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50th over: England 164-3 (Root 30, Buttler 11) Joseph replaces the quietly heroic Gabriel, whose labours deserve better than figures of 15-0-73-1. Root steers him, deliberately I think, between the slips and gully for four. On reflection, that was more edge than steer but he got away with it.
“If that Buttler stat isn’t an indictment of the problem the team has faced I’m not sure what would be (no disrespect to Messrs Foakes and Woakes),” says Andrew Benzeval. “No team ever amounted to much without a top order.”
49th over: England 160-3 (Root 26, Buttler 11) Chase stops in his delivery stride, I think to warn Buttler that he could Mankad him if he wanted. I’d like to see that again. Buttler was Mankadded in an ODI against Sri Lanka in 2014, although I don’t think it has happened in Test cricket since the 1970s. He almost falls in more orthodox fashion later in the over, edging Chase wide of slip for four.
“There is only one thing worse than making an innocent statistic when a player is chugging along nicely,” says Tom. “And that is not making an innocent statistic when a player is chugging along nicely.”