3 Masterstrokes from England in their win against Australia
The five-match ODI series between England and Australia kicked off on June 13 at the picturesque Kennington Oval in London. Electing to bat first on a flat pitch, Australia got off to a dreadful start losing their opener Travis Head in the very second over of the bowling of David Willey.
However, the pair of Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh ensured no immediate damage was done and runs were scored at a fair clip. Just when the pair was looking good to capitalize on the partnership, the introduction of off-spinner Moeen Ali in the 9th over gave the much-needed break-troughs for England. The off-spinner first picked up the wicket of Aaron Finch in the 9th over followed by Shaun Marsh in the 11th over.
Australia kept losing wickets at regular intervals and from a comfortable position of 47-1, they collapsed to 5-90 in 20 overs. However, a spirited 84 run partnership from Glenn Maxwell (62) and Ashton Agar (40) brought some hope to the Australian Team. But it was too little too less as Australia were bundled out for 214 in 47 overs.
Glenn Maxwell top scored for Australia with 62 while Moeen Ali was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3-43 in 10 overs. Liam Plunkett was a little expensive but he picked up 3 wickets for 42 runs.
In reply, England lost their start opener Jason (0) in the very second ball of the innings, bowled off the bowling of Billy Stanlake. Alex Hales (5) was the next to go, as he was trapped LBW right in front of the bowling of debutant Michael Neser. Jonny Bairstow, struck few glorious boundaries in his brief knock of 28 before he pulled one straight into the hands of square leg and England were struggling at 3-38.
However, Skipper Eoin Morgan (69) and Joe Root (50) resurrected the innings and struck a match-winning partnership of 115 for the 4th wicket. Although, England lost 3 wickets in quick succession later in the innings, the pair of Moeen Ali (17) and David Willey (35*) brought England to touching distance of victory. In the end, David Willey (35*) and Liam Plunkett (3*) took England home with 6 overs to spare.
In a game that had everything, let us look at 3 masterstrokes from England that paved the way for victory.
#3 Counter attacking knock from Captain Morgan – 69 of 74 balls
Coming into this game, Eoin Morgan faced criticism for England's shocking loss to Scotland a few days ago. Hence, this was an ideal opportunity for Morgan and his side to make amends and wipe off the criticism by securing a win against the Australians.
He got his tactics rights and field positions were spot-on as England choked Australia and never let them run away with the game. His attacking field settings and inspired bowling changes resulted in Australia getting bowled out for a below-par total of 215 on a flat pitch at the Kia Oval.
And chasing a moderate total of 215, England lost their top 3 batsmen inside 8 overs and England were desperately needed a good partnership to steer them home. With an ever-reliable Joe Root at the crease, Morgan took the attack to the opposition.
The captain pulled out a masterstroke by playing a counter-attacking knock against a relatively potent bowling attack of Australia. He was dismissive against anything that was short and full and made full use of the power-play by sticking boundaries at regular intervals.
This knock helped England score more than the required run rate and the game was quickly out of reach of Australia. In his knock of 69 of 74 balls, Morgan struck 11 boundaries to the fence, before edging one to the wicket-keeper.