265. Ouch

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In the Cricket World Cup in Wellington

England 123 all out (33.2 overs)

New Zealand 125 for two (12.2 overs)

There’s one word that can be applied to both teams from yesterday’s smash and grab: unbelievable.

The English press has found some other words, too. As we celebrate the Black Caps’ extraordinary performance, spare a thought for the English team reading their home reviews. (At least, they should read them if they want to own the thing.)

Jonathan Agnew at the BBC was blunt but polite:

England’s eight-wicket World Cup defeat by New Zealand in Wellington was the most one-sided one-day international between Test-playing nations that I can remember seeing.

It was almost too bad to put into words.

The Guardian headline England suffer humiliation as New Zealand romp to World Cup win was the warm-up act for the opening paragraph of a long-suffering fan’s raw pain:

England cricketing disasters can come with the bar set very high, but even by their lofty standards this was par excellence.

The defeat, at the hands of an urgent New Zealand superbly led by Brendon McCullum, went beyond the realms of simple humiliation and entered that of fantasy, a dream, a nightmare.

The Telegraph went for a faux-rhetorical question as the headline: Is this the worst day in England’s ODI history?

The day before this match Mark Ramprakash, the batting coach, was asked his view of the team’s batting. “Encouraging and exciting,” he said. “Laughable and lightweight,” would be better words. Only Joe Root showed any fight.

The Independent‘s Stephen Brenkley piled on with sarcasm:

England planned meticulously for this World Cup. They rearranged the Ashes series, they ditched Test cricket for eight months, they concentrated solely on the matter of one-day cricket. They had 16 matches and days and days of practice in between to plot and plan and scheme. This time, after five woebegone tournaments in succession, they would be ready.

Two matches in to the 2015 version and they have been dismantled twice. England may as well have spent the time since August trying to work out how to negotiate heavy traffic in Dhaka or assessing the quality of their stamp collections. It could not have wasted more time. They have been anything but ready.

Over at the Daily Mail, Paul Newman reached for his thesaurus:

To lose so emphatically, so gruesomely and without any glimmers of encouragement was almost cruel. More than cruel, it was obscene. And it left English cricket squirming in disbelief.

Finally, you can always rely on the Sydney Morning Herald to sum up an English loss with a cliché:


About Ned Davy

By hokey, the big fella’s tipped into his 50s. A rangy loose forward in his prime, good with the ball in hand, but rarely up with the play any more.
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