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Rediff.com  » Sports » England-Australia final tied

England-Australia final tied

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July 03, 2005 02:19 IST

England and world champions Australia completed an extraordinary finish to tie their triangular series one-day final at Lord's on Saturday.

England, chasing 197 to win, needed 19 off the last two overs and 10 off Glenn McGrath's last six balls.

Detailed scorecard

Darren Gough was run out off the penultimate ball, leaving the home side with their last two men at the crease needing three for victory.

Ashley Giles then stole two runs to third man as Brett Lee misfielded the ball, England ending on 196 for nine.

It was only the 21st one-day international tie and England's second. Their first, in May 1989 at Trent Bridge, was also against Australia.

The finish, in front of a packed crowd of more than 24,000, left the world champions in a state of shock after they had looked certain of victory.

Bowled out for 196 in 48.5 overs after being asked to bat in seamer-friendly, overcast conditions, Australia reduced the home side to 33 for five in the 10th over only for Paul Collingwood (53) and Geraint Jones (71) to resurrect English hopes with a 116-run stand for the sixth wicket.

It was an astonishing end. Michael Vaughan's hopes of setting down a marker before a head-to-head one-day series and the Ashes seemed to have evaporated long before.

McGrath, whose first over spell earned him figures of 7-4-9-3, finished with three for 27. Lee, who produced the best ball of the game to bowl Andrew Strauss before also getting Kevin Pietersen caught behind, finished with two for 36.

Lord's remained enveloped in thick banks of cloud for the entire day. That favoured swing and seam movement but no one profited better than the 35-year-old McGrath.

Andrew Flintoff, with three for 23, and Steve Harmison, with three for 27, had been magnificent for England after Australia had been put in. McGrath was simply more magnificent.

First he induced the streaky Marcus Trescothick to open his blade and edge to second slip with the score on 11. Then, after Lee had spreadeagled Andrew Strauss's stumps with a high-speed off-cutter, McGrath dug one in to Vaughan who dragged the ball into his stumps without scoring.

LOOKED DECIDED

When Flintoff edged him behind the contest seemed decided. None of England's top five reached double figures.

The start to Australia's innings had offered a total contrast.

Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist, ignoring the sharp seam movement on offer, harvested 50 off 39 balls, with Simon Jones hit for four consecutive boundaries.

The next 50 runs, however, took 20 overs, five wickets falling in the process.

Hayden, driving on the up at Gough after making 17, caught the ball on the toe and looped it to mid-off.

Flintoff, having replaced Jones, hit a perfect length immediately, beating Gilchrist repeatedly as he moved the ball up and down the slope before the left-hander, pulling, skied to mid-wicket after making 27.

Ricky Ponting, still struggling with his form, pulled Gough for six but then leg-glanced Harmison's first ball behind, returning to the pavilion in a fury.

Harmison bagged a second when Damien Martyn made 11 before failing to get forward and edging behind to make it 90 for four and it was 93 for five when Jones returned with a fine second spell to trap Michael Clarke lbw.

Andrew Symonds and Hussey, Australia's last chance, rebuilt slowly with a 54-run stand before Symonds, having scored 29 off almost 12 overs, flat-batted a rasping drive off Collingwood's medium-pacers deep into Andrew Strauss's midrift at extra cover.

Harmison and Flintoff wrapped up the tail, the excellent Hussey ending unbeaten on 62.

The series had also featured Bangladesh who early in the tournament pulled off a shock win over Australia but failed to make the final.
Tony Lawrence
Source:
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