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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

England complete drubbing before drenching rain arrives: T2D5

England 5 /620 dec def Australia 245 & 304 (99.1 ov, M Clarke 80, S Watson 57, M Hussey 52, G Swann 5-91) by an innings and 71 runs: T2 D5 at Adelaide Oval. England lead 5 match series 1-0 .
Player of the match: Kevin Pietersen.

This morning England wrapped up, sooner than most Australian supporters hoped, a victory which had looked pretty much inevitable since the first 15 minutes of the match. Congratulations to them. They played like Australian teams of old (actually not that long ago).

On the last morning they focused on the realities of the situation on the ground, not worrying about the weather. It turned out that the weather wouldn't have saved this abysmal Australian performance as the forecast thunderstorms (with tropical strength precipitation) arrived an hour or so later than expected, bringing some relief from the 30+ degree temperatures (and, on the last 3 days, high humidity ) which had prevailed for the duration of the match.

At 261 Mike Hussey mistimed a pull shot off Steven Finn and was caught at midwicket, leaving Brad Haddin and Marcus North as Austrsalia's last realistic hopes. But neither of them lasted long as Graeme Swann persisted and Jimmy Anderson struck in consecutive balls as the last 6 wickets yielded but 43 runs. Thus the match ended as it had begun, with an Australian batting collapse.

Swann's 5/91 from 41.4 overs was a tribute to both his quality and his stamina, Finn's nip was impressive, Anderson had some good moments intermingled with some wayward ones, while of course Pietersen took that crucial Michael Clarke wicket late yesterday. Only Stuart Broad of the frontline bowlers missed out, partly because he's been injured and will miss the rest of the series. England should have little trouble replacing him from their reserves. Would that Australia could say the same about the changes they must surely have to make to their team.


Fox Sports report and video highlights.
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