England vs Australia 2018: 5 Talking Points from 2nd ODI
Continuing the trend from the series opener at The Oval, England and Australia produced another close contest in the second ODI in Cardiff. Despite a commendable fightback from the Australian batsmen, the hosts clinched the key moments to eke out a 38-run triumph.
Eoin Morgan's back spasm provided an opportunity for Jos Buttler to take up leadership duties. Following opener Jason Roy's resplendent century, the stand-in skipper led from the front by punishing the Australian bowlers in the death overs.
Chasing a mammoth 343, Shaun Marsh's 116-ball 131 took the visitors quite close to the target. When the game was in the balance, Liam Plunkett's astute spell wrested the initiative towards England who consequently procured a 2-0 lead in the series. Here are some key points of discussion from the fascinating encounter at the Sophia Gardens.
#5 Patient Roy lays solid platform
With Billy Stanlake's ferocious pace scything through his defence at The Oval, Jason Roy would have breathed a sigh of relief at the prospect of the tall fast bowler's injury-enforced absence. A short and wide one from Kane Richardson served as an ideal delivery for the opener to get into the groove.
Even as Jonny Bairstow began to impose himself on the Australian bowlers through some belligerent stroke-play, Roy operated sensibly by ensuring that his batting partner hogged most of the strike. When the opening stand was broken in the ninth over, he gradually started to take control of the proceedings.
Roy had his fair share of luck. A more aggressive captain might not have kept the slip cordon vacant when an edge evaded a sprawling Tim Paine. The intermittent rain breaks did not seem to affect the right-hander's momentum. By the time he was dismissed in the 36th over, he had scored a well-compiled century and set the platform for the lower middle-order.