So after a stormy couple of weeks in England there are mixed thoughts on the England v Pakistan ODI series, which England lead 2-0 after two comprehensive victories - by 7 wickets at Leicester and 212 runs at Worcester.
The first is one of sympathy for Pakistan, who arrived here about 10 days ago and have since been greeted by a typical English June - torrential downpours! It meant that their proposed warm-up games against the England Academy and the England U19s (EWDP) failed to materialise and they had to settle for two 25 over games on the same day against England and a make-shift Loughborough team. It was no way to prepare for a series in the foreign conditions that England offers compared to Pakistan on only their second tour to these shores (they were last here in 2013).
It was then perhaps just as well they lost the toss before Wednesday's game and batted first. It allowed them to at least try and find their feet, and to their credit they scored more runs against an England team than they have ever done before - 165. England knocked them off comfortably with 18 overs in the bag. Had England batted first then a score in excess of 300 would have been on the cards, as it was at the start of the second ODI in Worcester, when Pakistan invited England to bat.
As England amassed 235 for the first wicket, with Tammy Beaumont (104) and Lauren Winfield (123) helping themselves to maiden international hundreds, it became apparent that 300 was easily in reach. And with Nat Sciver's late 33 ball onslaught, which saw her score 80, and England add 132 in the last 10 overs, England went to a record 378/5. Pakistan surpassed their previous day's total by one run, but were never in the game.
For England two victories means four points in the ICC Women's Championship and a move to a more respectable third in the ICCWC table (see here). With seven games left to play England probably need another eight points from their remaining seven games to ensure they qualify for the WWC. They should get two more on Monday, which will mean they need at least three wins from their six remaining games against the West Indies and Sri Lanka. They will be disappointed if they do not take at least eight points from those games.
Victory over Pakistan should never have been in doubt, but with the departures of Charlotte Edwards and Lydia Greenway, and the absence of Sarah Taylor, it made good copy to suggest that England might struggle against the up and coming Pakistanis. In reality their 50 over form never suggested they would get close to England, particularly playing in England. And so it has transpired.
This has been a very gentle introduction for Heather Knight and her team, but it has been a useful one. The batsmen have filled their boots and have thrown a few monkeys off their backs. It makes even more sense of Mark Robinson's decision to jetison players now rather than wait until the end of this series or after the World Cup. This team now has time to build and develop.
Their next test will be in Jamaica in October and I expect them to come back probably with all the ICCWC points. This is an England team which is finally going places after several years in the doldrums.