Saturday, 5 September 2009

Cricket : England fall short against Aussies

It has only been two weeks since Australia lost the Ashes, but the Aussies made sure they made up for any lost ground by beating England by four runs in the first of their seven one-day internationals at the Oval in London.
England's spinners did well to restrict Australia to 260-5 but the tourists got an even firmer grip on the English run rate until a late flourish dragged the home side to 256-8.
England was jeered by the crowd for their slow scoring before a seventh-wicket blitz of 46 from 33 balls from Luke Wright and Adil Rashid made the score competitive.
Mitchell Johnson took three wickets in a 13-ball spell that cost just five runs to finish with 3-24.
Slow pitch
The target had looked attainable on a slow pitch but England quickly fell behind Australia's scoring rate as none of the top-order batsmen could build a game-changing score.
Only Wright, with 38 from 27 balls, Rashid and No 10 batsman Ryan Sidebottom seemed to fully get to grips with the conditions and situation.
In a sign of the difficulty facing batsmen on both sides, the only six of the match came from Wright in the 41st over of England's innings.
Ravi Bopara was the home team's leading scorer with a sluggardly 49 off 88 balls but his miserable summer, which included just 105 runs in seven Ashes innings and omission from England's series-deciding victory, continued with a stumping off the bowling of Nathan Hauritz.
England had lost captain Andrew Strauss (12), only playing because of the injury sustained in training by Joe Denly, and dawdled to 83-1 when Johnson at point plucked a reverse sweep by Matthew Prior out of the air to get rid of the No 3 for 28.
ODI scorecard
Australia inningsS Watson c & b Collingwood 46T Paine run out 0C White run out 53M Clarke c Shah b Collingwood 45C Ferguson not out 71M Hussey b Sidebottom 20J Hopes not out 18Extras 7Total (five wickets; 50 overs) 260Fall of wickets: 1-11 2-93 3-111 4-190 5-237England inningsA Strauss c White b Lee 12R Bopara st Paine b Hauritz 49M Prior c Johnson b Hauritz 28O Shah hit wicket b Johnson 40P Collingwood c Watson b Johnson 23L Wright run out 38S Broad c Clarke b Johnson 2A Rashid not out 31G Swann c Paine b Watson 4R Sidebottom not out 13Extras: 16Total: (eight wickets; 50 overs) 256Fall of wickets: 1-22 2-83 3-124 4-161 5-168 6-178 7-224 8-229Paul Collingwood survived a run out chance off the first ball he faced in a mix up with Owais Shah, who scored 40 off 48 deliveries before the need to hurry meant he trod on his wicket trying to work a delivery by Johnson down the leg side.
With Bopara already out, Collingwood, seemingly reacting to jeers at the turgid scoring from the crowd, lashed out at Johnson to be dismissed for 23 from 39 balls thanks to Shane Watson's two-handed catch above his head.
Stuart Broad managed two from five balls before becoming Johnson's third victim, but with Rashid alongside him, Wright started hitting out to finally give an agitated crowd a few cheers.
Wright was run out off a no ball and Sidebottom's subsequent seven-ball 13 was in vain.
Rashid ended with 31 from 23 deliveries and also showed promise with the ball in his first ODI against a Test nation.
His figures of 10-0-37-0 helped limit the Australians, alongside Graeme Swann and Collingwood - who took two wickets.
Lucrative partnership
Cameron White and Watson shared an 82-run second-wicket partnership to lay the foundations for a total that hinged on Callum Ferguson's highest ODI score of 71.
Collingwood got rid of Watson for 46 and the second of two run outs accounted for White on 53 to leave Australia at 111-3, with Michael Clarke and Ferguson going on to build sizable totals - but not at speed.
Australia scored more than six runs per over from the eighth to the 18th overs, but then stayed at about half that rate until Rashid completed his overs in the 34th. The wrist-spinner was unlucky to have a leg-before-wicket shout against Clarke turned down.
Australia took the final powerplay in the 43rd over and Collingwood immediately removed Clarke for 45 to a catch by Shah before Michael Hussey was clean bowled for 20 in the 48th after charging down the wicket at Sidebottom.
James Hopes was the unbeaten batsman alongside Ferguson, chipping in with a useful late cameo of 18 from 11 balls.
The teams next head from south to north London for Sunday's second match at Lord's.

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