A whirlwind knock of 64 off 31 balls from Mitchell Marsh took Australia to their second consecutive victory against England in the ODI series. Reduced to 49-overs-a-side, the match witnessed drama and excitement all the way through, with the Aussies dominating most of it. Marsh’s innings set things up for the visitors, propelling them to 309/7, after being put into bat by Eoin Morgan. The Englishmen, in reply, looked out of depth once again and surrendered arms in the 43rd over, when the last wicket fell at the score of 245.
Smith, Bailey guide Australia before Mitchell Marsh takeover
It was not the most pleasant start for Australia at Lord’s! David Warner was forced to retire hurt after being hit on the thumb of his left hand by a prancing delivery from Steven Finn in the very first over. However, things steadied soon after this wild start, as Steven Smith and George Bailey took charge of the innings. The duo built a 99-run stand for the 2nd wicket, following the dismissal of Joe Burns in the 9th over. Both batsmen bagged fine half centuries before being done in by Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali respectively. Glenn Maxwell’s explosive 49 off 38 boosted the Aussie run rate thereafter. Shane Watson played second fiddle to him during their quickfire 47 run stand.
The gamechanging period of action came right after Finn took out Maxwell on the penultimate ball of the 40th over. It brought Mitchell Marsh to the middle, and he wasted no time in making his intentions clear. With 7 fours and 3 sixes, Marsh knocked the Englishmen out of their strides in the last 10 overs. He plundered runs at will in the death overs, and the nervy English bowlers looked at their wits end to stop the mayhem. It did stop, but it was all too late by then. Marsh was dismissed on the last ball of the innings, caught behind while trying to pull a slower delivery from Stokes.
Eoin Morgan stands apart, rest of England falls without a fight
There was very little difference between England’s performance in the 1st and 2nd ODI of this ongoing series. On both occasions, they were let down by the middle order, despite getting quick and efficient starts. Jason Roy and Alex Hales had a breezy 37 run opening stand in 6 overs. James Taylor (43 off 57) got a start yet again, but could not convert it into a century. Eoin Morgan(85 off 87) was the standout performer who kept going despite wickets falling at the other end.
With the home team at 141/3 in the 26th over, the match reached a critical stage when Ben Stokes was controversially declared out for obstructing the field. He became the sixth batsman in the history of cricket to be dismissed in that fashion. The furore surrounding the dismissal refused to die down, even though Australia managed to tear the rest of the English middle order apart thereafter. Moeen Ali, Jos Butler, Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid turned out to be a collective package of failure once again. From 141/3, England stumbled badly to 187/8 in the 38th over. Liam Plunkett (24 off 12), at No 10, played a few audacious shots towards the end but the target proved all too big for the English tail. Morgan tried to keep the fight alive at the other end, but steadily ran out of partners. Australia managed to get Morgan as the last English wicket in the 43rd over and bagged a handsome 64 run victory.
Australia (309/7 in 50 overs, Steve Smith 70(87), Mitchell Marsh 64(31), Ben Stokes 3/60) beat England (245 all out in 42.3 overs, Eoin Morgan 85(87), James Taylor 43(57), Pat Cummins 4/56) by 64 runs
Man of the Match – Mitchell Marsh