Australia Vs England ODI Series
1st ODI Played at Old Trafford, Manchester on 10 September 2020
Australia 294/9 in 50 Overs (GJ Maxwell 77, MR Marsh 73, MP Stoinis 43, MA Wood 3/54, JC Archer 3/57, AU Rashid 2/55) Beat England 275/9 in 50 overs (SW Billings119, JM Bairstow 84, A Zampa 4/54, J Hazlewood 3/26) by 19 Runs
Player of the Match: Josh Hazelwood
Spirited Australia reversed the tide of T20 series defeat (1-2) and avenging their ICC World cup semi final exit by traditional rival England.
In the high scoring first match of the ODI series played at Old Trafford, Manchester Australia won by 19 runs. Australia had to deal with a body blow of head injury Steve Smith (The ODI top ranked batsman) suffered a day before the match in the practice session. While writing this it is not yet sure whether Smith can at all take part in the series.
Australia did not bat at all well in the three matches T20 series collapsing few times unexpectedly. Absence of top batsman at the very last minute put them in a bit of bother in fielding a strong enough team against reigning world champion. Moreover, they had to settle a score against traditional rival as they knocked them out in the semi final of the last ICC world cup. Considering the crisis as an opportunity, the team raised their game and presenting all round brilliant cricket trounced the opponent by 19 runs. Put into bat by Morgan they recovered from early slump of 5/123 riding on a glorious 6th wicket partnership between MR Marsh (73) and GJ Maxwell (77). 294/9 that Australia score set a target for England required a record chase for winning. England also responded equally brilliantly and went as close as 19 runs through another wonderful 5th wicket partnership of 113 between Sam Billings (118) and Bairstow (84). England efforts were put paid by excellent bowling of Adam Zampa (4/55) and Josh Hazzlewood (3/25). England could go as far as 275/9.
The beauty of the Australian cricket lies in their outstanding abilities for bouncing back from adversity. The sporting nation has admirable quality of learning from mistakes. England is playing continuously over the last two months. Off course they have wealth of talent for all three formats of the game and have horses for the courses. Australia returning to competitive only just after 6 months of Coronavirus pandemic looked a little rusty during the T20 series. Batting lacked depth and bowling looked less penetrative. Smith received a head injury a day before the match and required last minute replacement. Labuschagne would have played in any case. But Smith injury assured struggling Glen Maxwell another opportunity to stay in the team. How brilliantly he rose to the occasion batting the team to safety in association with Marsh.
English bowlers Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and Adil Rashid reduced Australia 5/123 by the 24th over. Maxwell joining Marsh started fighting back to the wall. Maxwell looked out of sorts with the bat in the T20 series. He chose this occasion to get back to his fluent stride. The pair steered Australia out of woods adding 126 for the 6th wicket before Glen Maxwell was cleaned up by Archer in the 44th over. Marsh contributed 73. Australia produced an impressive 294/9.
Finishing high Australia looked very hungry with the ball. Starc and Hazzlewood exploited the cool English evening bowling tight. Hazzlewood bought back memories of Glen McGrath bowling miserly spell and Starc was fast and furious. Jason Roy’s return was cut short. Root also perished before he could set his root. England could reach only 20/2 in the first 10 overs a record low for England since 2005. Adam Zampa made it still challenging for them striking double blows removing inform Morgan and Buttler in quick succession. England was reduced to 4/57. Bairstow was looking great all the way. Billings joining him carried his form from T20 series. Bright 113 in 5th wicket partnership kept England in the hunt. Bairstow was picked up by Zampa for 84 well scored runs. Billings kept the momentum going although wicket kept tumbling at the other end. Even the best efforts of Billings scoring 118 of 110 balls could not get England across the rope. The accuracy of Hazzlewood taking 3/26 off his 10 overs and Zampa’s guile (4/56) led England finishing at 275/9 still 19 runs in arrears.
Australia forged 1-0 ahead. But believe me the series is not yet over. We are sure the remaining two matches of the two evenly matched teams promises to be equally exciting.
BDST: 1209 HRS, SEP 12, 2020