|Scorecard:||England v Australia|
|Event:||Australia in England and Ireland 2012|
DateLine: 1st July 2012
England v Australia, second ODI, 01/07/12
England have put themselves well on the way to winning the series with a convincing six wicket victory against an outplayed Australia and going two nil up in this five-match NatWest one-day international (ODI) series. Ravi Bopara, run out for a brilliant 82 from 85 balls with the total on 250 and Ian Bell with a superb 75 dominated the play in their 90-run third wicket stand which built the platform for a comfortable victory with 4.2 overs remaining.
England openers, following their 74-run stand in the first ODI, again gave their side a flying start with 40 at just about a run-a-ball. Alastair Cook hit 18 from as many balls before falling lbw to Clint Mckay in his second over. Bell went on picking up runs from all six bowlers that Australia used by that stage. His perfectly hit straight six off Shane Watson took him to 32 and then he powerfully cut him later to take his score to 44. His 21st ODI half century came from 71 balls when he swept his fourth boundary.
The third wicket stand between Bell and man of the match Bopara had put England far ahead of Australia in the run rate. After 30 overs they were 154 for two with Bell on 70 while the tourists at that point were 124 for three. England nearly lost the third wicket when Bell, on 70, pushed Brett Lee to point and the ball slipped through David Warner’s hands. He didn’t last for long after that, occasional bowler Michael Clarke put himself on and with his first ball he bowled Bell as the batsman tried to cut a ball that was too full for the shot. His 75 had come from 113 balls and England were well placed.
Bopara too reached 50, his ninth in ODI's from just 54 balls and scored more rapidly as his innings progressed. A lovely off drive for four off Lee took him to 65 and was well supported by Eoin Morgan (43 not out) in another fine partnership of 79 from only 73 balls as they took the game away from Australia.
Earlier, having decided to make first use of a slow and slightly greenish pitch, Australia lost the first wicket after only four overs with David Warner mistiming his pull off Steve Finn to be taken high at square leg. But with a stand of 50 of which Shane Watson had 34, the tourists seemed to be progressing well when a double bowling change brought another wicket. Stuart Broad, in his third over, removed Peter Forrest with the help of a spectacular one-handed, diving catch by Craig Kieswetter behind the stumps.
Forrest, in his twelfth ODI and averaging 32.03 with a century and three fifties, was one of Australia's two changes from the first match replacing Steve Smith, the other being Mitchell Johnson in place of Pat Cummins who is returning home having sustained a side strain in the previous match. The only change in the England side is the inclusion of the Surrey pace bowler Jade Dernbach, on his home ground, for James Anderson suffering a slight groin injury.
Shane Watson, dropped in the gully off Finn on 8, picked up runs quickly taking three fours in an over from Dernbach and then had two boundaries in Tim Bresnan's first over. He took his score to 36 with a lovely cover drive off Stuart Broad. On 40, umpire Illingworth gave him out lbw to Broad but the batsman’s request for a review was successful. His 28th ODI half century came rapidly from as many balls with a drive to long-on for his eighth boundary.
On 101, England claimed an important wicket with Bopara coming on and finding the inside edge of Clarke's bat for a catch behind. The ball had moved in more than Clarke had expected and Kieswetter had taken another nice low catch. Australia's run rate dropped considerably during the fifth wicket stand with England bowlers maintaining good line and length. At the halfway mark of 25 overs they were 112 for three. George Bailey was particularly slow and when he hit Graene Swann for four to reach 17, it was the first boundary struck in eleven overs.
The fourth wicket stand produced just 27 runs from eleven overs when Watson on 66 from 80 balls was finally out caught at wide mid-wicket. It was a poor shot and it was probably a result of trying to increase the run rate as his last sixteen runs had taken 30 balls after the first 50 from 50. Australia's 200 came from 269 balls and six runs later, a fine piece of fielding by Finn, off his bowling ran out David Hussey for 29. Bailey meanwhile had reached fifty from 72 balls as he raised his scoring rate.
The 47th over did further damage to the Australia innings with Bresnan claiming two wickets. He bowled Bailey for 65 from 86 balls – his highest ODI score – as the batsman attempted a big straight drive and a run later he had Matt Wade caught at short leg attempting a flick. Thereafter, Lee, unbeaten with 20 from 11 balls and having hit the only six of the innings and Johnson saw the side to 251 for seven.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2012 Andy Jalil)