|Ground:||Lord's Cricket Ground, St John's Wood|
|Scorecard:||England v Australia|
|Event:||Australia in England and Ireland 2012|
DateLine: 30th June 2012
England win 1st NatWest One-Dayer by 15 runs
With a brilliant unbeaten innings of 89 from just 63 balls, Eoin Morgan guided England to 272 for five, a total which proved to be beyond Australia as they went down by 15 runs in the opening game of the five-match NatWest one-day series. With three stoppages for rain soon after start of play, the match went well into the evening as Australia gradually fell behind in their run-rate and lost wickets as they tried to increase the tempo.
David Warner began Australia's run chase with controlled hitting after England had claimed an early wicket having Shane Watson caught behind for 12. Warner, in partnership with George Bailey then added 76 from 81 balls keeping up the run rate before England struck again with James Anderson returning for a second spell and taking two wickets in a four-ball spell. He bowled Bailey for 29 with the batsman chopping the ball on to his stumps and then he got the wicket England would have most wanted having Warner caught behind for 56 from 61 balls with the stocky opener attempting a big off drive.
It was left to Michael Clarke and David Hussey with the difficult task of watchfully attempting to make a recovery while keeping up the rate of scoring. At the halfway mark of 25 overs they were 123 for three. In comparison, England at that point were 103 for two. Clarke opened his scoring with two boundaries in an over from Anderson. The first was an elegant drive down the ground and then a clip to leg. But before long England claimed another wicket as Hussey, in attempting a pull, off Finn, played-on and that was 132 for four. They were also falling behind the clock with the last five overs at that stage producing only 11 runs.
But a stand of 57 from just 54 balls between Clarke and Matt Wade saw the 200 on the scoreboard before Wade was run out and ten runs later Clarkeís fine innings of 61 from 67 balls ended as he went lbw to a full toss from Tim Bresnan. There was little else to come from Australiaís tail-enders as the innings ended on 257 for nine after 50 overs.
Earlier, with Morganís fierce hitting, Australiaís last ten overs had conceded 83 runs which was also the highest stand of the innings. The innings ended with Craig Kieswetter caught for 25 from a lofted drive to mid-off, off the last ball.
It had taken 17 overs for Australia to break the opening stand of 74 when Brett Lee, in his second spell brought a ball sharply into Ian Bell to pin him in front of the stumps. He had given England a good start with his 41 after the tourists had asked them to bat first. Bell showed again, as he did with a century a fortnight ago against West Indies, that he has settled well into his new opening position in one-day cricket after Kevin Petersen retired from the short form of the game. He struck five boundaries two off Lee in succession were beautifully struck to cover point, and then an on-drive.
Cook, having been dropped behind the stumps on 18 off Shane Watson, had kept pace with Bell in the rate of scoring and when he fell four overs after his partnerís dismissal, on 40, edging behind his off-drive off Pat Cummins, he had faced 59 balls. Having started quite well England began to falter as the third wicket went down with Clint McKay returning for his second spell and having Ravi Bopara caught at slip for 15 to reduce the home side to 121 for three. Bopara hasnít made an impression in the 50-over game since returning to the England fold against West Indies in the last couple of weeks with scores of 8, 19 not out and 15 in this match although he did hit 59 in a Twenty/20 against West Indies.
A 68-run stand from 73 balls between Jonathan Trott and Eoin Morgan revived the England innings. Trott was watchful to begin with just as he is in Test cricket but later speeded along with Morgan who played some attractive shots at first and then produced an onslaught on the Australian bowling. Trott brought up his sixteenth ODI 50 from 65 balls and four runs later fell to left arm spinner Xavier Doherty when he played down the wrong line expecting the turn which didnít happen.
Morgan was then on 31, a pull off Cummins took him to 47 and his 50 followed from 45 balls. But soon the fireworks came from his bat. He hit two successive balls for six off Lee to the wide long-on area which took him to 67 and a six in the next over to mid-wicket off Watson took him to 73. With Morganís aggressive scoring the 47th and 48th overs conceded 33 runs. In one over from Watson Morgan hit 18 runs, reaching 81 and entertaining a sell-out crowd. The last of his five fours took him to 86, by then he had hit four sixes.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2012 Andy Jalil)