Sunday, 16 January 2011

Watson century beats England at the MCG‏

Sports - Cricket - 1st ODI - Australia v England - Melbourne

Shane Watson's record score of 161 not out from 150 balls lead Australia to a memorable win completing the highest successful run chase at the MCG and beating England's record total against the hosts Down Under.

England won the toss and chose to bat, skipper Andrew Strauss (63) not making a bad start with a 90 partnership from 12 overs together with Steven Davies (42).

David Hussey then got the breakthrough bowling Davies and seeing Jonathan Trott (6) caught behind by Brad Haddin soon after.

Kevin Pietersen then came to the crease seemingly back to his best scoring 78 from 75 deliveries whilst seeing Strauss, Ian Bell (23), Eoin Morgan (8) and Michael Yardy (9) all falling relatively cheeply, before he himself was run out by Mitchell Johnson, unlucky.

The collapse was completed with the last three wickets falling for only 23 runs with two deliveries remaining of the 50 overs.

Australia responded strong but patient. It was not a bang-boom-bang display, well under England's run rate at times, but disciplined and perfectly timed.

England meanwhile, looked more clumsy and chaotic in the field than usual, missing catches, stumpings, catches and fielding in general.

But no discredit to Watson's display and his superb partnerships of 110 with Brad Haddin (39) and 103 Michael Clarke (36).

Their contributions were just as crucial to Australia's win but Watson was the star of the day, finally getting a century after all his half-century-bit-starts.

England got three wickets during the batting powerplay and their hopes up late on in the match, Clarke and Steven Smith (5) caught on the off-side off Tim Bresnan and Ajmal Shahzad respectively before Mike Hussey was caught for 21 by Chris Tremlett off Bresnan.

But the man of the match Watson saw his side through with five balls and six wickets to spare, setting up the series with a win and on a good, competitive, juicy note for the ICC ODI world number one Australia against main rivals (number five) England.

For full summary of the day's action, check out the BBC website.

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