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Australia in England review – The Matches

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After what seems like an eternity, Australia have left England to fly back and prepare for the meeting of the two sides once more this winter. Both teams have questions to answer, both sides have gaping holes but both outfits also looked like quality cricketing units at times. After the Ashes were won 3-0 rather convincingly by England, the T20 series was drawn 1-1 and the ODI series was won 2-1 by Australia. There were periods of dominance in all series by both sides and, in my first review of 3; I will recap all the events of every match.

The test matches:

1st test; Trent Bridge, Nottingham – 10th to 14th July

  • Toss won by: England who chose to bat
  • England: Cook, Root, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Bairstow, Prior, Broad, Swann, Finn, Anderson
  • Australia: Watson, Rogers, Cowan, Clarke, Smith, Hughes, Haddin, Siddle, Starc, Pattinson, Agar (debutant)

England’s decision to bat seemed to be logical however poor application and shot making led to a below par total of 215. Trott top scored with 48, meanwhile 30’s from Root and Bairstow weren’t good enough to take England closer to 300. Peter Siddle was the star of a well-disciplined bowling attack, taking 5/50 in his 14 overs. Australia were in serious trouble when Anderson ripped through their top order, including a wonderful delivery to get Michael Clarke. At 117-9, the match already looked like England’s to lose. What nobody factored in was a wonderful 98 runs from 19 year old Ashton Agar, with the number 11 being well supported by Hughes. It was the highest amount of runs a number 11 has ever scored in Test match history and the Hughes partnership of 163 was the highest 11th wicket partnership as well. Making 280, Australia were now in charge as England finished the second day 2 wickets down. After fifties for Cook and Pietersen, Bell rescued the English cause with a gritty century, with Broad staying at the crease and getting a fifty, including an edge to first slip which the umpire failed to see. England set Australia 311 runs to win, and at 164-6 this looked to be within sight. However, once more the tail wagged and Haddin and Pattinson took Australia to within 15 runs of victory. Only Anderson returning and getting Haddin caught behind, his tenth wicket of the match, won the test for England. In a tense finish, Australia already looked better than most pundits had expected them to.

  • Man of the Match: Anderson (Eng) – 10 wickets, 1 run
1st Test: I'm not quite sure why Bairstow's face hasn't appeared over the internet since this

1st Test: I’m not quite sure why Bairstow’s face hasn’t appeared over the internet since this

2nd test; Lords, London – 18th to 22nd July

  • Toss won by: England who chose to bat
  • England: Bresnan in for Finn
  • Australia: Khawaja in for Cowan, Harris in for Starc

The first test was close; the second was far from that! Bell continued his good form with another century, his third in a row against Australia and a lot more fluent than the one at Trent Bridge, rescuing England from trouble at 28-3.Fifties for Trott and Bairstow pushed England up to 361 runs however this could and probably should have been more. Harris picked up 5 wickets for Australia while Steve Smith’s part time leg breaks got three wickets, including Bairstow and Bell. The score of 361 was made to look very good when Australia collapsed from 42-0 to 128 all out, with Graeme Swann getting five wickets – including the worst ball he will ever bowl in test cricket. Giving the ball some air, it looped up high above the batters head. Rogers misjudged it and missed, causing it to hit him on his pads and be out LBW. In their second innings, England were 30-3, however Joe Root then found his form on his way to scoring 180 runs. The third day was a day of England batting as Bresnan and Bell supported the young Yorkshire-man on his way to his maiden test century when opening. Australia, despite fifties from Khawaja and Clarke, never looked like chasing 500 runs, and fell 347 short, with one day still remaining.

  • Man of the Match: Root (Eng) – 186 runs, 2 wickets

3rd test; Old Trafford, Manchester – 1st to 5th August

  • Toss: Australia who chose to bat
  • Australia: Warner for Hughes, Starc for Pattinson, Lyon for Agar
  • England: Unchanged

Australia finally showed some backbone in the Old Trafford test, as they amassed 303 runs on the first day for the loss of only 3 wickets. I was in the crowd that day and watched as Clarke scored a wonderful century, supported well by Smith. Earlier in the day, Rogers had played more aggressive than how we associated with him and scored a free-flowing 84. Australia eventually made 527 runs, declaring late on in day 2 to bring England to bat. The star for England was Pietersen, who scored 113 runs, supported by Bell and Cook who both made fifties. The follow on was still a possibility, until Broad and Swann cut loose on the morning of the fourth day. Australia went into aggressive mode, promoting Warner to open and racking up 172 runs before declaring – knowing that there was rain predicted, this was the best way of forcing a result. Luckily, from an England perspective, that rain came and the match was drawn.

  • Man of the Match: Clarke (Aus) – 207 runs, 0 wickets
3rd Test: They said he was the danger...

3rd Test: They said he was the danger…

4th test; Riverside Ground, Chester-Le-Street – 9th to 13th August

  • Toss: England who chose to bat
  • England: Unchanged
  • Australia: Bird in for Starc

After a slow first session, none of the English batters went past 51 (Cook) as Australia bowled with remarkable accuracy and length. The wickets were shared evenly amongst the 5 bowlers used with Watson being as economical as usual and Lyon picking up 4 wickets, including the in-form Bell for just 6. Most people were relatively disappointed with only making 238 and it wasn’t enough for a lead, despite Australia being 76-4 at one point. This was down to Chris Rogers scoring his first test match century and Watson getting a 50. Broad, with 5 wickets, pulled things back for England and restricted Australia to 270. Once again, only one batter got a 50 in England’s innings as Harris picked up 7 wickets however this batter turned that 50 into a century, 113 to be precise. Unsurprisingly, we are talking about Ian Bell! This century was the mainstay in England’s innings of 330 which left a tough but not impossible chase of 298 for the Australians. Once more, they collapsed and once more it was Broad who did the damage. Taking 6-50, he and Bresnan turned 147-1 into 224 all out and England had gone 3-0 up, winning the Ashes in the process.

  • Man of the Match: Broad (Eng) – 11 wickets, 16 runs

5th test; The Oval, London – 21st to 25th August

  • Toss: Australia who elected to bat
  • Australia: Faulkner (debutant) for Bird, Starc for Khawaja
  • England: Woakes for Bresnan, Kerrigan for Bairstow (both debutants)

The experiment of playing 2 debutants and 5 bowlers seemingly failed for England as Australia piled on the runs in the first innings. Centuries for Watson and Smith were the reason why they got up to 492 runs before declaring 9 wickets down. In reply, England chose the slow and steady path as Root and Pietersen both scored half centuries. With Bell, Trott and Prior all getting into the 40’s, England scored 377 runs. Going for the win, Australia lost quick wickets in their second innings – declaring on 111-6, with Broad getting four of those. England needed to score227 runs in one session to win the match, and thanks to Pietersen’s quick fire 60 they almost got there. In fact, the only factor that stopped them was bad light – leading to the umpires taking the players off the field with only 21 runs from 24 balls required. The match was draw; the series was won 3-0.

  • Man of the Match: Watson (Aus) – 202 runs, 0 wickets
5th Test: A moment that Cook has no doubt dreamt about for years

5th Test: A moment that Cook has no doubt dreamt about for years

One Day series:

1st T20; Rose Bowl, Southampton – 28th August

  • Toss: England who chose to field
  • Australia: Warner, Finch, Marsh, Watson, Maxwell, Bailey, Wade, Faulkner, Johnson, Hazlewood, Ahmed (debut)
  • England: Lumb, Hales, Wright, Morgan, Root, Bopara, Buttler, Broad, Finn, Briggs, Dernbach

This match will forever be remembered for Aaron Finch’s heroics with the bat. After England removed Warner, Broad managed to get Finch to edge the ball just past Buttler’s hand. This proved to be a costly chance missed as he went on to amass a world record international T20 score – 156 off just 63 balls. Dernbach got him and 2 more to peg Australia back but 248 looked an imposing score. It was, as England fell 40 runs short of their target – with an excellent 90 from Joe Root being the highlight. On most days, 209 runs would be enough to win a T20 match – this day was not most days.

2nd T20; Riverside Ground, Chester-Le-Street – 31st August

  • Toss: Australia who chose to field
  • England: Unchanged
  • Australia: Coulter-Nile came in for Hazlewood

Once again, it was an opening batter from the team batting first who made the headlines here. Unfortunately for Lumb and England, he couldn’t become the first Englishmen to score an international T20 century, however his 94 helped England to 195. Despite 53 runs from Warner, Australia weren’t able to get close to the target – falling 27 runs short and narrowly avoiding being bowled out.

2nd T20: Too many tattoo's in one picture... Dernbach was easily the pick of the English T20 bowlers

2nd T20: Too many tattoos in one picture… Dernbach was easily the pick of the English T20 bowlers

1st ODI; Headingly, Leeds – 6th September

Rain, rain, rain, rain – not a single ball was bowled at Headingly as the rain just kept falling down.

2nd ODI; Old Trafford, Manchester – 8th September

  • Toss: England who chose to field
  • Australia: Marsh, Finch, Watson, Clarke, Bailey, Voges, Wade, Faulkner, Johnson, McKay, Ahmed
  • England: Pietersen, Carberry, Trott, Root, Morgan, Bopara, Buttler, Stokes, Tredwell, Finn, Rankin

Manchester proved that it doesn’t always rain in Lancashire as bright sunshine for a whole day meant that there was a full ODI which, after the toss, was seemingly played into Australian hands. Morgan choosing to bowl on a batting pitch seemed strange, while captain Clarke made him pay by blasting a run a ball century, supported by Bailey. Chasing 316, the majority of English batters failed with only Pietersen, Morgan, Buttler and Finn reaching double figures. Despite Pietersen and Morgan sharing a partnership that almost brought England back into the game and Buttler hitting a few balls out of the ground on his way to 75, this was always Australia’s game and they comfortably won by 88 runs.

2nd ODI: He bowls to the left, he bowls to the right, that Michell Johnson, his bowling is ... pretty good actually

2nd ODI: He bowls to the left, he bowls to the right, that Michell Johnson, his bowling is … pretty good actually

3rd ODI; Edgbaston, Birmingham – 11th September

Despite there being 15.1 overs worth of play in Birmingham, the rain once again intervened with England 59-3. Players didn’t get back out there as the rain was relentless and once again, for the second time in three matches, there was no result.

4th ODI; SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff – 14th September

  • Toss: England who chose to field
  • Australia: Coulter-Nile (debut) in place of Ahmed
  • England: Unchanged

In trouble at 57-4, thanks to some accurate new ball bowling from Finn, Rankin and Stokes – Australia recovered due to Voges and Bailey. When Wade joined Bailey, it looked feasible that they would score 250-270 however the tail collapsed. Bailey got dismissed, edging behind off Rankin for 87 and Australia were all out for 227, with 3 wickets for Tredwell. England’s reply didn’t get off to a good start as a Clint McKay hat-trick reduced them to 8-3. Morgan and Carberry both scored fifties to steady the ship before Jos Buttler took up the finisher mantle and, with a bit of support from Stokes, saw England to a last-over victory.

4th ODI: A much needed return to form from Morgan wasn't enough to see an English series win

4th ODI: A much needed return to form from Morgan wasn’t enough to see an English series win

5th ODI; Rose Bowl, Hampshire – 16th September

  • Toss: Australia who chose to bat
  • Australia: Ahmed in for Coulter-Nile
  • England: Wright in for Trott, Jordan (debut) in for Finn

For the first time this summer, a team chose to bat first in a one day match and the decision paid off for Clarke as Australia racked up 298 runs. The mainstay of that innings was a blistering 143 from Watson, who sent Root for 28 in one over alone. Clarke made 75 however there wasn’t much else from the rest of the batters and Stokes got 5 wickets while Rankin bowled economically – meaning that England felt they had a shout in the run chase. This wasn’t to be as Pietersen and Wright got run out, Morgan and Carberry could only make 30’s and the partnership between Buttler and Bopara was too little, too late. A sad end to the summer for English fans but plenty of reasons to be positive as a side resting most of the big names almost pulled off a series victory against a full strength Australian side.

5th ODI: Australia deserved their series win

5th ODI: Australia deserved their series win

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Author: GHardman42

Mancunian. Main passions are Sport and Mus(e)ic. Huge Everton, AM, Lancashire, JB and England fan! I play tennis like Dolgopolov (except nowhere near as good). Josh has said "You just don't know what will come next"

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