cricket / short form

English Grit

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A visual representation of English batting. No run there.

Well, that will be that then. England, masters of playing for the defensive draw, have got out of jail yet again. They took a road for a pitch and drove to safety, with almost every batsman making a contribution along the way. New Zealand toiled hard, but in the end they had no answer to the English obstinance.

There are many numerical ways of presenting the method by which the draw was achieved for England, but in the end the most significant is this. The top 3 all faced more than 200 balls each. And one of them had a previous top score of 20. While nothing should diminish the phenomenal opening partnership between century makers Cook and Compton, it was Finn who really secured the draw for England.

He scored 56, not a bad effort for a fairly genuine tailender. It was the manner that the runs, or lack of them were scored though. He faced down 203 deliveries, saw off the second new ball, and saved the match. When he entered in the 85th over, England were still well behind in terms of the deficit. When he departed in the 155th over, England were well in the lead and a draw was all but assured. It was the batting equivalent of Atlas holding the world on his shoulders, and another fine chapter in the English history of batting for the draw.

2 thoughts on “English Grit

  1. Yup, unfortunately batting for the loss in the first innings, combined with bowling awfully against Rutherford put us in the position to have to bat for the draw in the second. It’s a shame that the first day was washed out, it would have been interesting had England upped the run rate a bit in the last session to finish 200 odd ahead to see another day’s play! The pitch was an absolute road though so I’d still have backed the draw, Finn’s knock just highlighted how poor that first innings effort was.

    • In a way, but personally I’m not surprised Wagner came out firing first up. He’s a very underrated bowler and the conditions suited him well. The opening partnership gave an outside chance of setting a challenging chase for New Zealand, but in all honesty I doubt England would have ever taken that path given what McCullum did in the first innings. A case of what might have been for both teams perhaps.

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