11th over: England 55-3 (Root 13, Morgan 9) Target 215 Now Richardson appears at the opposite end to which he started from and Root capitalises immediately, driving through cover for four. The field is 7-2 off side, I think, the plan to get Morgan driving, but the way the score is, he can let the wide ones go by and does. Then, a ball he can pull, down to fine leg for one, and Root then adds a further single to cover.
10th over: England 48-3 (Root 7, Morgan 8) Target 215 Tim Paine brings back Stanlake searching for another wicket, though only allows him one slip. This might just be the decisive passage of the game, because is he can’t breakthrough, by the time this spell is over Root and Morgan will both be in. Anyway, he sends down a decent over, the final one of the powerplay, which yields just a single to Root, until Paine puts in a leg gully, encouraging him to attack Morgan’s ribs, only he offers width and the ball is duly eases to the fence round about backward point.
9th over: England 44-3 (Root 6, Morgan 4) Target 215 England can just knock this around and win – what are the chances of a magic ball from this Australia attack? I know what you’re thinking, brand, style, brand, brand, cricket; brand of, and yoiu’re right, I’m an anachronism. After four dots, Root flicks one off his pads that looks destined for the fence, but Stanlake gets down really well to field. In commentary, Broad observes that Australia’s field is quite defensive, which I find slightly odd with these two busy types at the wicket, but I’m sure I’m missing the point.
8th over: England 42-3 (Root 5, Morgan 4) Target 215 So can Richardson maintain pressure … not quite yet. A half-tracker that’s every bit as bad as his loosener allows Morgan to pull hard, and he gets fo to fine leg.
WICKET! Bairstow c Head b Richardson 28 (England 38-3)
And they’ve got it! Bairstow connects beautifully with a pull – he’s almost hit it too well,” says SJ Broad in commentary – except he picks out the man at square leg and he’s as furious with himself as he deserves to be. There was not the slightest need for him to play that shot, but he did. We have waselves a ball-game!
7th over: England 38-2 (Bairstow 28, Root 5) Target 215 Neser returns from the other end and Root gets off the mark with a single to midwicket. Bairstow then fiddles one more before, off the final delivery of the over, Root flicks four down the ground to long on. That was mortifyingly competent, and Australia are getting towards need a wicket territory.
6th over: England 33-2 (Bairstow 27, Root 0) Target 215 Richardson replaces Neser and his loosener is short, wide and slow, so Bairstow creams it through backward point for four. He responds with four dots, but then finds a bit of extra bounce that’s meant to bother Bairstow and with good reason … but he simply gets up on his toes, channels his weight through the line of ball, and sends four hurtling through cover. That is a delicious shot.
5th over: England 24-2 (Bairstow 19, Root 0) Target 215 Stanlake’s natural length is suited to this pitch – ok, Sangakkara told me that – because the ball skids on without bouncing much. Bairstow edges a single off his third ball, which is the only run from the over.
4th over: England 23-2 (Bairstow 18, Root 0) Target 215 So Australia have their start. The thing is, this is a very Joe Root occasion: no one is better at keeping the score moving without taking undue risks, and 215 to win requires exactly that. But Neser sees things differently, sending down a jaffa first up that whizzes past the outside edge. Another wicket maiden.
“Re Lehmann on Broad,” emails Geraint Rodgers, “What is also forgotten when the Aussies try and justify the abuse that was directed Broad’s way is that he didn’t edge it to first slip. He feathered it to the keeper but Haddin was so immobile by then he kneed it into the slips. This became ‘Broad refused to walk despite thick edging it to slip and therefore deserves everything he gets’ but that simply isn’t true.”
That whole thing was a lot. He could’ve walked, he didn’t, move on – it’s only a game, grow up.
WICKET! Hales lbw b Neser 5 (England 23-2)
Interesting! Neser goes full and straight and Hales looks to turn him away but misses the line of the ball – by quite some way, it must be said. He’s caught on crease and pad, up goes the finger, and that’s Neser’s first wicket in international cricket so well done him – it’s an amazing feeling, take it from me.
3rd over: England 23-1 (Bairstow 18, Hales 5) Target 215 Hales sees Stanlake trying a short one outside off, so he fetches it and deposits it over midwicket for four. He looks in nice touch and drives hard towards cover for one, then Bairstow crumps four to cover point – it’s so easy for him at the moment – and then another delicious ball-bat sound, the planet racing through cover to the fence.
2nd over: England 10-1 (Bairstow 10, Hales 0) Target 215 Neser will open from the other end, bowling to two slips, and Bairstow dabs his first ball around the corner to backward square leg – they run two. Then, after a dot, Neser offers width and Bairstow guzzles it greedily, cutting hard for four, “When you’re in form, you don’t see fielders you see gaps,” says Sanga, also explaining that there’s just a feeling of body and mind being in tune. Bairstow quickly backs him up by outside for four more. He is really good at the commentary lark – who’d have guessed – and is talking about staggering slips when protecting a low total to attack without sacrificing the area in front of the wicket. I wish I could record everything he’s saying and tattoo it on my eyeballs.
“Can you imagine the conversations that would go on with HR if professional sports people started raising grievances on the grounds they were being subjected to unacceptable verbal abuse by other professionals and members of the public in the course of their day-to-day working activities?” asks Phil Russell. “Can’t imagine a meeting at a competitor company where halfway through the discussions my opposite number started calling me a **** and everyone thinking it was just business as usual. Mind you I don’t work in journalism either so I may be insulated from all this.”
And you’ve definitely never worked in a City law firm.
1st over: England 0-1 (Bairstow 0, Hales 0) Target 215 Stanlake is already up at 90mph, and completes a wicket maiden.
“It isn’t that hard,” tweets Gary Naylor on the sledging thing. “In every other working environment, it’s not 1975. If you bully people in the workplace, you get disciplined and, ultimately, dismissed. And employers run training programmes to educate staff and root it out. Sledging = banter = bullying.”
I don’t think it’s as clear as that. Sport has an edge, and in most workplaces you don’t have one person hurling a hard object at another. I don’t see the problem with a bit of patter; I do see the problem with being an expletive expletive.
WICKET! Roy b Stanlake 0 (England 0-1)
Have a look! Stanlake is on the money immediately, his first ball pushing Roy back. And his second is even better, nipping back and spiriting through yerman’s defences like a knife through a tortured metaphor. What a start!
Billy Stanlake has the nut/cherry/rock/sphere/globe. Yeah, you’ve not played the game, so advise yourself.
Right then, out come the fielders. They’ll have to go some to resolve this…
The more I think about this, the easier I think it must be to know what you can and can’t say out there in the middle. Yeah, some things might get said by mistake in the heat of it all, but in general it isn’t that difficult.
Langer says his team will continue to sledge, and he sledges his young daughter when playing cards. He says perhaps they’ll call it banter instead, but it doesn’t matter that much what they call it does it? Just don’t insult people’s families, and be done with it.
Langer literally claims that when he was playing, people didn’t like Australia just because they were good. He really did! He then says when he heard about the ball-tampering, he “nearly died”. In Australia, he says, they’re brought up to play fair, and Hayden and Symonds played hard cricket. I don’t know, really I don’t, but I will say that in my opinion the fuss over what Smith, Bancroft and Warner did was way out of proportion to what Smith, Bancroft and Warner actually did, and I found it hard not to see what happened subsequently as motivated, in significant part, by concerns for the image of CA.
Nasser is interviewing Tim Paine, who says before he took over, their “behaviours” gradually got worse. It’s kind of odd, this – Justin Langer is sat on his shoulder smiling awkwardly like some kind of boss-parrot.
I’m looking forward to seeing how Billy Stanlake goes. Australia will need wickets – early ones and several of them. They’ll be looking to him to supply some.
Kumar Sangakkara is unfathomably cool, as cool as a man with dub-Ks has every right to be. He is wearing white throuser! I know!
“Scotland are better than Australia,” tweets Gary Naylor. “Not at football.”
Ear, are you sure?
“Way too much international cricket,” emails Mike Marlowe. “All it is doing is tainting the product and the touring teams lose their mystique and watchability as they tour too often. All about the money.”
It’s not just the volume, though that is a thing, but what the point of it all is. I’ve no idea what anyone hopes to gain from this series beyond money, and that needn’t be so – some sort of league would at least give us some “context”.
Or maybe Australia will come roaring back. The thing is, England would fancy themselves to chase 215 in a game of T20, T100, T3π5.72 – or whatever bazzing ruse the ECB are now busy preparing. It’s inconceivable that England won’t win from here, isn’t it?
Afternoon all. So, One Thing We Learnt: Scotland are better than Australia. That’s how these things work, yeah?
Not very good. Australia never really got going. So many starts early on, but early introduction of spin of England made a dent that the visitors were never able to recover from. Maxwell’s half-century, in a useful stand with Agar for the sixth wicket, ensured that Australia went beyond 200 but only just. Moeen and Rashid, with five between them, were the pick of the bowlers along with Plunkett who took three after coming on late to finish the job. Right, that’s me for tonight as I race to the TMS box to talk all things Australia/sandpaper. Thanks for your company this afternoon. I’ll leave you with Daniel Harris. Bye!
AUSTRALIA ALL-OUT 214. (WICKET! Tye c Buttler b Plunkett 19)
Ooooh. Plunkett whacks Tye on the front of the helmet. He’s okay but the support staff race out to make sure. It was via a top edge, watching the replay. But what a response – Tye pops him (nearly) out of the ground! By faaaar the biggest hit of the day. Just on a length he had the room to swing his arms and made wonderful contact into the new Peter May Stand. Every little bit helps at this stage. Unfortunately, though, the show is over when he nicks the last ball of the over. And that’s it! Australia dismissed three overs short of batting the full 50 overs.
47th over: Australia 214 (Stanlake 0 not out)
46th over: Australia 208-9 (Tye 13, Stanlake 0) A couple of fast yorkers from Wood to the no. 11 Stanlake but he is able to keep them out. Big Billy (I’m legally bound to call him that) isn’t known for his work with the bat.
WICKET! Richardson c Root b Wood 1 (Australia 208-9)
Richardson picks out Joe Root at mid-off. Tried to go long – and made decent contact – but the elevation wasn’t quite there. Not his fault Australia are in strife. Quite an elaborate wicket celebration from Wood and Root. I look forward to a replay of it in GIF form. A chest/hip bump, of sorts.
45th over: Australia 207-8 (Tye 12, Richardson 1) Plunkett knows the drill bowling at the tail, at the stumps or the helmet. Hard to believe he played his first ODI against Australia all the way back in 2006-07. Indeed, that was the series where he raced through the Australian top order at Sydney with a fine spell of outswing bowling. Always felt he should have played more for England in all formats. No matter, he’s a mainstay of this side now with a World Cup to win this time next year if all goes to plan for the hosts. Just the one single from the over. Five left, if they make it to the finish line.
44th over: Australia 206-8 (Tye 11, Richardson 1) Richardson does well to push one to midwicket. Tye tries to go long down the ground again but instead gets a top edge over the wicketkeeper for a couple. Slaps another, powerfully, to long-off. Richardson swings hard to the last ball but there is no contact. That’s the leggie done, finishing with 2/36 with the wickets of Stoinis and Agar to his name. Bowled.
43rd over: Australia 201-8 (Tye 8, Richardson 0) Tye once again straight back over the bowlers’ head! His eight runs so far have come from two very nice cricket shots. Give the strike to him, I think, Richo. Australia’s 200 up with the stroke. Plunkett, understandably, goes upstairs with a bumper in reply. Tye can’t get the last delivery away, meaning the number ten will have to face the music to start the final Rashid over.
WICKET! Neser c Root b Plunkett 6 (Australia 197-8)
Neser attempts to whack Plunkett across the line but the top edge only goes as far as Root at mid-off on the edge of the fielding circle. Maybe a slight change of pace to bring on the error. We aren’t far away from this being over.
42nd over: Australia 197-7 (Neser 6, Tye 4) AJ Tye is the new man and smacks Rashid back over his head, one bounce four. That’ll do! It is the first boundary off his excellent bowling today. Tye misses the wrong’un, prompting an appeal, but it is turned down. Four runs and the wicket from the successful set.
WICKET! Agar lbw b Rashid 40 (Australia 193-7)
Oh yes, that’s out. Agar trying to slog sweep the first ball of Rashid’s new over but doesn’t make contact. The left-hander is struck on the back pad right dead in front. He’s so very out that a review isn’t seriously considered despite the fact that he’s the last recognised batsman.