Royal London ODI Cup is up and running, probably for the last time that it would draw as much attention. The England and Wales Cricket Broad had decided to ‘downgrade’ the 50 over tournament into a ‘development’ tournament where only the domestic players will be allowed to feature in it. But, if there was anything to go by from the opening day, there are more boring games to follow.
- All the teams that batted first in the six fixtures have won their respective matches. The teams did not just win the games, they almost thrashed the opponents. The points tables suggest the same. Yorkshire, Worcestershire and Durham from North Group have the games with net run rates of +4.260, +2.500 and +1.440 respectively. South Group is no different. Essex, Gloucestershire, and Hampshire have recorded their first wins with net run rates of +3.600, +2.490 and +1.80 respectively.
- 320 is the new 280 in England. Gone are the days where 250 is deemed to be a fighting target or rather 280. Anything short of 300 is regarded as a below par score and teams chasing often believe that they could chase anything less than 300. The meter just continues to shoot up. Average first innings scores recorded on the opening day is approx. 363 in the North Group and approx. 290 in the South Group.
- The slog window stretches to 35 overs. Hold the wickets and go beserk in the last 5 overs was the trend not long ago. With enhanced focus on death bowling, batsmen now try to outsmart the bowlers by pushing the envelope still further. They run rates start to peak from 35 overs on. Three of the four teams scored 136 plus and a team with 112 runs in the last 15.
- 8 Hundred and 12 Half-centuries were scored in the six games played. The form just continues from one format to another. Of the eight centurions, 4 (Gary Ballance, Rutherford, Northeast and Dayl Mitchell) scored centuries in the County championship. Varun Chopra and Richardson didn’t feature for Essex and Durham respectively. Brook is the only player out as Bancroft scored a half-century too.
- Spin nowhere to be seen across the counties. Only 22% of the overs were bowled by spin across the matches despite the numbers looks comparable. 16 Spinners picked up 22 wickets at an average of 31.3 and economy of 6.26. 54 Pacers picked up 78 wickets at an average almost similar 30.3, only better on economy by 0.30. The pitch to be blamed or the prospects? Where would England look for Rashid era.
Royal London Cup continues tomorrow with eight more games to be played.
(c)Stats taken from ecb.co.uk