England Start the 2015 Cricket World Cup With Two Embarrassing Losses.
England followed their opening defeat to Australia at the 2015 Cricket World Cup with an even more embarrassing and convincing defeat in Wellington, New Zealand.
England managed only 123 runs in their innings and were bowled out in 33.2 overs. New Zealand‘s Tim Southee took seven wickets for thirty three runs off of his nine overs.
That should have assured Southee of the man of the match award, but Brendon McCullum came out swinging, to make the strongest possible challenge.
McCullum scored the fastest ever 50 at the Cricket World Cup, knocking off the runs in only 18 balls. He looked set to pick up almost all of the required 124 runs himself. But he was bowled out by Chris Woakes on 77, having picked up eight fours and seven sixes, at a strike rate of 308.
An uncalled for lunch break followed, when New Zealand required only 12 runs to seal the victory. The umpires looked embarrassed when removing the bails for the time scheduled break, but they apparently had no say in the matter.
On resumption there were fewer fireworks, but Guptil was bowled by Woakes for 22 before the final runs came by way of 5 wides.
New Zealand‘s run chase was the 3rd fastest in one day international cricket history, only 2 balls behind South Africa‘s win over Bangladesh in 2003.
This England catastrophe followed the less embarrassing, but very convincing loss to Australia in Melbourne, only 6 days earlier. At least in that game England managed to bat more than 80% of their allocated overs and scored over 200 runs.
In Melbourne James Taylor was denied a century by a farcical umpiring decision. He was left stranded on 98 not out when Jimmy Anderson was adjudged run out off of the same ball that Taylor had already wrongly been given out LBW from. England appealed the LBW and the decision was reversed, but Anderson was still declared run out, when the ball should have been dead after the LBW decision.
The umpiring needs to be much better than that. But with 9 wickets down and more than 8 overs remaining, it made no real difference to the outcome.
Can things get any worse for England in this World Cup?
England currently sit bottom of their table with mostly minnows to play. They should be able to improve on their results, but these two defeats must have an effect on English confidence and on current form it only needs a good day from one or more of Bangladesh, Afghanistan or Scotland for the next shock of the tournament.
In other news, it looks extremely unlikely that we will see a ball bowled in tomorrow’s scheduled match between Australia and Bangladesh in Brisbane, due to Cyclone Marcia bearing down on Queensland, bringing more rain and wind than the ground staff could be expected to deal with.
By Max Power