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Home   /   Cricket Weekly Column #9 Overtime’s Cricket World Cup Best XI and England v Ireland
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By Riley Taylor (@rileyttaylor21)

Welcome to the ninth edition of Overtime’s Cricket Weekly Column, where we look at the week’s biggest stories and games.

After the culmination of the World Cup, this week it would be appropriate to select our XI of the tournament.

As well as this we’ll be going over what happened when England took on Ireland in the Men in Green’s first-ever Test match at Lord’s.

Overtime’s Cricket World Cup Team of the Tournament:

Rohit Sharma (India)

  • 648 runs @81 (five hundreds, one fifty)
  • Top Score: 140 v Pakistan at Old Trafford

What a tournament from the “Hitman”, top run-scorer with 648 runs at an average of 81, making a record-breaking five hundred’s in the process. His best innings was a stunning knock of 140 against arch-rivals Pakistan along with other match-winning knocks against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and South Africa.

David Warner (Australia)

  • 647 runs @71.88 (three hundreds, three fifties)
  • Top Score: 166 v Bangladesh at Trent Bridge

Returning to international cricket after a one-year ban for ball-tampering, he shrugged off the boos from the crowds as he finished as second top run-scorer, one run behind Rohit. He may have not been at his explosive best as he once was before the ban, but this temperament was replaced with steadiness, finishing with an average strike rate of 89.36.

Kane Williamson (New Zealand)

  • 578 runs @82.75 (two hundreds, two fifties)
  • Top Score: 148 v West Indies at Old Trafford

The official ICC player of the tournament and the perfect captain. 578 runs at an average of 82.57, the most runs ever by a captain at a World Cup. As a captain, he guided New Zealand to their second final in two editions as they missed out on their first World Cup by the slimmest of margins.

Joe Root (England)

  • 556 runs @61.77 (two hundreds, three fifties)
  • Top Score: 107 v Pakistan at Trent Bridge

England’s golden boy showed why he is so vital to the side, amassing 556 runs including centuries against Pakistan and the West Indies, finishing as the world champions highest run-scorer in the tournament. He also chipped in with a couple of handy wickets against the West Indies, where he also opened the batting.

Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh)

606 runs @86.57 (two centuries, five fifties)

Top Score: 124 not out v West Indies at Taunton

11 wickets @36.27

Best Figures: 5-29 v Afghanistan at Hampshire Bowl

Must be up there with Williamson for player of the tournament, as in every game he played he contributed crucial performances. Not only did he score at least a half-century in every game bar one to make him the third-highest run-scorer, but he also took 11 wickets including a five-wicket haul against Afghanistan. 606 runs at an average of 86.57 including two centuries against the West Indies and England.

Ben Stokes (England)

465 runs @66.42 (five fifties)

Top Score: 89 v Australia at Lords’

Seven wickets @35.14

Best Figures: 3-23 v Bangladesh at Cardiff

What. A. Player. He has been through a lot over the past three years, the T20 World Cup Final in India and the incident in Bristol.

Since Bristol, he had been critiqued constantly for his supposed lack of form, but this was erased when he smashed 89 an took the dubbed “super-human” catch against South Africa.

From there he would go on to have strong performances against Bangladesh, Australia and India before eventually breaking New Zealand hearts in the World Cup Final.

Alex Carey (Australia)

375 runs @62.5 (three fifties)

Top Score: 85 v South Africa at Old Trafford

Before the tournament when regarding wicket-keepers everyone’s eyes were automatically drawn to the big guns in Quinton de Kock, Jos Buttler and MS Dhoni but no one could have anticipated the amazing form of Alex Carey.

After only making one half-century in his first 19 innings in one-day international cricket prior to the World Cup, Carey went on to make three in ten games, often batting with the lower order.

His main highlight was a knock of 71 against New Zealand which setup Australia’s victory. There is certainly plenty more to come from Australia’s new breakout star.

Mitchell Starc (Australia)

27 wickets @18.59

Best Figures: 5-26 v New Zealand at Lords’2

What more can you say about Mitchell Starc? He was so feared going into this tournament due to his ability to swing the ball both ways and his previous demolition of batsmen in World Cup.

He rightly backed this up as he finished as top wicket-taker in the tournament including stunning performances against West Indies, Sri Lanka, England and New Zealand.

His highlight was his delivery to Ben Stokes at Lords’, a classic Starc yorker, bowled at a fierce pace which ripped out the formers middle stump.

Lockie Ferguson (New Zealand)

21 wickets @19.47

Best Figures: 4-47 v Afghanistan at Taunton

Another one of the surprises from the tournament. He outshone Trent Boult, taking four more wickets than his experienced fast-bowling teammate.

Furthermore, he almost bowled New Zealand to their first World Cup with a stunning spell against England.

An interesting stat in regards to Ferguson is that he took at least one wicket in every game and this consistent bowling saw him finish second on the wicket-taking list.

Jofra Archer (England)

  • 20 wickets @23.05
  • Best Figures: 3-27 v South Africa at The Oval

England’s Super Over hero had an immense amount of hype before the tournament and duly delivered.

For a player who only received his first callup to the England squad a month before the World Cup started, he looked like a seasoned veteran, taking 12 wickets across his first four games.

There is plenty more to come from England’s new star, but he will always be remembered for that Super Over.

Jasprit Bumrah (India)

  • 18 wickets @20.61
  • Best Figures: 3-37 v Sri Lanka at Leeds

A tough decision between Bumrah and Mustafizur Rahman for the last place in the team but the Indian’s superb economy rate and average gets him in.

An economy rate of 4.41 was one of the best in the tournament and this tight bowling coupled with his variations made him such a difficult bowler to face.

His highlight was his 3-61 versus Australia, which saw him bowl extremely well under pressure.

That’s our XI, do you agree? Let us know by tweeting @overtime_online with your XI.


After England’s incredible World Cup victory, attention will now turn to the Ashes to see if Joe Root’s men can retake them following their 4-0 hammering in Australia two years ago.

However, there was still a Test to be played before that, a four-day Test match against Ireland.

England called up Jason Roy, Olly Stone and Lewis Gregory for potential debuts and rested World Cup heroes Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler.

Veteran swing bowler James Anderson was announced in the squad but was revealed to not be playing by Joe Root due to resting a calf injury.

Despite a few new additions England would have been fairly confident with their squad especially due to the fact that they were playing on home soil and that they were facing a side who were only playing their third-ever Test match.

Surely nothing would go wrong?

Embarrassing England: England v Ireland Day One at Lord’s

England: 85 and 0-0 (Denly 23, Stone 19, Murtagh 5-13, Adair 3-32)

Ireland: 207 (Balbirnie 55, Stirling 36, Curran 3-28, Stone 3-29)

England trail by 122 runs

England were humiliated at the Home of Cricket as they were bowled out for 85 by Ireland in just 23.4 overs.

Middlesex fast-medium bowler, Tim Murtagh claimed 5-13 on his home ground along with three wickets for Mark Adair and two wickets for former England fast-bowler Boyd Rankin.

In reply, Ireland showed England how to bat as they reached 132 for two thanks to an 87-run partnership from Andy Balbirnie (55) and Paul Stirling (36) before the Irishmen lost eight wickets for 75 runs as debutant Olly Stone and 20-year old Sam Curran claimed three wickets each to bowl them out for 207.

Nightwatchman Jack Leach faced one over before the end of the day as England finished 122 runs behind on a day that saw twenty wickets fall.

England opened with Surrey pair Rory Burns and Jason Roy despite the latter not having opened in first-class cricket since 2013.

Despite Roy having shown his ability to open in one-day cricket for England, he failed to do so on debut as he edged a terrific delivery from Murtagh to Paul Stirling at slip for five.

Joe Denly joined Burns and the Kent batsman looked comfortable when he was at the crease, hitting a few crisp boundaries in his knock.

However, his innings was ended on 23 when he was trapped leg-before by Adair.

This started England’s horror show of an innings as they lost six wickets for six runs.

Burns (6) fell the over after Denly’s dismissal when he edged Murtagh through to Gary Wilson behind the stumps.

England continued to crumble when captain Joe Root was pinned lbw by Adair for two before Jonny Bairstow (0) and Chris Woakes (0) fell in the same over to Murtagh the next over.

Moeen Ali (0) was caught behind by Gary Wilson off Murtagh to hand him his five-wicket haul before Stuart Broad gave Wilson his third catch when he was caught for three off Rankin.

Sam Curran added some quick runs before he was caught by James McCollum off Rankin for 18.

Olly Stone then added some brief resistance, but he was bowled by Adair for 19 to end England’s miserable innings.

Ireland started steadily in reply with a 32-run partnership between William Porterfield and McCollum.

England got the breakthrough when Curran had Porterfield caught at by Leach for 14.

Curran then had a second wicket when he bowled McCollum for 19 just six overs later.

Stirling and Balbirnie put on 87 runs for the third wicket with the latter bringing up his second test fifty.

Ireland then lost five wickets for 17 runs, with Broad starting the rot when he trapped Stirling lbw for 36.

Balbirnie fell next when he was castled by Stone for 55 to give him his first test match wicket.

Stone got another wicket five balls later when he had Wilson caught for a duck by Root at first slip.

Stuart Thompson was bowled for a duck by Broad three overs later before Adair was also bowled by Curran for three to leave Ireland at 149 for seven.

Kevin O’Brien had been watching the carnage unfold at the non-striker’s end but he eventually found a batting partner in Andy McBrine as the pair added 25 for the eighth wicket.

However, McBrine was then removed when he was bowled by Broad for 11 to give the England stalwart his third wicket.

Tim Murtagh added some quick runs with a 21-run partnership with O’Brien in just under three overs, but the former was caught by Burns at off Stone for 16 to end his little cameo.

Ireland’s innings was eventually wrapped up when Rankin was bowled by Moeen for seven to end what was a decent batting performance with a whimper.

Nightwatchman Leach negotiated one over from Murtagh as him and Burns walked off knowing England had a massive mountain to climb on day two.

Leach Leads England Comeback: England v Ireland Day Two at Lords’

England: 85 (Denly 23, Stone 19, Murtagh 5-13, Adair 3-32) & 303/9 (Leach 92, Roy 72, Adair 3-66, Thompson 2-44)

Ireland: 207 (Balbirnie 55, Stirling 36, Curran 3-28, Stone 3-29)

England lead by 181 runs

A superb innings of 92 from nightwatchman Jack Leach got England back into the match on day two of their test match versus Ireland at Lords’.

Resuming 122 runs behind Ireland after an awful first day, England reached 171 for one before losing eight wickets for 122 runs to leave the test in the balance going into day three.

England’s second innings started in the same vein as their first as they lost Rory Burns when he was caught by wicketkeeper Gary Wilson off Boyd Rankin for six.

Debutant Jason Roy came in and added 145 for the second wicket with Leach with both batsmen bringing up fifties in the process.

Roy showed the form he had been showing with the one-day side as he looked to heading towards a debut hundred, but he was bowled by Stuart Thompson for an impressive 72 off 78 balls.

England’s batting frailties then showed again as Roy’s dismissal started a collapse of seven wickets for 78 runs.

Leach had played a superb innings and found himself in the nineties on the bring of becoming just the fourth nightwatchman to score a hundred in test cricket.

However, this wasn’t to be as Leach edged a Tim Murtagh delivery to Mark Adair at slip who clung on and the Somerset spinner had to walk for a brilliant innings of 92.

Joe Denly was then involved in a horrible mixup with Joe Root in the middle which saw the former run out for 10 by Kevin O’Brien.

Jonny Bairstow was then out lbw off Adair for a six-ball duck to give him a pair for the match.

Root looked good at the other end, but he was unable to find a partner, Moeen Ali the latest to fall as he looked all at sea against the short ball before a full one from Rankin got him caught by Wilson behind the stumps for six.

This pressure eventually got to Root when he edged through to Wilson off Adair for 31 before Woakes followed him shortly after flashing a shot to Andy Balbirnie at slip for 13.

England only led by 126 runs and needed something from the tail in order to setup a decent total for Ireland to chase.

They got his through a 45-run partnership between Sam Curran and Stuart Broad.

Curran looked good during his innings, but he was eventually dismissed by Stuart Thompson when the Surrey left-armer pulled him to James McCollum in the deep for 37.

Broad (21no) and Olly Stone (0no) saw England through to stumps as England finished with a lead of 181.

England Hammer Ireland: England v Ireland Day Three at Lords’

England: 85 (Denly 23, Stone 19, Murtagh 5-13, Adair 3-32) & 303 (Leach 92, Roy 72, Thompson 3-44, Adair 3-66)

Ireland: 207 (Balbirnie 55, Stirling 36, Curran 3-28, Stone 3-29) & 38 (McCollum 11, Adair 8, Woakes 6-17, Broad 4-19)

England won by 143 runs

Full scorecard:

England bowled out Ireland for the seventh-lowest Test total of all time as they hammered the Men in Green at the Home of Cricket.

Under overcast conditions, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes tore through the Irish batting order to embarrass the Irish after what had been a superb performance in their third ever test match.

England resumed on 303 for nine with a lead of 181 with Broad (21no) and Olly Stone (0no) at the crease.

Stone was bowled off the first ball of the day from Stuart Thompson to give Ireland a target of 182 to pull off the most famous win in Irish cricket history.

They started positively as William Porterfield and James McCollum reached 11 without loss before rain halted proceedings.

As Lord’s became clouded England took advantage as Porterfield was the first to fall as Jonny Bairstow took an excellent one-handed catch behind the stumps off Woakes to see the back of the Irish captain for two.

Andy Balbirnie fell three overs later for five when an edge was pouched by Joe Root at slip off Broad.

Paul Stirling departed for a duck when Woakes castled him before the Warwickshire bowler had another when he had McCollum caught at first slip by Root for 11.

Wilson (0) was out two balls later trapped lbw by Woakes after umpire Ruchira Palliyaguruge’s decision was overturned on review.

Broad had Kevin O’Brien trapped in front for four as he went off in his customary “appeal-celebration” to have Ireland staring down the barrel of an unsavoury test match record.

Mark Adair and Stuart Thompson took the Irish past the lowest ever Test score, but they wouldn’t last long when Broad bowled the former for eight.

Thompson wildly slashed a ball from Woakes to Root at slip for four before Andy McBrine gave the Yorkshireman his fourth catch when Broad removed him for a duck.

Woakes ended proceedings when he sent Tim Murtagh’s (2) leg stump cartwheeling to end a ridiculous Test match.

It didn’t look like England’s first-innings effort was going to be outdone but Ireland’s shockingly poor effort in the second innings topped it.

Bar that the Irish fared quite well with the bowlers especially showing some superb skill by bowling out England for just 85.

However, their batting certainly needs work but that will come with experience in Tests but there is certainly a bright future for Irish cricket.

In regards to England they bowled superbly, Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad looked on their best in the second innings as well as Sam Curran showing his form from last summer in the first innings.

Olly Stone looks a bright talent and is certainly one for the future to replace Anderson or Broad. Furthermore, he has shown his ability to play white-ball cricket previously in Sri Lanka so he could play all three formats and is certainly the option for the 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia.

They will have the return of James Anderson to the side as he goes in search of overtaking Anil Kumble’s wicket tally of 619 and of course he is always a force to be reckoned with especially if the conditions are similar.

Another big question will be if Jofra Archer will be included in the squad as he makes his way back from an injury picked up in the World Cup final.

Their only bowling concern will be in the spin department with Moeen looking out of form despite his wicket and Leach’s three overs going for 32.

England’s biggest issues are their batting.

They looked woefully poor against Ireland’s swing bowling which is not good considering the attack they are going to face in the Ashes.

Their openers are a problem as ever with Rory Burns having a lacklustre County Championship it may be a time to give a debutant a go someone like Dominic Sibley or Zak Crawley. It might be a baptism of fire but its worth a go.

Jason Roy had a mixed debut but looked a real force in his knock of 72 and could be good against an attack he knows plenty about.

England will obviously boast the return of Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler to bat in the middle order but the question will be if Bairstow will play, as he is woefully out of form in Test cricket.

Moeen Ali should be dropped and not near the Test side as it is clear he needs to get back into form with the bat as well which was his main concern when he was dropped from the one-day side.

The big question is the form of the captain, Root has not had a big series with the bat in Test cricket since touring Sri Lanka and so he needs to stand up and perform in order to take back the Ashes.

For more cricket content click here:

For our summary of the World Cup Final click here:

Stay tuned for more Cricket Weekly next week!

Featured image credit:

Sub-edited by Tony Robertson

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July 2024