Sunday, 13 September 2009

England slump to series defeat against Australia

Sports - Cricket - NatWest Series - 4th ODI

Australia outbowled and -played England at Lord's, reaching the below-par target of 221 runs with seven wickets and over six overs to spare, to win the fourth consecutive one-day match and take the series 4-0.

Andrew Strauss won the toss for the fourth time in a row and put his side out to bat first for the third time. They made a confident start, the skipper once again impressing with a solid half century, the only one in the England batting lineup of the day.

The home side could not recover after losing their talisman captain and lost their last five wickets for only 20 runs in 21 balls, Brett Lee achieving a world-class five-wicket haul. Australia replied confidently and comfortably with half centuries by Tim Paine, his maiden, and Michael Clarke, unbeaten on 62, leading the Aussies to a series win and England into disarray.

Run of Play: Advantage to...

England:59 for 1 after 10 overs: England - Joe Denley opened with Andrew Strauss, replacing a rested Paul Collingwood. They looked in good touch together before the debutant was comfortably caught at first slip for 11, neatly taken by Shane Watson in the fifth over.

100 for 2 after 20 overs: England - After another shaky start, Ravi Bopara showed much less tentativeness with some lovely boundary shots. But he disappointed again in the end, sweeping to an off spinner, ending up out lbw. Strauss led by example as always with another half century.

138 for 3 after 30 overs: Australia - With Strauss out on 63, after his top edge was caught by Nathan Bracken in the 25th over, England's batsmen Matt Prior and Owais Shah were kept clamped down by Australia's bowlers, going 11 overs without any boundaries.

176 for 5 after 40 overs: Australia - Quality shots had become a rarity, England had nothing to get excited about but two beauty wickets: Prior was bowled by a perfect swinging yorker first ball back for Brett Lee and Eoin Morgan was stumped, a breathtaking move by wicketkeeper Tim Paine.

220 all out after 46.3 overs: Australia - Lee blew away the middle order after some promising whacks, pounces and shots of Shah and Luke Wright. Wright and Stuart Broad fell victim to Lee's missile-yorkers, Shah was caught mid-wicket off a Watson full toss. Adil Rashid was Lee's fifth and final victim and Mitchell Johnson finished the home side off bowling Ryan Sidebottom. To quote and agree with Pranav Soneji: England were "folded like an amateur poker player".


51 for 1 after 10 overs: Australia - It all looked too easy for the Aussies openers, hitting, smashing, wallopping and bashing one boundary after another. Watson eventually got trapped in front lbw by Tim Bresnan, but the threat did not last long.

110 for 2 after 20 overs: Australia - Paine and Ricky Ponting continued the knock-about, England unable to capitalise off the first wicket. Paine eventually fell, a needless sweep caught behind after his least convincing shot brought up his half century three balls earlier.

159 for 2 after 30 overs: Australia - More comfortable runs, no threat whatsoever for Australia.

198 for 3 after 40 overs: Australia - Out of nowhere, Ponting went for a big shot but drilled the drive straight to Bopara at short cover, causing great cheers around the ground. At least some joy for the crowd.

221 for 3 after 43.4 overs: Australia - The cheers did not last long for the English crowd, the Aussies winning with comfortable and solid runs. Michael Clarke's nice fluent innings was rewarded, an intelligent half century of him and obvious win for Australia, worries for England.

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