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    February 12, 2007

    Aus v Eng - CBA Series - Second Final

    From the sublime to the ridiculous. Australia's dominance of this CBA series ended with a thud, in rain affected scenes that reseembled the scenario last time England took a trophy off the Aussies. England fans, singing in the stands, rejoicing the announcement that the game was over, and England have won - Aussies, beware the washout.

    Like that fateful Test at the Oval in the darkening September days of 2005, England completely outplayed Australia again in this match - albeit just a 50 over game. Australia fought their way back into the game in the field after a good start by England had made a 300 total possible - and restricted them to a very 'gettable' 246.

    From there Australia were never in the hunt. To sum it up quickly, 2 early wickets put pressure on the Australian middle order, that I still believe it is not built to cope with. Hodge was good again, but had no support. Hussey may finally be heading into the downside of the curve everyone has been warning about - although not there yet let's be honest. Gilchrist continued to struggle against the moving ball and while batsman after batsman fell away, England went from strength to strenght, all culminating it what was easily, the catch of the summer, by Dalrymple at backward point - completely airborne, projecting himself metres to his left to snaffle Shane Watson and start tapping that final nail into the coffin.

    So, as much as it aches to say it, well played Poms! To pick yourselves up off your collective backsides, after losing Pietersen and Vaughan, and inject the momentum into the camp just prior to the World Cup, is a credit to you - not to mention the joy you will no doubt take, from sticking a little seed of doubt into the Aussie camp, just a month out...

    So a few questions - why was Stuart Clarke dropped, and when Cameron White was seen as a luxury in a side that contained Andrew Symonds, why the hell drop him, once Symonds is out.

    Aussies will say this was just a warm up to the World Cup, and they were probably quite honestly trying a few combinations, but they have always prided themselves on winning every contest they turn up for - now they haven't, if things don't go according to plan in the Carribean, we may well look back and wonder...

    Cross-posted on STUmpcam

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    Thus spake Stuart Helwig @ 8:00 AM |
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    6 sledge(s):

    I think Australia's bowling is a weak point. I'm not convinced McGrath is completely fit. Cameron White won't scare any batsman with his bowling. Then again, that's what a lot of folks said about a similar blonde leggie 15 years ago.

    As for the batting, it's mostly ok except that in the absence of Symonds, the middle order has a huge hole.

    That said, I'm angry at England for making Australia lose so many in a row _BEFORE_ the World Cup. I'd rather have had Australia do that _DURING_ the World Cup!

    I'm sure someone's mentioned it elsewhere, but this is Australia's first loss in the final of a multi-team one-day tournament since the Aiwa Cup in Sri Lanka in 1999/2000.

    New Zealand beat Australia 4 consecutive times between 2001 and 2002 (and precious few times since, by the way). So England are second (with West Indies) on the list of teams who've beaten Australia consecutively since 2000. India, South Africa and Pakistan have beaten Australia twice in a row in that period.

    By Blogger Jagadish (12-Feb-2007, 11:34:00 AM)  

    It's also England's first finals win since Sharjah. I'm finding it hard to express how utterly odd this win is.

    By Blogger Geoff (12-Feb-2007, 3:50:00 PM)  

    That side was led by Hollioake, with the the incumbent (Athers?) unavailable. Ditto here. Maybe there's a hint for England's future one-day campaigns?

    By Blogger Jagadish (12-Feb-2007, 4:15:00 PM)  

    You mean, do a Pakistan and change the captain for each series? I would say they could hire someone to nobble the current captain, but maybe they should just keep the medical staff they have at the moment - the results are the same.

    By Blogger Geoff (12-Feb-2007, 4:56:00 PM)  

    Umm, you chaps did that over the last 4-5 months anyway. Flintoff -> Strauss -> Flintoff -> Vaughan -> Flintoff ... in the CB series, it was on a match-by-match basis, a few times! :)

    The hint is to keep Michael Vaughan away from one-day cricket and petition the ICC to allow non-playing captains, like they have in Davis Cup tennis.

    By Blogger Jagadish (12-Feb-2007, 5:09:00 PM)  

    Amusingly, that request could also apply to Andrew Strauss at the moment. Both of them in the same batting order could be a bit of a liability, like opening with Mike Brearley and Vizzy.

    By Blogger Geoff (12-Feb-2007, 5:20:00 PM)  

    We'd prefer if you posted comments with your real name to add more credibility to your opinions. However, the moderators reserve the right to delete comments, especially those containing offensive or unsuitable language. The opinions in the comments are your own views. You are welcome to provide a URL to your own cricket blog, but the moderators reserve the right to delete comments which only reference sites for viewing live streams.

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