Bowled Over – 1st and 2nd ODI Reviews – By Luqman Liaqat

England Vs Australia 1st ODI International Match Review

The first NatWest one-day international between England and Australia was abandoned without a ball bowled due to heavy rain at Headingley.

The pitch was left covered before the scheduled start time of 10.15am with the rain forming a very wet outfield and at 1.35pm umpires Aleem Darr and Richard Illingworth called off play.

England Vs Australia 2nd ODI International Match Review

Michael Clarke scored a century as Australia beat England by 88 runs in the second one-day international to draw first blood in the five-match NatWest series.

Australia put on a mammoth 315-7 on the scoreboard before England were bowled out for 227 in 44.2 overs with only Kevin Pietersen, Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler giving the chase some respectability.

England skipper Morgan’s decision to ball first proved to be wrong but it all started well as Steven Finn (2-69) had Shaun Marsh (0) caught behind by wicket-keeper Buttler off only the fourth ball of the match.

There was plenty of controversy in the very next delivery which we haven’t lacked during this summer’s Ashes either. Shane Watson was judged out lbw by the on field umpire but after a review third umpire Aleem Darr revealed that the Aussies number three had edged it.

After an early life, Watson then put on 60 with opener Aaron Finch for the third wicket and just when Watson (38) was picking up pace in his scoring Ravi Bopara had him caught behind which the umpire gave not out but the third umpire ruled that there had been an edge off the bat.

Finch (45 off 45) added a further 56 with skipper Clarke before one big hit too many as he holed out to Joe Root in the deep off James Tredwell with the score 116-3 inside 22 overs.

Clarke and the Aussie T20 captain George Bailey batted superbly sharing a 155-run stand, the skipper smashed some beautiful shots to the leg-side boundary and more elegantly down the ground.

Bailey hit four sixes and helped take 43 runs from the batting powerplay as he rapidly reached 82 in 67 balls. He looked to be reaching his hundred with ease before hitting a leg-side delivery straight to Tredwell giving Bopara (2-57) his second wicket with Australia pushing towards 300 at 271-4 after 43.3 overs.

Once reaching his eighth ODI ton and his second versus England Clarke (105 off 102) was eventually caught behind off Boyd Rankin (2-49) who then bowled out Mathew Wade giving him two wickets in two balls.

A late flurry of boundaries from James Falkner (18 off 11) and Mitchell Johnson moved the tourists to 315-7.

In reply England would have to make history for victory because their previous best ODI chase is 305-5 against Pakistan in 2000.

Debutant opener Michael Carberry struggled before hitting Johnson (2-36) straight to backward point and in the next ball Jonathon Trott gloved a sharp bouncer straight to Wade behind the stumps for duck, as England were now in deep trouble at 9-2 (4 overs).

Skipper Morgan came to the crease at 38-3 when Faulkner managed to swing a ball back into Root which hit the top of off-stump.

Pietersen and Morgan scored 59 together for the fourth wicket, Pietersen smashed two sixes in his innings off Clint McKay and Fawad Ahmed.

But once opener Pietersen fell for 60 off 66 balls driving Watson to point it was game over and when Bopara was caught and bowled by Adam Voges for 1 leaving England stuttering on 103-5.

Morgan (54) put in a good fight with Buttler as the pair put on 51 before becoming McKay’s second victim in the batting powerplay caught in the deep by Clarke and Ben Stokes was dismissed by the same bowler for just 5.

However, Buttler still refused to give in hammering three sixes and five fours to register his highest score of 75 from 65 balls, until perishing to off-spinner Ahmed and McKay (3-47) came back to dismiss Finn as England were all out for 227 giving Australia an 88-run victory with still 34 balls to spare.

The Aussies lead the series 1-0 with still 3 games to go, the next meeting between the two sides now takes place at Edgbaston on Wednesday.

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