Australia’s Penta Mission Well on Course

wcup-sufiAustralia’s Penta Mission Well on Course

Match 2 Pool A Played at Melbourne Cricket Ground. Man of The Match: AJ Flinch
Australia 342/9 (AJ Flinch 135, GJ Maxwell 66, GJ Bailey 55 , ST Finn 5/71 including a last over hat trick ,SCJ Broad 2/66 ) beat England 231( JWA Taylor 98* , CR Woakes 37, IR Bell 36 ,M Marsh 5/33 ) by 111 runs
Favorite Australia launched its dream mission for achieving the enviable record of winning world cup trophy fifth time with a huge 111 run victory over traditional rival England in their first Poll A match at iconic MCG . A jam-packed MCG cheering full throat and creating Mexican waves at regular frequency enjoyed the match to their hearts content on a very special Valentine Day. It was a great day for the cohorts New Zealand and Australia winning their respective matches against two major contestants of the pool.

...Centurion Batsman AJ Flinch...

…Centurion Batsman AJ Flinch…

Australia plays their second match of the pool against Bangladesh at Brisbane on 21 February, Australia played like true champion in producing a huge 342 /9 score despite of a last over hat trick by S Finn . Good fast bowling and sensational catching led Aussie clinically dispatching England to a huge margin defeat. Young Mitchell Marsh grabbed five of the top six wickets with his accurate bowling backed up excellent fielding.Australia is now puzzled with blessing of plenty .Depending of Michael Clark fitness Australia will be in a dilemma how to select the team. Australia has sent a very strong message to the rest of the title aspirants. Aussie cricket now has quality and depth and they have the momentum.

Australia has already won the trophy a record four times – 1987, 1999, 2003 and 2007. Only West Indies and India won it twice each. It is now a great opportunity for Australia for making it a fifth world cup. Australia to cricket is what Brazil is to soccer.
The Match.
England winning the toss decided to field expecting that overnight and early morning rain would have left some moisture in the wicket. Many were anxious that the match may not get through as storm and big rain was bothering the cricket fans. But we kept our fingers crossed. We knew that things would change dramatically in Melbourne. Melbourne sometimes witness four different weather on the same day. Sunshine started beckoning before midday. Great drainage system of MCG made the ground ready in no time .MCG started getting full to the brim as day progressed.

...GJ Maxwell (66)... GJ Bailey (55)...AJ Flinch (135)

…GJ Maxwell (66)… GJ Bailey (55)…AJ Flinch (135)

Australia’s dynamic opening pair Warner and Flinch started with a storm after Flinch dropped by Woakes off Broad on his very first ball at mid-wicket. The opening pair on 57 in 7.3 overs before dangerous looking David Warner was cleaned up by Broad with a lovely swinging delivery. On the very next ball Broad induced Watson edging behind the wicket to Butler. England roared into the game. Smith also came and went before causing any damage. At 70/3 England was very much in the game .Flinch playing in front of his adoring home fans was going great gun. He played all his attacking strokes alongside his captain cool calculative Bailey. The pair put on 146 glorious runs in the fourth wicket partnership which laid the solid foundation of the innings. Flinch exploited his first ball let off with a punishing 135 in 128 deliveries stroking 12 fours and 3 sixes before running himself out. Bailey played sensibly playing second fiddle to adventurous Flinch scoring 55 before getting cleaned out by Finn. Australia’s match factor Glen Maxwell joined by young strong West Australian lad Mitch March kept the momentum going adding 53 quick runs in the sixth wicket. Haddin joining Maxwell were adding insults to English camp before Finn achieving a rare hat trick taking 3 wickets in the last three balls of Australian innings. Haddin, Maxwell and Johnson were removed by Finn on the fourth, fifth and the last delivery of Australian innings .Finn finished with a satisfying figure of 5/71.The first century and first five wickets haul of the world cup happening in one innings. Australia set a huge target of 343 to win for England. England did bowl well. But it was superb Australian batting that led it produce a huge score.

...M Marsh 5/33...England Hat trick man  Finn...

…M Marsh 5/33…England Hat trick man Finn…

English batting could never get any momentum against very high quality Australian bowling and extraordinarily sensational fielding. Starc , Hazelwood and Johnson softened English batsmen so much that they presented wickets to friendlier Mitch Marsh .Bowling on the right channel at deceptive pace Marsh removed five of the top six English batsmen. Moeen Ali, Bell, Balannce, Root, Morgan or Butler just did not have answer to top quality Australian bowling and fielding. Only brave batting by late middle order batsman JWA Taylor saved England from complete disgrace. His 7 Th wicket 92 runs partnership with Chris Woakes gave some respectability to English innings which otherwise was in total disarray.Little fellow packed punches in his strokes and played some delightful strokes in his unbeaten innings of 98. Scoring a century at MCG against a rampaging Australian bowling attack could be a great achievement. His effort could only reduce the margin and in the end may matter in net run rate. Australia still won by a huge margin of 111 runs with overs to spare. Johnson and Starc were really too good for English tail enders. There was a little drama at the last stage of the match. Hazelwood struck the pads of Taylor and on appeal Umpire Aleem Dar was adjudged LBW which on review was reversed. The batsmen went for leg bye and was run out .Whether or not ball becomes dead once umpire declares a batsman is given out is a matter of interpretation.
Smith, Haddin and Starc took some astonishing catches. Smith, Maxwell and Warner save on the averages 10-15 each match and pick some stunners. All these separate brilliant team from good teams. Australia proved why they are so consistently good in all format of the game. If Clark is fit he gets in but the real question is now who goes out . Perhaps Watson has to give way. Bailey is in good touch and what Watson does Mitch Marsh can do better now. Better would be giving Clark more time and play with the winning combination against Bangladesh.

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