England, England cricket, England vs Australia, James Anderson, Luke Wright, Sanya Michelangelo
Coming back to the England match, Stuart Broad got us the breakthrough in his first over by removing Watson. A bit later, Broad removed Punter too. He is such a wicket taker in Twenty20 and ODIs. Strauss brought Wright into the attack in the 18th over. I'm not impressed by how he has used Wright's bowling. He was doing well, took 2 wickets at Rose Bowl (Paine and Ponting), Watson's wicket at Cardiff, he was taken off after bowling one over at Old Trafford and conceding 14 runs in it. You have to believe in your players, you can't just take them off after one bad over and he didn't even bowl badly in that over, stats don't tell you everything. Wright is a batsman so if he is not scoring runs, he should be dropped but if he plays then at least he should be used up well. I remember the series against South Africa last year where he didn't do anything except fielding. Wright bowled 5 overs at Lord's and gave 27 runs, was replaced by Swann who took White's wicket on his 2nd ball. White isn't good enough to bat at No.4. Swann bowled Paine for 54 in his 2nd over. This was Paine's highest score in this series. England did pretty well until Hussey and Marsh got going. Australia were 106/4 in the 30th over when Hussey came out to bat. They steadied the innings till 39 overs (147/4) then started smacking around. Every over after that, went for at least 10 runs except the 45th over, bowled by Swann in which Swann took Marsh's wicket. Morgan ran around from long off to take the catch. In the last over of the innings, Smith and Hussey got out in the same fashion, hitting it straight to Anderson at long off, the only difference was that the ball to Smith was a short one. 2 more wickets to Broady, who finished with 4/64 in 10 overs. Australia finished at 277/7 which is much more than what everyone expected.
Tait came firing in as soon as the England innings began, bowling 97 miles per hour. In his very first over, he bowled a delivery to Kieswetter which was 100.1 miles per hour! Fastest I've seen live! Tait bowled Strauss in the 5th over, top of off stump. KP couldn't bat since he was injured, he had left the field so he wasn't allowed to bat till 44 minutes would have passed. Yardy was sent in. But he didn't survive for long, 3 deliveries actually before he left the ball which was full and straight. Collingwood was sent in next, he hit Tait for a four and six! Colly back in form. There is no one better than him when he is on song and hard to find anyone worse when he is not in form. Hussey took a sharp catch for Kieswetter's wicket. Soon Morgan went, didn't quite deserve it, Marsh took a brilliant catch. The shots on which both of them got out were good, Kieswetter hasn't really fired in this series but looked determined this time. Kevin Pietersen came out with Kiesy as his runner but went for a duck and left England in trouble. England were 73/5 when Wright came out to bat. Colly and Wright shared a bit of a partnership before Wright hit a wonderful slog sweep to be caught by Marsh, who took his 2nd superb catch of the innings. Hussey, yes, Mike Hussey was brought on to bowl the 34th over. Ponting was probably thinking it's Hussey's day, after scoring runs, he might pick up a wicket too. Hussey gave England a sniff of victory by giving 22 runs in 2 overs. No wonder, he has only bowled 5 overs since 2007. England were 194/6 when Punter ran Bressie out. Notably, Bressie has batted quite well in this series. There is barely anyone in cricket who is as quick as Ponting for run-outs. This was it, I didn't really hope for winning after this. After 2 deliveries, Colly went too and the entertainer came out to bat. Swann's strike rate in Tests is 87.42 and 76.21 in ODIs but he hasn't really batted much in ODIs so far. Swann hit Smith for 14 runs in the 44th over but the required rate rose to 10.33. The next over too produced 13 runs with Swann hitting 3 boundaries off Harris. Bollinger caught and bowled Broad in the next over. Broad looks awfully uncomfortable while batting these days. Jimmy came out to bat, hit Bollinger for a beautiful cover drive for four on the 3rd ball he faced. Tait took his 4th wicket in the next over as Swann and that was it. Australia came back strongly in the series to finish it 3-2. England's performance just kept dripping, from winning by 4 wickets in the first 2 matches to giving away 6 wickets for 18 runs and winning by 1 wicket to being thrashed by 78 and 42 runs. Would have been weird to hold the trophy and open the champagne after being thrashed twice. Tait was given the Man Of The Match award, rightly so. Atherton asked Ponting and Tait about Tait's prospects of playing in the Ashes but none of them said much. Tait just said that he struggles to bowl 10 overs in One Dayers so playing Tests is out of question. There are a few months to the Ashes but a whitewash would have given England a slight edge over the Aussies. Anyways, England plays Bangladesh on Thursday at Nottingham at 13:30 GMT for which Trott and Tredwell have been called, Swann is being rested and Kevin is injured. Until next time, take care. Cheers!