|Ground:||Lord's Cricket Ground, St John's Wood|
|Scorecard:||England v Australia|
|Player:||GJ Bailey, MR Marsh, BA Stokes, DA Warner, EJG Morgan, PJ Cummins|
|Event:||Australia in England and Ireland 2015|
DateLine: 6th September 2015
By Andy Jalil at Lord's
Morgan’s fighting innings not enough for England
London – A defiant innings of 85 from England captain Eoin Morgan was not enough as Australia stretched their lead to 2-0 in the five-match series. It wasn’t until late in the innings that England showed some aggression when Morgan and Liam Plunkett smashed 55 from 22 balls in their ninth wicket stand. Having been set a target of 310, England fell 64 runs short as Morgan, on a battling 85 from 87 balls which included four sixes, was held at mid-off from a lofted shot.
The England innings suffered from a lack of substantial partnerships as apart from the ninth wicket stand there was little in England’s response with James Taylor’s 43 being the second highest score. Some might argue that the controversial dismissal of Ben Stokes for ‘obstructing the field’ had a great bearing on the result but the bare fact remains that he was given out under the laws of the game as replays confirmed.
England made a fairly good start and were 119 for two after which wickets fell at regular intervals. The fourth and fifth went within a run of each other, which were the dismissals of Stokes for 10 and Jos Buttler for 3. Glenn Maxwell who trapped Buttler lbw went on to have Moeen Ali held at deep square leg for 8. Pat Cummins who finished with four for 56 accounted for the next two for two runs in an 8-ball spell to reduce the home side to 187 for eight. Liam Plunkett’s 24 runs, 20 of which came from boundaries, helped to boost the England total to 245.
Batting earlier and having surrendered the Ashes this summer, Australia, in the early stages of their campaign in the ODIs have shown their determination not to go back home empty handed. Following their comfortable win in the opening match in which they hit 305 for six, they once again piled on the runs with an impressive total of 309 for seven after being asked to bat first in overcast conditions.
Early rain had delayed the start by an hour but only one over per side was reduced. It was a disappointing start for David Warner who was struck on the left thumb by Steve Finn with the second ball of the match and the first faced by Warner who soon retired hurt. It was later announced that he has a fracture of the thumb and will be out of cricket for four to six weeks. That must disrupt Australia’s preparation to some extent for the remaining three matches in the series.
After Steve Smith and Joe Burns had put on 42, England struck with the wicket of Burns for 22. That was followed by an excellent stand of 99 from 120 balls for the second wicket between Smith and George Bailey with the latter hitting his 39th ODI half century. His 54 runs had come from 72 balls and had put Australia well on track for a fine total.
Smith who had also completed his 19th ODI half century before Bailey’s dismissal took his score to 70 when leg spinner Adil Rashid had him held in the 34th over. By then Australia were 171 for three with their strong middle order still remaining a threat to England. Glenn Maxwell was unlucky to miss his fifty by just a run but having scored off just 38 balls he had helped to keep a good scoring rate. Shane Watson’s 39 came in just under a-run-a-ball before he became the first of Ben Stokes’ three victims.
It was the lusting hitting of Mitchell Marsh which provided the late flourish in the innings with 64 from just 31 balls and that was embellished with three sixes and seven fours. Stokes last spell of three overs went for 31 runs but he had three wickets for 60 to end the innings. Finn had two for 55 and spinners Ali and Rashid who both suffered from a spate of sixes hit off them had a wicket each.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2015 Andy Jalil)