Were England really playing that badly to be considered underdogs?
Australian newspaper, The Age, has decided to call England’s comprehensive victory over Scotland in the Cricket World Cup, a shock, reports The Telegraph.
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Eoin Morgan’s side went into their third match in the tournament sitting bottom of Pool A, knowing that defeat in Christchurch would leave them on the verge of elimination from the competition.
Despite Scotland also being winless, the Australian paper decided to label England the underdogs of the contest, following poor performances and heavy defeats against both host nations, Australia and New Zealand.
The match itself saw England respond to their critics in emphatic manner, thanks partly to a century from opening batsman, Moeen Ali. Morgan, himself, spent some much needed time at the crease, with a 42-ball 46, to help England past 300 for the first time in the tournament.
In reply, former Durham batsman Kyle Coetzer offered some resistance for the Scots, with 71. But, three wickets from Steven Finn, as well as two each for Ali, James Anderson and Chris Woakes, saw England claim a 119 run victory, and get their World Cup campaign officially off the ground at last.
It is a victory, however, that is unlikely to stop the criticism heading England’s way. Any potential optimism is being held back until after their next game against the much tougher opposition, Sri Lanka.