Confident England dominate Aussies

England ease to eighth successive ODI victory beating Australia by six wickets to take 2-0 lead in five-match series.

If England can complete a 5-0 whitewash of Australia, they will become the top-ranked side in the world and be the first country to top the standings in all three forms of the game [GALLO/GETTY]
If England can complete a 5-0 whitewash of Australia, they will become the top-ranked side in the world and be the first country to top the standings in all three forms of the game [GALLO/GETTY]

Ravi Bopara hit 82 from 85 balls as England beat Australia by six wickets in the second one-day international on Sunday to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

Ian Bell scored 75 – including a six and six fours – as England coasted home with 26 balls to spare at The Oval.

Part-time spinner Michael Clarke was the unlikely pick of Australia’s bowlers with 1-13 but the tourists’ 251-7 never looked like being enough.

Shane Watson was Australia’s top scorer with a risky 66, George Bailey made 65 and Tim Bresnan had England’s best bowling figures with 2-50.

“It was nice to get over the line,” England captain Alastair Cook said.

“I thought Ravi especially played really well, obviously Ian as well. 250 is gettable here at The Oval if you leave wickets in hand.

“The batters did their job. We got that squeeze on between 25 and 35 overs and that really took 20 or 30 runs off their score.”

Watson was dropped on 8 by Jonathan Trott, successfully referred an lbw shout from Stuart Broad on 40 and survived a referral on 43. He hit eight fours in his 80-ball innings.

Bailey anchored the innings and hit his highest ODI score off 86 balls with seven boundaries.

Steven Finn took 1-36 and brilliantly ran out David Hussey for 29, but England were uncharacteristically sloppy in the field, dropping four catches and bowling 25 extras.

Early blow

Australia won the toss and opted to bat, but Finn struck an early blow when he drew a top edge from David Warner, who was caught at square leg by Bell for 10 in the fifth over.

Dernbach then had Watson dropped by Trott at gully in the next over, before a 30-minute rain delay.


Australia innings

S.Watson c Finn b Swann 66
D.Warner c Bell b Finn 10
P.Forrest c Kieswetter b Broad 12
M.Clarke c Kieswetter b Bopara 10
G.Bailey b Bresnan 65
D.Hussey run out 29
M.Wade c Broad b Bresnan 6
B.Lee not out 20
M.Johnson not out 8
Extras (lb-15 w-8 nb-2) 25
Total (for seven wickets, 50 overs) 251
Fall of wickets: 1-15 2-66 3-101 4-128 5-206 6-222 7-223.

England innings

A.Cook lbw b McKay 18
I.Bell b Clarke 75
J.Trott b Watson 17
R.Bopara run out 82
E.Morgan not out 43
C.Kieswetter not out 0
Extras (lb-4 w-9 nb-4) 17
Total (for four wickets, 45.4 overs) 252
Fall of wickets: 1-40 2-81 3-171 4-250.

When play resumed, Peter Forrest tried to glance Broad down the leg side but fell to a one-handed catch from wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter for 12 in the 15th over.

Watson successfully referred an lbw decision, with replays showing Broad’s delivery would have missed the stumps, and he was then hit on the pads – again by Broad. This time, Watson was given not out and England wasted their referral as the ball hit the batsman outside the line of off stump.

Watson continued to live dangerously and was nearly run out three balls later, but he brought up his 50, from 50 balls, in the 20th over with a pull that evaded Bell by inches.

Clarke was out for 10, caught behind off Bopara (1-16) in the 21st over, and Watson finally fell in the 32nd when he misjudged a pull shot off Graeme Swann and was caught at midwicket by a diving Finn.

The run rate dipped below four an over until Bailey accelerated, reaching his 50 from 72 balls. Bailey holed out to a delivery from Swann at the end of the 42nd, but Bresnan misjudged his run to deep midwicket and dropped the chance.

David Hussey was then brilliantly run out for 29 by Finn, who only had one stump to aim at, before Bresnan took two wickets in three balls.

Bresnan bowled Bailey in the 47th over, then had Matthew Wade caught by Broad for 6 after a misjudged ramp shot.

Brett Lee (20 not out) was dropped by Eoin Morgan off Dernbach on the long-on boundary in the next over, before smashing Bresnan for the only six of the innings. Morgan put down a difficult running chance to remove Lee with the final ball of the innings from Dernbach.

Strong start

England scored 31 from their first four overs and Clarke responded by withdrawing opening bowlers, Lee and Mitchell Johnson, out of the attack – a decision vindicated when Clint McKay had Cook lbw for 18 in the seventh over.
Bell smacked Watson back over his head for six in the 15th over, but Watson bowled Trott for 17 four balls later.

England’s progress slowed, but Bell reached his 50 from 71 balls when he swiped Hussey through midwicket for four in the 23rd over.

When Johnson rapped Bopara on the pad in the 30th over, Clarke’s decision to refer the decision hinted at desperation. Replays confirmed the ball had pitched outside leg stump and in the next over Bell edged Lee to backward point and was dropped by Warner.

A breakthrough came in the 34th over, when Clarke bowled Bell with his first delivery. Two balls later, Clarke had Morgan lbw for 0. But the batsman instantly referred umpire Ricard Illingworth’s call, which was overturned after replays appeared to show the faintest inside edge.

Bopara brought up his half-century – his first against Australia in any form of cricket – from 54 balls, but he was run out by Lee when England needed just two to win.

It was left to Morgan, who finished unbeaten on 43, to hit the winning runs when he got a bottom edge to Xavier Doherty for two.

The series continues on Wednesday at Edgbaston, Birmingham.

Source: AP

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