Sports

England hammer Oman to ignite World Cup defence


England had made a stumbling start to their World Cup defence since arriving in the Caribbean, with a washout against Scotland followed by a heavy defeat by Australia.

They could not have dreamt of a better response than a win in just one hour and 42 minutes.

Buttler’s side went into the final two games needing big victories to first draw level with Scotland and then overhaul their net run-rate.

In the end, they did the latter part of that equation in one emphatic blow.

The opposition were poor – Oman, ranked 19th in the world, blown away by Wood and Archer’s pace and Rashid’s skill – but England were excellent.

Buttler, after two difficult games, captained well by keeping on his strike bowlers to never allow the pressure to be released.

When it came to the chase, they knew wickets were effectively irrelevant and had to chase the score in 32 balls to take their net run-rate above Scotland’s.

Having done so in 19, there remains work to do but England will go into a match against Namibia, who were bowled out for 72 by Australia on Tuesday, as huge favourites.

Win that and all they will need is a helping hand from their Ashes rivals.



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