All those people who wrote England off after their loss to Sri Lanka, and the ones that held some hope until they lost badly to Australia look pretty bad right about now, as England powered on from their win against India with a big one here. Anyone who thought that their 305 was below par or that they were going to have any problems defending it at all look completely and utterly stupid right about now, as England won by a massive 119 runs in one of the most one-sided games of the tournament. Unfortunately for Pakistan, it all but knocked them out as far as them wanting New Zealand to win, but the margin wasn’t big enough for Pakistan to get in ahead of New Zealand. While I’m sure that someone has worked out exactly how much Pakistan need to beat Bangladesh by for an unlikely qualification, but I believe it is now in the order of 300 runs.
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Five Things We Learned:
(1) Write England off at your peril
They were the number 1 team for a reason and this match highlighted how they got there. The pre-tournament betting, which made them overwhelming favourites, also looks quite sensible right about now as England head into the semi-finals as the most in-form team and a real chance of lifting the trophy. There’s a bit of work to go yet, but only Australia looks a serious chance of stopping them now.
(2) The Bairstow-Roy show just keeps going on
They were good against India, but better now, as the return of Jason Roy is just making the world of difference. While that isn’t the only reason for their return to form, it sure helped.
(3) England’s bowling is seriously good
Boom, boom, boom, boom and suddenly New Zealand were 4/69 in the 17th over, way behind the run rate and out of the game, and it looked easy. This was not due to bad shots or one lucky delivery either – this was seriously good fast bowling. They have one of the better bowling units out there, perhaps along with South Africa and Pakistan, and they looked oh so dominant here.
(4) Kane Williamson can fail
He sort of failed last match but this time he really let the side down. 27 off 40 balls sounds decent but considering the form he was in and how much New Zealand were relying on him this was a major failure. It was still the 3rd highest score of the innings but it simply wasn’t good enough.
(5) New Zealand have lost form right at the wrong time – again
In 2015 and 1992 they were unbeaten until the latter stages of the competition, and fell apart towards the end, and they did it again here. Only a week or two ago New Zealand were unbeaten and England were struggling but now suddenly England are a good chance of winning the trophy while New Zealand look to just be making up the numbers. Unless they were saving themselves for the semi-finals, of course. Kiwi fans can only hope.