Twenty20 England v Australia

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Englandís Magical Moment

News by Shane Dell 14/06/05

A magical moment! Thatís the only way one can describe the opening International of the English summer where England thrashed Australia by 100 runs in the Twenty20 match at the Rose Bowl.

England who won the toss and elected to bat, got off to a blistering start with the assistance of Marcus Trescothick who certainly looked as if he had prepared well for the coming battles against the Juggernaut. Easily despatching shots to all parts of the ground, Tresco was not even slightly bothered by the pace of Brett Lee who appeared to be having difficulty with his line and provided no challenge to the batsmen.

Laying the foundation for a big score, Trescothick went on to make 41 runs before being caught in the deep off the bowling of Andrew Symonds.

Pietersen, touted as the great hope for England in their battle against the Australians, solidified the earlier start with a quick fire 34 runs off 19 balls before succumbing once again to the spin of Aussie part-time bowler Michael Clarke. There were some big lofts from the powerful South African, but they appeared to be more fluke than real skill and he looked sloppy in the execution of his batting strokes. Pietersen definitely does look the goods in the short game, but as a Test cricketer he is yet to prove himself and probably unlikely to succeed in the five day game.

Paul Collingwood was a stand out performer for England and made an exceptional 46 runs from 26 balls. Flintoff and Vaughan both failed at the crease, with the former looking very nervous on coming into bat. Andrew Strauss, fell to his own stupidity in trying to play novelty shots most of which appeared to be variations of the sweep shot. The confidence he appeared to gain in his debut series in South African seems to have abandoned him at a time when England are likely to need him most. Bowled by Jason Gillespie, Strauss never looked comfortable against the opposition.

Poor bowling and very sloppy fielding were a standout with the Australianís today and if they are to make an impact in the one day series next week, they had better get out and do a lot more fielding practice in coming days. Part time spinners Andrew Symonds and Michael Clarke were the only bowlers amongst the Aussies to cause an problems, a factor which should be noted in future and consideration given to the inclusion of Shane Warne for future Twenty20 matches.

Finishing their innings on 179 runs, a new record total for a Twenty20 match at the Rose Bowl, England looked to have set a hard target for the Australians to reach, but no-one would have expected what was to come.

Opening their innings with Hayden and Gilchrist, both of whom were out early to lofted shots, the Australian batsmen started a procession to and from the crease that could only be described as like people getting on and off a bus.

Symonds, Clarke, Hussey, Ponting and Martyn all went for single figures or less, with only Michael Clarke being able to claim a poor umpiring decision by Jeremy Lloyd as his downfall. Given caught behind off the bowling of Jon Lewis, television replays clearly showed Clarke was the victim of a poor decision when the noise heard by the umpire was deemed to be bat on ball, but the replay clearly showed it was bat on pad. Three top class catches by Kevin Pietersen in the field was a notch above his batting and earned him the Man of the Match award.

At 7-31 after 5.5 overs, Australia was clearly in trouble and unlikely to post any total that could even be desrcobed as competitive on the day. They were being outsmarted by the old campaigner Darren Gough, who at one stage had 3 wickets from 4 balls. His experience with the ball clearly showed through and although he is carrying afew extra pounds nowadays and bowling a yard or two slower, Gough still looks to have the goods in the bowling department and uses his experience to great advantage.

The wickets continued to fall for Australia with the only real resistance being offered by bowler Jason Gillespie who top scored for the Australians with 24 runs off 18 balls. Brett Lee also chipped in with the bat, making 15 runs before being caught by Harmison off the bowling of Collingwood.

Englands chief paceman Steve Harmison, didnít have much luck with a rather lack lustre performance and continued to bowl a length that appears to be far to short against the Aussie batsmen. Although he didnít conced a lot of runs, Harmison didnít appear exactly sure of where to bowl to the Australians and continued to dig in the short ball with little result. It was not until he actually put one on the stumps that he took his first and only wicket for the match when he bowled tailender Glenn McGrath. Harmison will need to do a lot of work if he is going to be any threat to the Australiaís in the coming one day and Ashes series.

Australia ended all out for 79 runs off 14.3 overs and England are to be highly commended for a performace that should give them a renewed confidence going into the one day series against Australia later in the week.

Australia were clearly outclassed by what appeared to be a very determined England team with a vigour in the field not seen for many years. They looked desperate, fielded magnificently, batted brilliantly and bowled with a renewed confidence.

If todays performance by England was any indication of what is to come, it looks as if it might be a long hot summer for the Australianís and the challenge they have longed for from the English may have finally come to fruition.

Scorecard Summary

England: 8-179 off 20 overs

Australia: All out for 79 off 14.3 overs

England won thematch by 100 runs

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