England duly completed their first win of the summer against Pakistan. It was not unexpected and the margin of victory was a massive 111 runs, but what will England have learnt from the game? The answer truthfully is not very much.
England elected to bat and tried the new opening batting combination of Edwards and Brindle. Some will say it worked as they put on 112 for the first wicket, but they took 31 overs to get there at a run rate of 3.61 runs per over. There has been much discussion about setting the base to allow the later batsmen to score freely in the last 10/20 overs, but I am not convinced that the women's game have the players capable of hitting 100 runs off the last 10 overs, as the men seem content to try and do. I have to say that I am not even convinced it is a sensible policy in men's cricket.
England in fact scored 103 in the last 20 overs at a run rate of 5.15 with 36 of those coming in the last five overs. There were only three overs in the entire innings in which England managed to score more than 10 runs in an over. In this game it did not really matter. Against Australia later this summer it might be a different matter. I would have liked to have seen Amy Jones or Lauren Winfield given a chance at the top of the order and given licence to hit through the ball from an early stage.
England did give debuts to Natalie Sciver and to Lauren Winfield, but neither got much chance to show what they can do with the bat, coming in late and perishing for the good of the team. They will have learnt from the experience though, which is a positive.
With the ball it was Jenny Gunn that picked up the wickets, taking 5/22, to take her to more than 100 ODI wickets for England in her career. Worryingly Anya Shrubsole only managed six overs. Whether this was precautionary or not who knows? England are in some strife with bowlers at the moment - Katherine Brunt and Laura Marsh are attempting to recover from longterm injury/surgery; Holly Colvin broke her thumb, but is now out of plaster. Now Georgia Elwiss has a back injury and has been replaced in this squad by Beth Langstone. Elwiss is now in a rehab programme.The England bowling attack is looking a bit thin. Pakistan were not too badly placed at 101/2, but then lost their last eight wickets for just 15 runs. They had no answer to Gunn's medium pace.
England play again on Wednesday and you would hope that some other members of the squad might get an outing. England will not want to lose, but they may be relying on some of these young players come Ashes time.