When world champions England face Pakistan in an ODI at Edgbaston next summer, they will seek to extend their brilliant record in Birmingham.
Brian Halford looks back at the last five ODIs, all thumping England wins, at Fortress Edgbaston.
July 11, 2019 – World Cup Semi-Final – England beat Australia by 8 wickets
The old enemy were paired in a World Cup semi-final. For the Aussies, it was ‘same old story’. They took a beating in Birmingham, this time thanks mainly to a chap who was made in Birmingham, Man of the Match Chris Woakes.
After Australia chose to bat, Woakes soon struck a huge blow by dismissing the dangerous David Warner. He then bowled Peter Handscomb to leave the Aussies wobbling at 14 for three.
The Bears ace returned to end Mitchell Starc’s counter attack and Australia were bowled out for 223. Roared on by the Hollies Stand in full cry, the bowlers, brilliantly led by Woakes, had done their job. Then the batsman spectacularly did theirs.
Jason Roy (85, 65 balls) and Jonny Bairstow (34, 43) thrashed 124 in 17 overs before Joe Root (49 not out, 46) and Eoin Morgan (45 not out, 39) continued the cruise to victory with 17.5 overs to spare.
You almost had to feel sorry for the Aussies. If England could pick a ground in the world on which to play a World Cup semi-final, it would be Fortress Edgbaston.
June 30, 2019 – World Cup Group Match – England beat India by 31 runs
India’s players are accustomed to big crowds and big noise, but had never known an atmosphere like this. Edgbaston in full voice is like a 12th man for the national side and it was certainly in full voice as Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy plundered a stunning opening stand of 160 in 22 overs.
After Roy fell for 66 (57 balls), Bairstow advanced to a 90-ball century and finished with 111 with ten fours and six sixes. Ben Stokes then cranked up the sound-levels even further with an explosive 54-ball 79 as England totalled 337.
That’s a hefty total but, India’s batting is full of danger, so there was still plenty of work for England to do. After Chris Woakes dismissed opener Kannur Rahul for a duck, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli laid the platform for a chase with a stand of 138.
Woakes’ dismissal of Sharma, caught behind for 102, proved pivotal as India began to fall behind the clock. Three wickets for Liam Plunkett kept a brake on the run-rate and India finished on 306 for five, 31 short.
Job very solidly done by England.
June 10, 2017 – ICC Champions Trophy – England beat Australia by 40 runs (D/L)
At Edgbaston, an England cause is never lost.
So when, chasing 278, they dipped to six for two, with openers Jason Roy and Alex Hales already gone, nobody panicked. Even when Joe Root fell to make it 35 for three, the Aussies’ celebrations were to prove well-premature.
It’s hard to think of a more dynamic batting combination than Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes and the fourth-wicket pair simply yanked the match away from Australia. They added 159 in 26 overs and, after Morgan was run out for 87 (81 balls, eight fours, five sixes), Jos Buttler arrived to help Stokes see England to their D/L adjusted target.
Fittingly, just before the moment of victory, Stokes reached his ton, ending on 102 not out from 109 balls with 13 fours and two sixes – an innings of supreme skill as well as awesome power. For the Aussies, more Edgbaston misery. For the Edgbaston crowd, another memorable day.
June 24, 2016 – ODI – England beat Sri Lanka by 10 wickets
ODI victories don’t come more emphatic than this. Sri Lanka were a strong side and, three days earlier, had tied with England at Trent Bridge. This was a bit different.
The tourists chose to bat first on a good pitch but were restricted by a disciplined bowling display led by Adil Rashid (10-0-34-2), Moeen Ali (9-0-41-0) and Chris Woakes (8-0-36-0). Sri Lanka totalled 254 – a decent score, but one which looked no more than par in the conditions.
Then, when England replied, Joe Root padded up to go in at number three. He stayed that way as openers Jason Roy and Alex Hales unfurled one of the great ODI opening stands: An unbroken 256 in 34.1 overs.
They had 50 on the board in the ninth over and 100 in the 18th. By the time they passed 200 in the 29th, the Edgbaston party was in full flight. The openers blasted ten sixes and 17 fours as Roy finished on 112 (95 balls) and Hales on 133 (110).
Three days later, in the next ODI at Bristol, Hales copped a first-baller, great leveller this cricket.
June 9, 2015 – ODI – England beat New Zealand by 210 runs
When England batted first and Jason Roy fell to the first ball of the innings, the Black Caps’ plan had begun perfectly. From that moment onward, England were unstoppable.
They totalled an incredible 408: their highest ODI total (including their highest ever tally of sixes, 17) which set up their record ODI winning margin. It was a run-riot under the Edgbaston lights and the big crowd lapped it up.
Punishment hit the Kiwis from all angles. Joe Root hit a classy 104 (78 balls), Jos Buttler thundered his way to 129 (77), Adil Rashid struck 69 (50) and Eoin Morgan 50 (46). When, right at the end, Liam Plunkett faced three balls and hoisted two of them for six, the party hit its peak.
A Black Caps side including three future Bears – Brendon McCullum, Grant Elliot and Luke Ronchi – was then unpicked by Steve Finn (four for 35) and Adil Rashid (four for 55). It was a colossal and historic victory.
New Zealand then won the next two games, at The Oval and the Ageas Bowl! Shame that England can’t take that Edgbaston Effect around the country with them.
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