Swann helps England avoid whitewash
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 20th September 2009
England managed to stave of the ignominy of suffering a 7-0 whitewash from hands off a rejuvenated Australian team as they managed to win the final match by four wickets with ten overs to spare.
The spin off coin once again turned in the favour off Strauss and after repeated failures off trying to defend a total, Strauss decided to field first. James Anderson responded to his captainís call, as he struck in the fifth ball off the Australian innings when he got Watson to give a regulation catch to Swann at first slip. Paine eased one through the covers off debutant Onions but then the bowler had his revenge when he got one to straighten a bit for the wicket-keeper batsman to edge behind. Ponting was joined by his deputy Clarke at the crease and the two went about to repair the innings which looked in trouble at 17 for 2. The way the two batsmen built their innings was a study in contrast. Ponting looked in complete control off while Clarke looked scratchy. The pace duo of Anderson and Onions did not trouble him much and then Bresnan and Collingwood were brushed aside with ridiculous ease. Clarke meanwhile looked completely out off his depth as he literally struggled to get the ball off the square. Ponting found the boundary ropes with alarming regularity while Clarke took 31 deliveries to find the ropes and another 32 to repeat the feat. Once Ponting passed the initial stage off his innings he looked set to score his second century off the series.
Ponting eased to his half-century and looked quite ominous touch. The frowns on Straussís forehead increased very quickly. Strauss introduced his off-spinner Graeme Swann in the 25th over off the innings and the off-spinner began to weave webs of deception and guile around the Australian batsmen. First to go was the Australian skipper who was deceived by the flight and more importantly by the sharp turn to give Collingwood an easy catch at midwicket. Three overs later seemingly frustrated by the tempo off his innings Clarke tried to steal a sharp single off but Morgan with a sharp flat throw at the non-strikerís end managed to find the Australian deputy just inches short. In the very next over Swann cramped White for room who bottom-edged one onto his stumps and the scorecard read 112 for 5 in 28.5 overs.
The situation got worse when Hopes chipped a return catch to Swann who was now evidently buzzing. When Johnson and Lee returned to pavilion in quick succession the Australian team found themselves in deeper mire. Hussey valiantly tried to push the score to a competitive one and finally when he fell the Australian score read a pathetic 176 all out in 45.5 overs. Swann finished with figures 10-1-28-5.
The English team in reply got off to a strong start thanks to an impressive opening stand off 106 between Strauss and Denly in 20.4 overs. Lee immediately hit the right line and length while his new ball partner Hilfenhaus struggled to locate his radar. Four overs from Hilfenhaus cost 32 runs and Ponting was quick to replace him with left-arm slinger Johnson but it did not have any effect on the scoring off the opening duo.
Hauritz finally got the breakthrough for the Australian team when he had Strauss top-edging a sweep. Denly got to his fifty but once again Pontingís accurate arm came into the picture when his accurate throw found the batsman short off his crease. Under-pressure Boparaís misery with the bat continued when he trapped leg before by a straighter one from Watson and the English team began to wobble. Shah gave a catch behind off Hopes as the English team slipped further. The match began to get interesting when Lee removed Morgan, but Prior got two boundaries to calm the English nerves. Collingwood then ensured that the English team did not lose their way.