All good things come to an end.
That is to paraphrase Warwickshire CCC cricketer Moeen Ali, who gave a rather large hint that his international career may be over following England’s early exit from the World Cup. And he may be joined in that by Warwickshire clubmate Chris Woakes, who may well have played his final limited overs game for England at just 34.
In theory, England headed to the World Cup in India in great shape.
They boast a supremely-talented ODI squad of players, bolstered by those – like Woakes – who took part in the second half of the Ashes series during the summer and shone. But England are now noticeably absent from the World Cup cricket odds, with only India (1.99), Australia (4.8), South Africa (5.7) and New Zealand (8.4) left standing in the tournament.
It’s been incredibly disappointing from Jos Buttler’s side, for whom the die was cast from the moment they lost the tournament opener to New Zealand.
Chris Woakes’ fourth wicket ends the innings!
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) November 4, 2023
Woakes came to the party with four wickets against Australia, but England’s batsmen once again misfired – despite 42 from Ali – to lose a game they were in such a strong position to win from.
A half-century from Woakes and three wickets from Ali saw England to a crushing victory over the Netherlands, but by then it was too little, too late. Instead of preparing for the business end of the competition, the Warwickshire colleagues and Birmingham Phoenix’s Liam Livingstone will instead be getting an early flight home.
There was little in the way of better news for Hasan Ali, who has delighted the Edgbaston faithful by signing a deal to return for another season. The Pakistan seamer has been a regular feature in the Green Caps’ World Cup campaign, but they have surprisingly struggled to get to grips with the conditions and, barring a miraculously dominant victory over England in their last game, will also exit the competition.
Maxwell Makes Hay
After being dumped out of the summer’s T20 Blast in the quarter-finals, the Birmingham Bears will have been disappointed how their competition panned out after topping the North Group.
They certainly could have done with the kind of fire and brimstone that Glenn Maxwell so often produces, even if his performances for the Bears were rather low-key in the summer just gone. However, there was nothing low-key about his extraordinary innings for Australia against Afghanistan, which truly had to be seen to be believed.
Australia were reduced to 91-7 chasing Afghanistan’s target of 292, so the game appeared to be all but over. Yet Maxwell had other ideas…
— Glenn Maxwell (@iGlennMaxwell32) November 7, 2023
Restored to the Aussie starting eleven after missing the previous game through injury, Maxwell set about giving the Afghanistan bowlers an almighty headache of their own. He blasted 21 fours and ten sixes in a not out score of 201 that took just 128 balls and little more than three hours at the crease. It truly was one of the most remarkable World Cup innings ever played.
It means that Australia are through to the semi-finals… hopefully that means there will be at least one player with Warwickshire ties vying for the trophy later in November.