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Thursday, July 01, 2010

Australia break duck at fourth attempt

Australia 5/290 (50 ov M Clarke 99*, R Ponting 92) def England 212 (42.4 ov, M Yardy 57, R Harris 5/32) by 78 runs; ODI#4/5 at The Oval, London: England lead series 3-1.

A return to form by Ricky Ponting 92/93b (10x4) and another good if unlucky knock from Michael Clarke who finished on 99*/106b (7x4) gave Australia what the Sky commentators rated a par score.

These experts were soon eating their opinions as England rarely looked like winning. Ryan Harris, after an indifferent match 3 only needed 8.4 overs to rip the guts out the England batting with 5/32: his third 5-for in his hitherto brief ODI career. Doug Bollinger and Shaun Tait supported him well, while Steven Smith and James Hopes (again) were relatively expensive. Smith did bowl Luke Wright with an impressive looking ball, albeit one which the commentators - with the benefit of Hawkeye, replays etc - correctly pointed did not spin a la Shane Warne.

After their narrow loss in match Australia looked as if they were beginning to match England. They are still, despite Ponting's presence, collectively well below standard of the Australian ODI sides of a decade, or even a few years, ago.

On the other hand England look good. They have won the series fair and square, their key players have generally performed well while the lesser lights, eg Michael Yardy in this game, have also chipped in. Can they make it 4-0? I'm not game to venture an opinion..


Fox Sports report with link to video highlights.
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