It was more disappointment for Alastair Cook as England crashed to a seven wicket loss to Australia giving them an unassailable lead of 3-0 in the Carlton Mid ODI Series.
After Cook won the toss at The SCG, he chose to bat first and he himself took the responsibility of making sure that his team got off to a good start. He played some scintillating shots throughout his knock but as soon as it looked like that the English captain would go big today, he was out caught for 35 which opened more opportunities for Australia.
First, the run rate slowed down and the Brits’ inning dropped down to a tortoise’s pace before Bell was run out yet again.
Soon after, Stokes (15), who never really got going in his knock, was out caught to Clarke who took as good a catch as you will ever see. Next in was Morgan who once again had been assigned the task to get the run rate up and guide the English ship through.
But, he couldn’t do it with Ballance (26) as the Zimbabwe born left hander got out soon after. Bopara then joined Morgan and together, they both combined for a really good partnership of 56 but just when the slog overs came near, Bopara (21) edged one to Haddin leaving England on 177/5.
With lots of hopes on him, Buttler marked his guard but before he could get going, Morgan (54) was out caught and bowled by Christian and the very same bowler had Buttler out bowled too which probably ended the match there.
Bresnan (41)* though hit some lusty blows in the end as England’s innings ended on 244/9 which was a tricky total on that SCG wicket.
With some task to do and a decent total on board, the Aussie openers came to the crease. As England had made two changes to the side by getting Broad and Tredwell in for Root and Rankin, they could fancy their chances because of a better bowling line-up than on previous two occasions.
But, as has always happened, Australia were once again off to a flier with Finch and Warner racing to 43 before Finch (22) hit one straight to Bopara. Then started England’s long wait for a wicket with Warner and Marsh settling down and they made batting look easy throughout their 78 run stand.
Warner (71) finally then “gave” away his wicket as he tried to take on Bresnan. Next in was the captain himself with the intention of almost seeing the game through.
Clarke looked fluent throughout his inning of 34 and just as it looked like he would finish the game off, Bopara nipped one back into him to hear the sound of timber. With 72 more needed to win, Haddin (35)* and Marsh (71)* made sure that no miracle could happen and they finished the game off in 40 overs to add to England’s tally of defeats (nine in a row).
The Englishmen have nothing to play for now in the ODI series but pride alone. The next ODI will be played at The WACA on Friday where we could see Cook rested.
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