England’s bowling and some clarification on the current condition of Aleem Dar’s lower face

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Yesterday morning, our cat Monty did a more than passable impersonation of Mark Wood’s backwards press run-up as he exited the house. Despite his unutterably poor track record of predicting cricket matches, we took this as a clear sign that England would beat Ireland. And so it proved.

We’ve just moved into a great fat wodge of one-day internationals and after flitting between the County Championship, the IPL and the occasional Test match for the last month or so, this is actually something of a relief. There is some sort of narrative to the next couple of months with every nation moving into 50-over mode ahead of the Champions Trophy.

So what can we learn from England’s first foray of the summer? Well, it was very much a bowling performance kind of day, so we should probably focus on that. However, there’s one issue we should deal with first.

Beard or scarf?

If you’ve watched the grainy little highlights package of England’s wickets, this may have been a question you found yourself asking about umpire Aleem Dar.

Having resorted to a screengrab, we’re now confident that the answer is ‘beard’.

Aleem Dar

With that matter resolved, you can now watch the footage entirely liberated from difficult questions.

So basically, the big takeaways from this (mmm, big takeaway) are that Mark Wood pinged one straight through, David Willey swung one into the pads and then Adil Rashid sauntered in when people were trying to hit boundaries and encouraged them to mishit or miss the ball.

This is actually a pretty decent overview of England’s one-day bowling strategy. Every bowler has one main approach for taking wickets and Eoin Morgan tries to wheel them out at the best time to exploit it, whatever it happens to be.

‘Keeping it tight’ isn’t much of a thing any more. It’s really just a fallback.

Next match?

Against Ireland again – at Lord’s on Sunday.


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  1. Hate the new kit. Can’t we get angry about that instead of focusing on the positives?

    1. It’s just generic kit. Honestly don’t know what you’re all going on about, you haters.

      Maybe our innate apathy is serving as a protective measure in this instance.

    2. I don’t know, as pyjamas they look alright. (Except for maybe the huge corporate logo.) It could be worse: It could be so green it can’t be seen, like a certain Lancashire’s new gear.

      1. Yeah, the Lancy camo gear is not great. Presume they’re hoping for a few sneaky catches in the outfield taken by unseen fielders.

  2. Aleem Dar’s strange seems to be loosely based on the Adil Rashid strange.

    More worrying to me is Joe Root’s attempt at a bit of face fluff, presumably in a (futile) attempt to make himself look like an adult.

  3. Aleem’s beard falls somewhere between the ‘Shoreditch’ and the chinstrap. He sports it well, athough I can’t help thinking something’s Amish here.

  4. Daisy has just had a major rant about the new England kit. I don’t think the word “anger” is a strong enough word to describe it.

    She thinks it looks like they are all wearing a girdle or some sort of a flannel around their midriffs.

    Uncharacteristic duration of ire from Daisy on this one.

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