI cricket, although he's up there, he is though the best ODI captain out there currently.

Can England go on to win it? Well they have every chance and this is definitely their best chance for sure and they've come a long way since their disastrous performance in the 2015 World Cup.

England have been three time finalists and three times runners up, but they have not been in a final since their defeat to Pakistan in 1992 at the MCG. This time around though they came into this tournament as one of the favourites, if not the outright favourite with them being the number one team.

That wasn't just because they are playing on home soil, form wise coming into it they had six wins out of their last seven ODI series. The best ever England one day side? I'd say so as they have all things covered, from fielding, quick runs and a vast array of bowlers to choice from.

Good powerful openers like Roy and Bairstow, with Root and Morgan himself who follow, then you back them up with the likes of Butler, Stokes, Ali and to a point Woakes, who all perform with the bat.

Anyway, it was an absolutely pleasure to witness such a wonderful England batting performance yesterday and to say I saw a World Record broken with seventeen sixes from Morgan just topped my day off. Can't wait for my next one!

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