After the Ashes Test-Series, which Australia lost 2-3, the two nations played the only T20 game at Cardiff on August 31 and England held their nerves to eke out a 5-run victory. The 5-match ODI series began soon afterwards. In the first ODI on September 3, Australia scored an emphatic 59-run win over England at Rose Bowl, Southampton and followed that up with a similar 64-run victory at Lords in the second ODI. England took their revenge with a 93-run victory at Old Trafford Manchester on September 8th and squared the ODI series on September 11 with a 3-wicket victory at Headingley Leeds. England will try to do their best to win the ODI series as well, from a 0-3 deficit in the last fixture of the Australian tour at Old Trafford on September 11. 2015. As for Australia, they will also like to leave the English soil with something to cheer about. In the fourth ODI that concluded today, England captain Eoin Morgan led from front and demonstrated how to chase with a perfect 92 off 92 balls.
The man castigated by Shane Warne and Ricky Ponting for throwing his wicket in the fourth Investec Test at Trent Bridge, proved that the label against his name was uncalled for. The captain-incarnate Steven Smith, who scored 6 & 5 in the two innings of the fourth test, top-scored with 143 invaluable runs in the final test the Oval as Australia posted 481 all out. Smith was the eight Australian wicket to fall and his contribution ensured that Australia won the test by an innings and 46 runs. Smith was rightfully bestowed the player-of-the-match-award. In the only T20 fixture that Australia lost by a narrow 5-run margin at Sophia Gardens Cardiff, Smith top scored again. Though his blistering knock of 90 off 53 balls with 7 fours and 4 sixes went in vain, he kept Australia in contention until the end. Smith made 44 in the first ODI; and 70 in the second. He was also Australia’s captain and his efforts ensured easy wins for his team in both these matches. Australia lost the third ODI at old Trafford but Smith still produced 25 runs. In the fourth ODI that ended at Headingly today, Australia looked in good position for most part. Smith failed with his bat for the first time after he won the toss and elected to bat. But knocks from Glen Maxwell and George Bailey ensured that Australia reach a challenging 299/7 after 50 overs. Despite an early slide, in which Australia tottered at 30/3, Maxwell and Bailey propped up the innings. Later Mathew Wade and John Hastings provided a late fillip to take Australia to a score that was quite challenging.
When England came on to chase 300, they lost opener Alex Hales in the second over. But 72-run second wicket partnership between Jason Roy and James Taylor brought England back into the match. But Roy and Taylor departed in quick succession to leave England at 89/3. At this point, Eoin Morgan took charge. With Morgan anchoring one end, every batsman made a useful contribution. Ben Stokes made 41, Jonny Bairstow scored 31 and though Morgan fell as the 5th wicket in the 40th over, he had put England on a winning pedestal. His run-a-ball 92 was the cornerstone of England’s chase with his colleagues picking up the gauntlet in closing stages. England got there with ten balls remaining but not before a high drama, in which Maxwell brought off two spectacular catches to lead Australia back into the contest. However, England players held their nerves. David Willey clubbed the winning six in the 49th over and England emerged victorious by 5 runs. With series leveled 2-2, the last ODI at Old Trafford on Sunday will be the decider.
Latest posts by R K Gupta (see all)
- Roger Federer and Caroline Wozniacki Are Australian Open Singles Champions - January 29, 2018
- Prithvi Shaw is About to Emerge as a Star on India’s Cricket Horizon - January 21, 2018
- Major Athletics Highlights of Year 2017 - January 14, 2018