World Cup: It’s all gone Chittagong

It’s been a great World Cup, said a colleague, as England’s match against Bangladesh reached its conclusion.

We reckoned it was an exaggeration – England’s matches have been great, the rest not so much.

I’ve said this before but England’s two upset defeats should have some material effect on their status within the tournament – Ireland deserve that and so do Bangladesh.

This was one-day cricket at its best: a lowish-scoring thriller.

I wrote on Wednesday about Bangladesh cracking under the weight of expectation against West Indies. They revelled in their underdog status today though when expectation rose – at the start and end of their innings, they held their nerve. Or rather they had the confidence to bat with the freedom of spirit to break England.

I am chuffed for Bangladesh. I might have felt differently had England been going home but it was genuinely uplifting to hear the noise and see the joy that the result brought to the fans at Chittagong.

England look like a team playing from memory. The line-up and tactics are changing on a daily basis. Whereas in the Ashes they looked like a team that was greater than the sum of its parts, they now look like a group of individuals just trying to maintain a grip on their basic skills, living on their wits.

Goodness knows who’ll be opening against West Indies or indeed the bowling but you can be sure of one thing – it won’t be dull.

John Stern is editor of The Wisden Cricketer

Follow him on Twitter @WisdenCric_John

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