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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk