After two comprehensive and humiliating defeats at the hands of both of the co-hosts for the ODI World Cup, Eoin Morgan's men finally had something to be cheerful about in Christchurch today, with a resounding success of their own against Scotland. After setting their old sporting rivals a challenging 304 for victory, they were able to keep a tight hold over the Scots' batsmen when they replied, ultimately bowling them out for just 184. It keeps England's hopes of qualification to the quarter-finals from Pool A still very much in their own hands after three matches played, with a minimum of two more wins from the remaining three fixtures likely to be what is required of them.

For once England's innings got off to the best of starts, as they piled on an opening partnership between Moeen Ali and Ian Bell of 172 for the first wicket. Ali in particular was in imperious form as he crashed the ball around the park on his way to a score of 128, ably supported by Bell's 54 at the other end. Their batting is prone to the odd wobble though in ODIs, even when in such a commanding position, so the alarm bells would have started to tinkle as they slipped to 203-4.

Captain Morgan for once solidified the innings though with his timely knock of 46 and with assistance from a delightful cameo of 24 by Jos Buttler, boosted the final score to 303 for 8. Josh Davey leaked a few too many runs for his team's liking at the death, but still returned a handy 4-68, as Morgan's XI were probably twenty or thirty runs shy of their expected total midway through their innings.

Scotland knew that a total over 300 would be tricky for them to chase batting second, so a score of 54-3 early on did not bode well for their chances. Aided by a gutsy innings from opener Kyle Coetzer, they did at least give their fans something to cheer about, without ever seriously threatening to upset the form book. Steven Finn returned to his more economical self after his travails in earlier matches, especially the first game against the destructive Aussies, to achieve 3-26.

James Anderson, Chris Woakes and Ali all chipped in with two wickets apiece.

While this was not exactly a watershed moment in English Cricket, as they would have expected to overcome the Scots, given their fragile state of mind in the tournament so far, it was a welcome relief for the Red Rose nation. They will need to build on the success though in forthcoming matches against Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan to have any chance of reaching the last-eight. They were indebted to some slightly wayward bowling from the Scots, but even then, the middle order struggles against a lukewarm attack will be a slight concern. The Yorkshire pair of Gary Ballance and Joe Root managed only eleven runs between them, with some (Geoffrey Boycott among them) calling for specialist ODI player Alex Hales to be introduced into the line-up, perhaps in preference to the out of form Ballance.