Finally, a twist...
Not so much a "final twist" as "finally, a twist!". In a game reminicent of the changing fortunes and quality cricket of the 2005 English summer, than the borish domination of the Australians counted by meek submission of the English, we've become accustomed to over the past 3 months - England did a job on the Aussies last night at the MCG.
Take two snapshots from the game - Australia 1 for 150 at one point, England 3 for 15 at one point, who could imagine England getting up? Well they did - and they did it in true Vaughan-led style - except for one thing, he is on a plane home! Freddie Flintoff finally managed to lead, as he leads best, by example, both with the bat and the ball, and he did it, while captaining. An awesome sign for English fans for the future. So far this summer, his leadership has been non-existant. When he wasn't captaining, he led the way with inspirational bowling spells and powerful batting - as captain all that had dissipated. Not last night. Both England and New Zealand have had the game plan to beat Australia in the 50 over form of the game this summer, they just haven't executed. And at times it's been woeful batting or fielding that has prevented that execution.
History would say, Australia will bounce back and probably even take this series still...but what a well timed reversal of fortune for England. Two wins in a row against the world champs. They came good late in the ICC trophy too - in time to win their last game emphatically, they've come good now...if they can manage to somehow start well in the world cup next month, who knows what may happen?
Back to the game - with Australia cruising at about the 30 over mark, they capitulated, some may say, English style, to post just over 250 - albeit a competitive score, but Collingwood saw to it, that it wasn't enough. Flintoff departed just before the game was safe, but Collingwood didn't follow. His form now shoes a wicked "J curve" as since his 200 in Adelaide, he's been on a pretty much downward spiral, but now wickets, catches and two consecutive hundreds and this series is well and truly up for grabs. You may remember that special Collingwood catch that sparked England into action in England in '05 - well who knows what's coming? From here, it's Sydney on Sunday, then, us Aussies are hoping, it's on to Adelaide for the decider - Flintoff may have other plans.
Just on that decider - did anyone catch Bill Lawry (on Channel Nine's coverage) doing the summary after the game, saying how exciting it all was and generally going over the top - did anyone notice how excited he was that "this now guarantees a third final" - I wonder if any English fans pointed out just how best of three works, should Australia lose on Sunday???
(Cross posted on STUmpcam
Labels: Commonwealth Bank Series