What happened? What happened was this.
England were playing Pakistan in Bristol. Moeen Ali was facing Shaheen Afridi and Ben Stokes was at the non-striker’s end.
What a way to go! 😵
Even Stokes affords himself a chuckle after he is run via Shaheen's ankle after a straight drive from Ali! 😆
— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) May 14, 2019
Shaheen bowled a full straight one and Moeen drilled it back at him. Shaheen – clearly inspired by Jimmy Anderson’s ill-advised “my kneecap felt like it was on the other side of my leg” accidental fielding effort from earlier in the week – deftly left a stationary ankle in the ball’s path and deflected it onto the stumps.
Stokes – a man in innocuous-to-poor batting form ahead of the World Cup and not normally known for being possessed of a snakingly long fuse – reacted to this unfortunate run out not precisely how you’d imagine he would.
His first reaction was, perfectly understandably, to roll his eyes so hard as to actually knock his head backwards. He then broke into the sulky bat-dragging walk that is routinely deployed by a just-dismissed Joe Root.
After that he… smiled.
Yes, it turns out Ben Stokes has got a rueful smile in his locker these days. Who knew? Previously the only thing in there was his fist.
It was a subdued response and some will worry about that. Stokes is an aggressive cricketer, they say. He needs that edge, they add.
Maybe they’re right. Maybe the aggression that sustains a fiery temper is directly linked to a player’s ability to bat aggressively. Maybe that’s a true and incontrovertible fact.
Quite what a furious Jos Buttler would be capable of is anybody’s guess.
England face Australia in the sole Test of the 2019 women’s Ashes.
The Cricket Badger is on the loose and this week he’s ensnared Charlotte Edwards. Twenty Questions await.
This *could* be the greatest Summer in English cricketing history… no pressure lads.
Bayliss will replace fellow Australian Tom Moody with the Sunrisers.
The old ‘it’s too easy for the batsmen’ notion rears its ugly head again.
“There was disbelief at how a game of cricket after seven hours, eight hours can be a tie and still another tie,”
Roy versus Starc in the Ashes, yes please.
Mark Wood has been ruled out for 4-6 weeks with a side strain.
The temperature for the Ashes just got a little hotter…