This was perhaps one of the most sedate innings in a one day match. The Rose Bowl did not change much for England except that they managed to get a decent score on board. If it is enough, Australia will let know. Even as Ricky Ponting watches from the sidelines, Michael Clarke would like to lead Australia to a 3-0 nil in the seven match series.
The third ODI really needed a top order burst from England. Andrew Strauss once again took on the onus as the captain but there was not much to follow by way of experience.
Strauss stood strong on sixty-three but the England fallibility to lose wickets was once again prevalent as the coach, Andy Flower, and captain looked on in exasperation. While Strauss stayed at the crease, England were in with more than a hope.
Eoin Morgan did his bit for forty-eight but tat the fall of his wicket, England were not beyond trouble at seven down for 183 in the forty-third over.
It took the resourceful ending of Tim Bresnan and Ryan Sidebottom to get England past the 200 mark. Apart from Brett Lee whose aggression cost him a few extra runs, the Australian bowlers largely hit the mark and it became easier as England once again got stuck in a cocoon and unable to press on, leading to rather soft dismissals including that of the skipper’s. Shane Watson picked up three wickets without drama as did Mitchell Johnson with two.
Bresnan’s thirty-one and Sidebottom’s twenty-four was an enterprising partnership that pushed England along to 228. Mick Jagger’s presence at Lord’s for the second ODI was not enough. Is the skipper’s knock and late finish inspiration enough in the third ODI?