Middle order looks flimsy without injured Flintoff

England's inexperience in the middle order cost them dear. After losing their two most experienced batsmen, Marcus Trescothick and Michael Vaughan, in the first three overs of the innings, there was then a fine partnership of 82 in 90 balls between Andrew Strauss and Geraint Jones, which looked as if it would form the base of a worthwhile score.

Jones then got himself out when he was looking to force the pace more than he need have done as early as the 17th over. When Paul Collingwood was out four overs later at 102, there was a great need for the remaining batsmen to reassess the situation.

The ball was swinging and moving off the seam and the batsmen needed at this stage to decide upon a total that would be enough to give them a reasonable chance of victory and to aim for it. As it was they went helter-skelter in pursuit of as big a total as they could get and lost wickets quickly and in some cases foolishly.

At 102 for four in the 21st over they should, in the prevailing conditions, have set their minds on a total of about 220 and have batted accordingly. If this had been the need uppermost in their minds Ian Blackwell would surely have played himself in for an over or three longer before attempting to pull Dwayne Bravo over midwicket and holing out to Shivnarine Chanderpaul at short midwicket. He hit the ball hard and was out to a fine catch, but this is no excuse.

Anthony McGrath momentarily forgot his Yorkshire canniness when, shortly after Blackwell's departure, he allowed himself to be drawn into a forward defensive push to an outswinger which began wide of the off stump. At best it would have brought him a single to third man; at worst, as happened, he edged the ball to the right of second slip where Chris Gayle held a good catch.

England badly missed the injured Andrew Flintoff who bats these days with an obvious sense of responsibility. If he had been there in the middle order the approach would surely have been different and more realistic. With so many counsellors in the dressing room it is surprising too that word did not come down from on high to try and help sort out the thinking of the middle order. On these occasions there can be no substitute for experience and it made one long to see the reassuring figure of Graham Thorpe coming in at the fall of the third wicket. If he had, England would have finished with more than 147.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special
tvNick Frost, Natalie Gumede and Michael Troughton step up
Arts and Entertainment
Matthew Beard, Ben Schnetzer, Douglas Booth and Jack Farthing in ‘The Riot Club’
filmReview: Sheer nastiness of Riot Club takes you aback
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week