Steve O’Keefe takes Hauritz’s spot in Test squad

Steve O’Keefe’s dramatic rise from New South Wales fringe player has continued with him replacing Nathan Hauritz in Australia’s Test squad for the two games against Pakistan. O’Keefe, a left-arm spinner, impressed with nine wickets in Australia A’s two matches with Sri Lanka A over the past two weeks to gain an unexpected promotion.

Nathan Hauritz was sent home with a foot injury suffered in the opening ODI against England, leaving the legspinner Steven Smith to eye a Test debut in the opening match at Lord’s from July 13. O’Keefe, 25, is also from New South Wales and he stood out in the opening “A” fixture this month by taking 7 for 35 and scoring 61 and 47.

Clarke and Harris star in consolation win

There will be no clean-sweep for England. It was too late to save the series but Australia’s batsmen, led by Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting, finally delivered a total their bowlers could defend at The Oval. Ryan Harris did just that, with five wickets and a Man-of-the-Match award, that handed England a 78-run defeat and offset any disappointment for Clarke, who earlier had been stranded on 99 in setting up Australia’s 290 for 5.

Cricket Australia chases votes for John Howard

Cricket Australia officials are still lobbying to gain enough support to install John Howard as the ICC’s vice-president in Singapore over the next two days. The appointment of Howard, the former Australia prime minister, is supposed to be a formality but it has become increasingly uncertain following complaints raised by Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Howard’s vice-presidency will be a key issue at the ICC’s executive board meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, which occurs before the elevation of India’s Sharad Pawar to the top job. James Sutherland, Cricket Australia’s chief executive, and the chairman Jack Clarke are in Singapore for various talks this week and are attempting to secure the seven votes required for Howard to get the deputy’s role. “There are still discussions taking place,” a Cricket Australia spokesman said on Monday.

England seal series in thriller

England survived a dramatic collapse to beat Australia by one wicket in the third One-day International at Old Trafford here on Sunday and so take an unbeateable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.

England, set 213 to win, after off-spinner and man-of-the-match Graeme Swann took four wickets 37 runs, were cruising to victory at 185 for three. But they lost six wickets for 18 runs in 39 balls as they slumped to 203 for nine.

Tait replaces injured Hauritz in ODI squad

Shaun Tait is set for a surprise return to Australia’s ODI team and Steven Smith could be in line for his Test debut after Nathan Hauritz was sent home from England with an injured foot. Hauritz was troubled by pain in his left foot during the first two defeats to England and he is flying back to Australia to recover, which places him in serious doubt for Australia’s upcoming Tests against Pakistan.

Broad and Strauss set up 2-0 lead

There was no Eoin Morgan-like standout this time, but England still cruised to a comfortable four-wicket win to take a 2-0 lead in the series. From Stuart Broad’s three early wickets to an impressive Andrew Strauss half-century, to a coasting partnership from Paul Collingwood and Morgan to confirm the result, it was a thoroughly professional victory for the hosts.

On a day when Australia installed a Labor prime minister born in Wales, the nation’s cricketers laboured in Wales for no such reward. Cameron White ground out one of his least attractive half-centuries to drive Australia to 239 for 7 but that was never going to be enough on a surface that, while a little slow, was no minefield.

Haddin’s ache is Paine’s gain

A day after being named in Australia’s Test squad to face Pakistan, Brad Haddin has been ruled out and replaced by Tim Paine for the two-match series in England next month. Haddin was initially given another week to prove his fitness from an elbow tendon problem, but the decision to keep him home was made by Dr Trefor James after reviewing the injury.

While the complaint doesn’t hamper Haddin when he is behind the stumps, it has troubled the 32-year-old’s batting since the end of last year. He faced an over in the nets on Tuesday but could still feel the pain.

England cruise home on Morgan ton

It took England until the seventh and final ODI to beat Australia last year; nine months later, Eoin Morgan produced his best one-day international innings to ensure they would start the series on a high. Morgan’s unbeaten 103 was the standout performance of the match, more authoritative than Michael Clarke’s anchoring role for Australia, and it was enough to separate two sides that otherwise mirrored each other.

Before this game, Morgan had passed 80 on five occasions in ODIs, but those efforts had come against Bangladesh, Canada, Scotland or Netherlands. Triple figures against Australia is another thing entirely. He drove England home with four overs to spare, by which time the only real point of interest was whether he had enough runs to play with to reach his hundred.

Australia wait on Haddin’s fitness

Brad Haddin has until the end of next week to prove his fitness for the two Tests against Pakistan after being named in the 14-man squad along with Ben Hilfenhaus and the uncapped batsman Usman Khawaja. Haddin was ruled out of the current limited-overs tour of the British Isles due to a nagging elbow tendon injury, with Tasmania’s Tim Paine replacing him in the outfit which opens the ODI series with England on Tuesday.

Doug Bollinger sets sights on Andrew Strauss

Doug Bollinger is going to take it upon himself to target England captain Andrew Strauss in the forthcoming one-day series because Australia know how important he will be to the Ashes campaign which starts in November. Bollinger has enjoyed considerable success since reclaiming his Test spot last December with 37 wickets in seven matches and is eager to make an important mark on this tour.

Glenn McGrath used to make it one of his prime roles to home in on the opposition captain – and he had a vice-like grip on Mike Atherton who he dismissed a world-record 19 times – with Australia believing that if you can make the leader struggle the rest of the team will soon follow.