Matthew Wade smashed an unbeaten 71 from 50 balls, and featured in an unbeaten seventh-wicket partnership of 112 from merely 13 overs as Australia posted 305 for 6 and then went on to restrict England to 246 all out in 45.3 overs. At one stage, Australia were in all sorts of trouble at 193 for 6, when Wade and Marsh came together and turned the game on its head. England got off to a good start with the bat, but couldn’t sustain their momentum, and eventually fell way short of the target.
Wade did not begin his innings on a bright note. Looking to get his first run, he pushed the ball into the covers, and set off for an impossible single, only to leave Shane Watson, who has been at the receiving end of many such dismissals, stranded. However, Wade more than made up for that blunder with an innings of good maturity. He hit 12 well-timed strokes and kept finding the gaps with ease. After an impressive start to his ODI career, he had fizzled out, but this innings should go some way in resurrecting his career. He also contributed behind the stumps with three catches.
Earlier, David Warner and Joe Burns got Australia off to a bright start. They were steady without being sensational, adding 76 inside 15 overs. Then, it all fell apart. The introduction of spin made matters worse for the visitors, and the Aussies themselves did not help their cause. Adil Rashid was the one who troubled Australia the most, and he was lucky as well. Burns hit a full toss back at him, Warner sliced a googly to short third-man, and Steven Smith gave a simple catch to deep midwicket.
George Bailey was looking good, having made a quick 23, but Rashid trapped him lbw as well. Glenn Maxwell and Watson fell cheaply, but luckily Australia had it in them to ‘wade’ out of trouble. For England, Jason Ray and Alex Hales started well in the chase. The former was in excellent form, timing the ball which raced to the boundary on numerous occasions. Ray eased to his maiden ODI fifty, and added 70 for the first wicket in 11overs. Things were looking good when Hales pulled one straight into the hands of midwicket. Ray and James Taylor, sent in at number three, continued the good work for England.
Roy’s innings ended when he hit one straight to point on 67. Taylor followed him soon after, bowled by Watson one short of a fifty as he played across the line. Eoin Morgan also got a start and had accumulated 38 when Watson had him as well, the batsman gloving one down the leg side. England could not recover from that, and the lower order crumbled under pressure. Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali and Jos Buttler all fell cheaply as the chase lost steam. In the end, it was a stroll for the world champions.
--By A Cricket Analyst