England spectacularly revived hopes of playing in the triangular one-day series finals with their first breakthrough tour win over Australia here at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Friday.
The embattled tourists put aside unrelenting months of heavy defeats in the five Ashes Tests, the Twenty20 international and the one-day series to crush the Australians by 92 runs to keep alive their chances of leapfrogging New Zealand into this month’s best-of-three finals.
Led by a defiant maiden century from man-of-the-match Ed Joyce and inspired bowling from Liam Plunkett, England posted their highest total of the tri-series with 292 for seven off their 50 overs and claimed a vital bonus point after Australia finished on 200 for nine off 38.5 overs.
Australia finished one wicket short when Andrew Symonds retired hurt with a strained bicep for 39 and was unable to bat again.
England joined New Zealand on nine points in the standings behind the runaway leaders Australia and if they can beat the Kiwis in Brisbane next Tuesday they will defy the odds and take on the Australians in the finals, starting in Melbourne on February 9.
It was a rousing return to form for Andrew Flintoff’s beleaguered team, who faced the dire prospect of going through their three-month tour without winning a game against Australian opposition.
But Joyce, dropped twice, scored 107 off 142 balls to help England post a competitive score and put the Australians under pressure for the first time in the tri-series, having them reeling at 45 for three and never recovering.
Adam Gilchrist, deputising for injured skipper Ricky Ponting, was bowled first ball by Plunkett and Ponting’s replacement Brad Hodge chopped Sajid Mahmood on to his stumps for one to have Australia four for two after just eight balls.
Matthew Hayden top-scored with 51 off 105 balls but once Symonds retired hurt and the crucial wicket of Mike Hussey fell for six, bowled by Ravi Bopara, the task proved impossible for the home team, accused during the week of being arrogant.
The Australian innings finished after just 38.5 overs when Shaun Tait was run out by a direct throw by Ian Bell for 11.
Plunkett, shunned for the Ashes Test series, finished with 3-24 off 9.5 overs and Mahmood chipped in with 2-38 off seven overs.
Irishman Joyce, dropped by Tait on six and later by Symonds off his own bowling for 59, was the shining light for England, hitting 10 boundaries before he was caught by Nathan Bracken off Tait.
England’s total surpassed their 260 for eight against New Zealand in Perth last week.
Bell hit 51 off 60 balls before he top-edged a pull shot off Glenn McGrath and spooned a catch to wicket-keeper Gilchrist.
Joyce’s opening partner Mal Loye was struck a fearsome blow on the grille of his helmet when he attempted to slog-sweep McGrath, suffering a gashed chin which needed three stitches. Loye was out next ball as he top-edged a hook shot off McGrath to be caught by Bracken for 29 off 33 balls.
Flintoff only lasted 10 balls before he was leg before wicket to leg-spinner Cameron White for three and Andrew Strauss, batting at number five, cracked 26 off 24 balls with three fours before he was caught at backward square leg by Stuart Clark off Bracken.
Wicket-keeper Paul Nixon lasted two balls for four and Jamie Dalrymple was run out after a mix-up with Ravi Bopara for 30. Bracken finished with 2-53 off nine overs and McGrath 2-51 off 10 overs.
England won toss
E C Joyce c Bracken b Tait 107
M B Loye c Bracken b McGrath 29
I R Bell c Gilchrist b McGrath 51
*A Flintoff lbw b White 3
A J Strauss c Clark b Bracken 26
J W M Dalrymple run out (Clarke/Gilchrist) 30
†P A Nixon c Hodge b Tait 4
R S Bopara not out 7
L E Plunkett not out 10
Extras (lb5, w19, nb1) 25
Total (7 wkts, 50 overs) 292
Did not bat: S I Mahmood, M S Panesar
Fall: 1-58, 2-169, 3-179, 4-222, 5-256, 6-261, 7-274
Bowling: Tait 10-0-68-2 (5w); Bracken 9-1-53-1 (2w); Clark 10-0-55-0 (1w); McGrath 10-0-51-2 (1nb, 2w); Clarke 4-0-18-0; Symonds 2-0-16-0; White 5-1-26-1 (3w)
*†A C Gilchrist b Plunkett 0
M L Hayden c Dalrymple b Mahmood 51
B J Hodge b Mahmood 1
M J Clarke c Nixon b Plunkett 18
A Symonds retired hurt 39
M E K Hussey b Bopara 6
C L White c Nixon b Flintoff 13
N W Bracken b Panesar 21
S R Clark not out 15
G D McGrath lbw b Plunkett 1
S W Tait run out (Bell) 11
Extras (lb8, w16) 24
Total (all out, 38.5 overs) 200
Fall: 1-0, 2-4, 3-45, 4-116, 5-137, 6-160, 7-180, 8-187, 9-200
Bowling: Plunkett 9.5-1-24-3 (6w); Mahmood 7-0-38-2 (4w); Flintoff 8-0-47-1 (1w); Panesar 10-0-64-1; Bopara 4-0-19-1 (1w)
Result: England won by 92 runs
Points: England 5, Australia 0
Man of the Match: Ed Joyce
ODI debuts: Shaun Tait (Australia); Ravi Bopara (England)
Umpires: D J Harper and I L Howell (South Africa). TV umpire: R L Parry. Match referee: M J Procter (South Africa)
Note: A Symonds retired hurt at 130-4 (39, 23.6 overs)
Next match: Sunday (tomorrow) Australia v New Zealand, Melbourne (d/n)
Triangular Series Points Table
Teams P W L Pts NRR
Australia 7 6 1 27 +0.912
New Zealand 6 2 4 9 +0.069
England 7 2 5 9 -0.904
Note: Australia’s tally includes 3 Bonus Points while the totals of both New Zealand and England have one such point each
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Saturday, February 3rd, 2007 and is filed under General.
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