England finally notched up a win at the 2015 #Cricket World Cup, with a 119 run win against Scotland. A fine 128 by opener Moeen Ali, was supported in the field by Steven Finn's 3-26 of his 9 overs. Whilst it may provide some much needed comfort to a struggling England, it was nonetheless another one-sided affair in a World Cup which has yet to provide any real thrills.
The opening ten days of the ICC's premier 50-over trophy have produced a series of mismatches which surely question the format of the competition. The disparity between the test playing nations and emerging wannabes has yet to provide any real competition for the teams, let alone spectacle for the paying public.
More worryingly, perhaps, are the emerging disparities between the test playing nations themselves.
50-over cricket is rapidly becoming the very poor relation to the razzmatazz of the crash-bang-wallop of Twenty-20 and the traditional pull of the test match. Only co-hosts, Australia and New Zealand, together with South Africa and India appear to have invested in any real development of their 50-over games. Though, even yesterday's India v South Africa pool match resulted in a 130 run drubbing for the South Africans.
So far, the two closet matches have been New Zealand's 3 wicket defeat of Scotland, and South Africa's 62 run win against Zimbabwe. Neither match could be considered close thrillers by any stretch. At the other end of the scale have been matches which barely belie the fact that they took part between teams supposedly among the world's best.
Crushing wins so far at Cricket World Cup 2015:
- New Zealand v England: NZ won by 8 wickets (Eng all out for 123)
- Pakistan v West Indies: WI won by 150 runs (PKN all out for 160)
- South Africa v India: India won by 130 runs
- England v Scotland: ENG won by 119 runs
- Australia v England: AUS won by 111 runs
- Bangladesh v Afghanistan: BNG won by 105 runs
2011 did produce a thrilling tie between India and England in Bangalore, as well as England's surprise loss to Ireland by 3 wickets. However, the general trend is now a 50-over world cup which rarely offers competition or tension. Without a radical reworking of the format, to place sport above commercial interests and reduce the number of meaningless games, it is difficult to see how the competition can continue as the ICC's flagship competition.