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England lose but the tournament wins

England’s defeat came as a surprise to many but not the Sports Rusters who were more doubtful of their chances.

Had England won, then next week we would have matches between the top four (Australia, England, India, New Zealand) and meaningless games between the rest.

Now the rest have some chance of reaching the semis and England’s game on Tuesday at Lords against Australia assumes more interesting proportions. The wiseacres say England should avoid India at Edgbaston.

Should they finish fourth, they go to Old Trafford on July 9th to face the leaders of the league.

So what went wrong?

The loss of the dynamic Jason Roy denied us crucial 30-50 runs and putting early pressure on Sri Lanka.

As it was, it was down to Ben Stokes at one end as the tail end failed to stay at the crease.

Whenever England lose scant appreciation of the opposition follows.

I recall a debacle in 1973/4 in 2 football World Cup qualifiers when England went out to Poland. Little Poland. In fact they finished third in the World Cup in Germany in a strong tournament where Germany beat Holland in the final.

Sri Lanka, especially Malinga, bowled very well and deserved their win. In brief, England did not throw it away, Sri Lanka won it fair and square: equally the lesson from many football World Cups is that the strongest qualifying team rarely wins it.

I remember in 1982 Italy drew their first qualifying games but emerged as eventual winners.

England still have every chance of qualifying but I still hold to my original view that India are the stronger team.

About Douglas Heath

Douglas Heath began his lifelong love affair with cricket as an 8 year-old schoolboy playing OWZAT? Whilst listening to a 160s Ashes series on the radio. He later became half-decent at doing John Arlott impressions and is a member of Middlesex County Cricket Club. He holds no truck at all with the T20 version on the game. More Posts