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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Australia keep us wondering...why they've not been this good more often: T5D2


England 8/107 (40ov, Cook 22, Marsh 3/18, Siddle 2/18, Lyon 2/32) trail Australia 481 (125.1ov, Smith 143, Voges 76, Starc 58, Finn 3/90, Moeen Ali 3/102, Stokes 3/133) by 374 runs: T5D2 at The Oval.

Another day to Australia as Steve Smith and Adam Voges kept England in the field before a few wickets tumbled, then Mitchell Starc hit a quickfire 58 as the last three wickets added 105. 481 looked a good total but not, I thought, as good as it might have been bearing in mind instances in the last decade where teams have made 500+ in the first innings and still lost.

But these were in Australia.The Oval pitch seemed more benign than many close to it expected, but after England fell apart when they batted, it appeared as if its demons had not been tamed. Yet this understates the difference in quality between the two attacks: Australia focused, driven by Peter Siddle and Mitchell Marsh (and with each other bowler doing their bit); England, with Stuart Broad used sparingly (to preserve him for future series?), sub-par.

From here Australia should win. The weather apparently threatens to disrupt proceedings on days 4 & 5, so Michael Clarke needs to break with recent Australian and enforce the follow on.

Disclosure: I had a long day on Friday and was disappointed that I fell asleep (through fatigue, not boredom) when England batted and thus missed all 8 wickets,  I did see some highlights and replays: enough to get an idea of how well Australia bowled, and how vulnerable England are when put under the pump as they were on this day.

Scorecard
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