England stroll through to 2-0 lead
England continued their dominance as they won their 8th ODI in a row, crushing a listless Australia by 6 wickets in the second ODI to take a 2-0 series lead.
After a comfortable win in the first game, England were pumped up for this. There were a few fitness worries for James Anderson with his groin and he was rested. Australia got another worry in the form of Pat Cummins who got a side-strain.
He was replaced by Mitchell Johnson, playing his first ODI since 28th October 2011. Strangely Steven Smith was left out and Peter Forrest was drafted in his place. England got in Jade Dernbach for James Anderson. Michael Clarke called correctly again at the toss and decided to bat.
Steven Finn got the proceedings going with a gently full toss outside off, which was driven through the covers for a boundary by David Warner. But after that, the bowler quickly got into his rhythm and eventually got rid of the struggling Warner for 10, caught off a top edge at mid-wicket. Shane Watson was struggling as well, but got a reprieve when he was dropped on 8 by Jonathan Trott at gully.
Watson made a terrific counter-attack, hitting Dernbach for three boundaries in one over and Australia were sitting nice and pretty at 46/1 at the end of the Quick Start Overs. Rain then halted play in the 12th over. It was not for long as play resumed pretty quickly.
Peter Forrest departed after a useful 51-run stand with Watson. Clarke played a struggling knock but managed to lend a good hand to Watson as Powerplay 2 went for 29 runs without a wicket lost. And then Ravi Bopara removed the struggling Clarke with a gentle in-swinger, caught behind by Craig Kieswetter. The passage of play was good for Australia, as they had scored 52/1 in the last 10 overs.
But Clarke’s wicket spoilt the momentum. England bowlers were miserly and bowled a nagging line and length. As a result, only 24 runs came in the next 10 overs with the wicket of Clarke. At 124/3 in the 30th over, England were well on top with Australia all of a sudden, struggling.
The struggle continued and it eventually led to the dismissal of Watson, who once again failed to convert his start. Bailey, after struggling throughout, finally managed to up the momentum in Powerplay 3 and along with David Hussey, scored 36 runs in those 5 overs. With 10 overs left, Australia were looking at a very modest total, having reached only 176/4.
Hussey showed some urgency and also managed to inject it into Bailey. The duo counter-attacked and added 78 for the fifth wicket and now Bailey’s innings was looking like one of good use. But then, Steven Finn inflicted a freakish run out of Hussey and the innings faltered again.
Tim Bresnan struck twice in the 47th over to dismiss Bailey and Matthew Wade and Australia limped to 251/7, managing 75/3 in the Extreme Performance Overs. Shane Watson top scored with 66 and had a better Batting Momentum of 81 while George Bailey made 65. All the English bowlers did well with Tim Bresnan being the pick of the bowlers with 2/50 in 8 overs while Ravi Bopara finished with the best Bowling Efficiency of 145.
Have a look at the scorecard.
The total of 251 was quite modest and Australia did not have the best of starts. Too many extras were conceded in the opening overs and England took full toll. They raced to 40 in 6 overs before Clint McKay trapped Cook LBW. That put some brakes on the scoring and the hosts ended the Quick Start Overs on 53/1, needing another 199 from 240 balls.
When seemingly nothing was happening for the Aussies, Jonathan Trott gave his wicket away by needlessly charging down the wicket to Watson and dragging it back onto the stumps. Ravi Bopara came in and though he struggled a bit at the start, Bell at the other end was ensuring that England were in cruise mode.
49/1 came in overs 11-20 and Powerplay 2 yielded 26 runs without any loss. 140 needed from 174 balls with 9 wickets in hand and it was England’s game to lose. The next 10 overs yielded 52 runs without any damage and England were doing this easy now.
Bell and Bopara took their stand to 90 when, in the 34th over, skipper Clarke struck with his first ball to clean up Ian Bell for a wonderful 75. Eoin Morgan survived a massive LBW appeal which was given but overturned on his review as Hot Spot detected a thin inside edge. He then started to play his strokes and Powerplay 3 yielded 31 runs.
60/1 came in overs 31-40 and with 38 needed from 10 overs, even Australia seemed to have given up. After that, it did not take much time and England coasted to victory with 26 balls to spare. Clint McKay was the best bowler by far, with 1/42 in 10 overs and a Bowling Efficiency of 110. Ravi Bopara top scored with 82 and a Batting Momentum of 112.
The Castrol Index shows the two teams to be close but in reality, England were much better. They finished with 51 points to Australia’s 42.
Ravi Bopara was named the Man of the Match and he finished with 72 points on the Castrol Index, easily the best. For Australia, Shane Watson was the best bet with 50 points.
The third ODI will be played at Birmingham on Wednesday, 4th July, 2012 at 1300 GMT.