The rumours of One Day International cricket death are greatly exaggerated, after Australia completed the largest successful run chase at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, making 4/297 chasing England’s 294 from earlier in the day, Shane Watson standing above the rest scoring 161*.
In a game which was celebrating the 40th anniversery of the birth of ODI cricket, channel nine honoured it by decking their commentators in retro gear and sending them all on sepia filled trips down memory lane, these lanes being longer for some *cough* Tony Grieg *cough*. Once the fashion parade was over, England won the toss and elected to bat, on a slow wicket it has to be said.
England then got off to a flyer being 0/90 after 12 overs, enter the Hussey, David this time who picked up two wickets off deliveries that spun, which seemed to be illegal in Australian circles recently, first bowling Steve Davies and then getting a faint edge of Jonathan Trott which Haddin gleefully accepted.
It looked like England would get away with the innings several times when Pietersen was the rock and other batsmen were batting around him but Australia had the knack of getting wickets just when they needed it, Mitchell Johnson showing he could be a striker for Perth Glory which his strike that finally got Pietersen run out for 78. This left the lower order to add some lusty hitting, special mention to Chris Tremlett who swatted a six off Mitchell Johnsons bowling getting England to a formidable total of 294, which if chased would be the highest run chase at the MCG.
Enter Watson, who was coming off bowling eight overs for 44 in England’s innings. Between himself and Haddin they attacked the powerplay overs which got Australia off to a start which would of had a few of us rubbing our eyes, yes we were 0/100, 0/110 infact before Haddin holed out. After Haddin, was captain in waiting for several years Michael Clarke who along with Watson, delved into the lull, nurdling the ball around and keeping the rate going oh and Watson got his century along the way, not with a boundary either!
Clarke whose tortured innings came to end when he tried to go over the infield, gave the spotlight to the Ashes’ almost saiour Michael Hussey who made a mockery of the conditions scoring 2, , 6 plus some quick twos before he tried to chip one over Tremlettttt *shakes fist*. Piggy Smith came, played the weirdest shot i’ve ever seen and departed not long after, giving more fuel to the “he’s not ready”talks though he bowled well today, 2/12 off 3 but Ferguson should be in the side.
Once White entered, Australia still had some work to do, needing 49 off 42 but after some mistimed shots, he found his centre and with the help of some rank full tosses took it to needing four off the last over, Watson on strike. Shane only needed one ball though, smacking a full toss for six unleashing a primal scream and a 1-0 lead for Australia.