Australia Vs England Royal London ODI Series
3rdODI Played at Old Trafford, Manchester on 16 September 2020
England 302/7 in 50 (JM Bairstow 112, S Billings 57, CR Woakes 53* , EJG Morgan 23, A Zampa 3/51, MA Starc3/74) lost to Australia 305/7 in 49.4 Overs (GJ Maxwell 108, AT Carey 106, , Chris Woakes 2/46, J E Root 2/46) by 3 wickets
Australia Won The Series: 2-1
Player Of The Match: Glen Maxwell
Player of the series: Glen Maxwell
It required a milestone setting wonderfully orchestrated 6th wicket partnership of 212 between magical Maxwell (108) and Alex Carey (106) and highest run chase of 303 for Australia at Old Trafford for winning the Royal London ODI series 2-1.
England lost an ODI series after 5 years at home. England batting first recovered from 0/2 after the first two balls recovered riding on brilliant century (112 ) by Jonny Bairstow and two good innings Billings (57) and Woakes (53*). Once again Adam Zampa (3/51) and Mitchel Starc (3/74) were main tormentors.
England was all over Australia, dominated with the bat and then bowling with passion almost cornered Australia. But a fascinating partnership between Maxwell and Carey won the third match and the series for Australia. The great batting depth of England let them posting a huge score of 302/7 even after being reduced to 0/2 after the first two balls. Mitchell Starc priced out Jason Roy and Joe Root with the first two balls of the match. The highlight of English innings was brilliant 112 by Jonny Bairstow and two useful fifties by Sam Billings (57) and CR Woakes (53*).
It required lot of character for a team reaching 302/7 after a shocking start losing first two wickets off the first two balls of the balls. In a crunch match on a wicket slowing down progressively it is extremely difficult chasing a huge target of 303 under light is extremely difficult. Australian top order crumbled in the chase and at one stage at 5/73 it seemed Australia was done and dusted. In came Maxwell joining Wicket Keeper Alex Carey.
World Cricket knows Australians are mentally very tough. They usually hate losing without giving their best. Slowly they approached consolidating and as they got set counterattacked playing several aggressive strokes. Matching stroke for stroke this pair set up a milestone setting 212 6th wicket partnerships. Both got out at crunch time and Australia required scoring 10 runs in the last over with two new batsmen Starc and Cummins at the wicket. Morgan gambled with Adil Rashid. Gamble did not work. Starc struck a hefty blow first ball. The ball floated all the way over and across. He also struck another boundary to take Australia across the rope. A fascinating match win and a deserving series win.
Rest of the Cricket world can take few lessons from Australia England series. The sporting character and cricket character of Australia was reflected from the way Maxwell and Carey batted with their back to the wall at 73/5 chasing 303. What a wonderful batting display it was. Australia did not deserve losing T20 series they lost crumbling from an winning position in the first match. They must not have lost the second ODI from winning position either. But in the third ODI they have turned the table on England from a seemingly lost case.
Lessons can also be learnt from English team developing so many impact players for three different formats. Another lesson that all teams must learn you need quality fast bowlers and off course quality wrist spinners for winning in any format of the game.
Finally a unique English summer in New Normal COVID time came to an end. ECB deserves all the credit for organizing as many as 6 series against 4 teams observing bio security bubble. Cricket is a wonderful sports. During very hard days cricket admirers across the world thoroughly enjoyed all the exciting matches electronically.
BDST: 1142 HRS, SEP 17, 2020