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Sorry England trounced again as Australia march on

Posted by on Sep 18th, 2009 and filed under Cricket, Latest News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Australia 296-8; England 185
A calamitous series for England continued in no less calamitous fashion under lights last night when Australia won their sixth successive match with such embarrassing ease they might have been strolling through a benefit match.
Set 297 to win, England lost Andrew Strauss in the opening over of their innings to a rough decision by Asad Rauf and never got over the shock. A brace of run outs facilitated by Ricky Ponting in the space of six deliveries saw them reduced to 60 for four. All out for 185, they lost by 111 runs. Earlier, Australia, winning the toss for once, had reached 296 for eight, thanks largely to a maiden one-day century from the wicketkeeper-cum-opener Tim Paine, and a record third wicket stand of 163 between he and Mike Hussey (65) that eclipsed an Australian record against England set by Allan Border and David Boon 22 years ago.
The loss of Strauss, the one consistent factor in England’s cricket this series, was a howler on the part of Rauf, given that the batsman had played Brett Lee’s bouncer magnificently by correctly dropping his hands out of harm’s way and swaying back. The ball clipped his left shoulder but the Australian appeal was vehement and sufficient to convince the umpire that it was glove that had been flicked.
The run-outs were a different matter, a couple of belters even by the lofty standards set by England. Matt Prior was the first victim, backing up too far as Ravi Bopara played short to extra-cover and set off a couple of paces before calling in the negative. Prior halted but was unable to scramble back as Ponting collected the ball, spun and threw down the stumps.
It is traditional now that Owais Shah should have a part to play in a mix-up. Again Bopara played short, this time to the leg side, and believed he saw a run. Fooled perhaps by a rare show of decisiveness from Shah, who just put his head down and ran like billyo, he hesitated before sprinting down and failing by a distance to beat the throw, from Ponting once more. With Bopara’s departure the innings lacked only a new playing condition in which a white towel can be thrown in rather than endure the remaining overs. The only thing redder than England’s tunics were their faces.
Paine’s 111 was a studious effort. In the squad as a replacement for the injured Brad Haddin and playing only his seventh match he struggled early on as the wickets fell to James Anderson and the new ball, but he was able to get into his stride with some searing offside play as he was offered deliveries both full and wide.
Approaching his half century, a slower ball from Dimitri Mascarenhas was flicked dismissively over long off for six. The real impetus for the innings however came from his the other end during the partnership with Hussey. By his high standards, this has been a worryingly barren year for Mr Cricket. Indeed had he not made a fine last ditch hundred in the final Ashes Test his future may have been in jeopardy. Yesterday though he was brisk and business like from the start, working his runs rather than finding the boundary, with only 3 fours and a six clipped over midwicket in his half century reached from 53 balls.

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