England v Pakistan: start of second ODI delayed by rain – live!

Chris Eubank pays tribute after the death of his son Sebastian in Dubai

Hello everyone and welcome to the OBO. Today, the World Cup winning England team returns for the first time to the scene of their triumph. It comes, it comes – okay, that’s enough. Since their epic encounter with New Zealand two years ago next week, England cricketers have played three tests at Lord’s, but no white ball match. They would never have guessed that the most famous land in the world would miss an entire summer, abandoned in favor of land with adjoining hotels. They also wouldn’t have suspected that upon their return, a single one of their World Cup winners would be on board.

So it’s a big moment for Ben Stokes, making his 100th ODI appearance and captaining England for the first time at Lord’s, in front of cricket’s first full house since the lockdown. He likes it here, at least when he’s got a bat in his hand: his last five innings for England at Lord’s, all in 2019, were 89, 84 undrawn, 9 undrawn, 13 and 115 undrawn, totaling 310 points. with an average of 155. The 9 was not counted in the official records, which is more than ridiculous because it was scored, on four balls, in the Super Over of the World Cup final – perhaps the largest pressure cooker in locust history.

On Thursday in Cardiff, Stokes’ motley new crew jellied so well that they didn’t have to take a wicket or face a ball. Was it the luck of the beginners, the talented Pakistani team of Babar Azam having a cold? Did that suggest that behind every great team there was another that was denied a decent chance? Or does that just mean that the solution to England’s perennial puzzle is to choose Stokes and ten others?

Game 2 in the series will answer these questions to some extent, as long as the weather doesn’t spoil it for the crowd. The forecast calls for rain for the first half of the day, clearing up to about 3 hours, so we might only have about 60 overs – but that’s all we needed at Cardiff. The game starts, in theory, at 11am UK time. I’ll be back around 10:35 am with an update, and maybe even with the draw and the teams.


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