And there we are, the first match in the books. As the robots predicted, England won and they did so with pomp and style (which the robots could not have predicted). That’s probably it for Bangladesh for this tournament unless they can pull off shockers against Australia and New Zealand. And wouldn’t that be something?
England, meanwhile, got the job done thanks to a four-fer from Liam Plunkett, a century from Joe Root (which, honestly, the robots could have predicted) and a whiplash 95 off 86 from Alex Hales. Cricinfo also pointed out that it was the first time 300 has been successfully chased in the Champions Trophy AND it was also England’s third highest successful chase of all time. Of course, the “well, it was only Bangladesh” qualifier is accurate here, but it’s still not an easy total to chase, no matter the competition.
Next for England are New Zealand and then Australia. The pressure on England to win the New Zealand tilt is off a tad after their dismantling of Bangladesh, but it’s still more or less a must win, mostly because it’s the more winnable of their final two group matches. In other words, I just don’t see them beating Australia.
One thing, of course, that the robots could not take into account was England’s home field advantage. It matters a little less in England than it does in Asia, but it still matters. And it might just be the edge they need to prove the robots wrong, beat New Zealand, and move on to the knockouts.
I followed the match via Cricinfo’s ball by ball coverage, which is preferable to listening to a video stream or listening to the radio coverage. I like it because I have all the information I need and don’t have to deal with dodgy streams or pesky IT employees wondering where all their bandwidth is going. Also, haha, when I have the screen narrowed to the tablet version, it just looks like work stuff to the uninitiated:
Cricinfo, by the way, was one of the first websites to create a mobile version, and their responsive design is still top of the line. Kudos where it’s due.
Unfortunately, this is how I will be following the entire tournament. This is because most matches are during a work day, of course, but also because I was wrong, the tournament is not being streamed on ESPN3, it is only streaming on Willow TV and not on their online player but via Sling TV. So the only way to steam the matches is to A) pay for Willow.TV and B) pay for Sling TV. Someone correct me if I’m wrong here. Here’s a comment on one of my posts from a few days ago which sums it up better:
“I too thought I could watch the Champions Trophy on Willow; however, it seems Sling TV is the provider. If you have a Willow.TV subscription, you get a code to use for Sling TV. I have been watching warm-ups on both Sling and ESPN, through a Roku device (which I recommend for watching cricket, especially if you’re trying to cut the cord).” – Commenter Justin
Reading that again it looks like I would only need the Willow TV subscription. Hm. I’ll have to investigate. If anyone has further info, do let me know.
That’s it for now. Tomorrow brings Australia vs New Zealand, which should be a cracker, with the winner probably booking their spot in the knockouts. Until then.