Friday, July 9, 2021

Ben Leads England Wins

Ben eased himself in to his new role of leading England's ODI team. England's acting captain and his team of replacements produced a dominant display to overpower Pakistan in Cardiff.

Positive COVID tests robbed England of their original squad.

Swiftly, the ECB announced and assembled a new group of 18 players, under Ben's leadership, just two days before the first ODI.

With only one training session behind them, Ben and the England team took to the field at Sophia Gardens.

Ben won the toss and invited Pakistan to bat. In trouble from the first over, when Saqid Mahmood took two wickets, the Pakistan batters struggled throughout their innings.

Stationed at mid-on or mid-off Ben gave his bowlers words of encouragement as the team produced an impressive performance.

This was not a team of replacements. Rather, it was a case of players offering themselves as genuine alternatives to those in the original squad.

Such was England's dominance, the visitors were dismissed for 141 in the thirty-sixth over.

After England lost Phil Salt (7), Dawid Malan (68) and Zak Crawley (58) saw England home with a second wicket partnership of 120.

A matter of days before this comprehensive 9 wicket win, Ben was playing for Durham and preparing for the upcoming Test series against India.

Little wonder, Ben wrote in his Daily Mirror column on Tuesday, "to say I wasn’t expecting to be leading England out in a one day match in Cardiff this week would be a huge understatement. But here we are, and duty calls."

(Photo Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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