Aus overcome Eng by 6 wickets in 1st ODI

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Published: Monday, January 17, 2011, 9:16 [IST]
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Aus overcome Eng by 6 wickets in 1st ODI

After allowing England to set them a target of 295 to win, Australia put on a splendid performance with the bat as an unbeaten 161 from Shane Watson, propelled his side to a 6 wicket victory with 5 balls to spare. Australia thus go 1-0 up in the ODI series against England.

After a quiet first couple of overs and a catch off a no-ball, England openers Steve Davies and Andrew Strauss settled in. Davies struck pacer Doug Bollinger for two consecutive fours in the 6th over and was dropped by Shane Watson at short cover in the next over, off Brett Lee. There was more drama in the following over when Davies smacked spinner David Hussey for a four to take England past 50 and then survived a missed stumping chance in the next ball.

Then Strauss took two fours off Mitchell Johnson in the 11th over and even though two overs later, Davies was out to Hussey for 42, England were cruising at 90/0 in 12.2 overs. Jonathan Trott brought up England's 100 with a four off Watson, but in the very next over, he was caught behind off Hussey for 6 and the tourists were 100/2. Then Kevin Pietersen and Strauss put on 29 runs before the latter was caught by Michael Clarke at square leg off Lee for 63.

Ian Bell and Pietersen took England over 150 in the 25th over and pressed ahead, till in the 31st over with the score at 174/3, leg-spinner Steven Smith had Bell caught by Clarke at extra cover for 23. Smith returned in his next over to remove Eoin Morgan for 8 before Pietersen cut loose with two consecutive sixes off Huseey in the 34th over to take England past 200.

Pietersen then strung together partnerships with Michael Yardy and Tim Bresnan before he was run out for 78 as the scoreboard read 257/7 in 43.4 overs. Then Bresanan struck a couple of fours before getting out, after which Ajmal Shahzad and Chris Tremlett each hit a six to take England to 294/9 at the end of 50 overs.

Set with such a challenging target meant that Australia would have to get a move-on from the get-go. Shane Watson and Brad Haddin were equal to the task, hitting a four in each of the first four overs, before Watson took Australia to over 50 with a six off fast bowler Shahzad.

The duo kept pushing for ones and twos till in the 14th and 15th overs, Haddin got stuck into Bresnan first by striking for two fours and then subjected Shahzad to similar treatment, before the hosts crossed the 100-run mark in the 18th over. Then off-spinner Graeme Swann got the breakthough when he had Haddin caught by Shahzad at deep square leg for 39. Australia were 110/1 in 19.4 overs and were looking good as captain Michael Clarke joined Watson out in the middle.

Watson took a four off Yardy to brinbg up Australia's 150 in the 29th over. About 6 overs later, Watson came down heavily on Yardy, carting him for two huge back-to-back sixes before Australia moved past 200 in the 37th over. Then Brsanan got the breakthrough, removing Clarke for 36, but Watson motored along with new man Steven Smith before Shahzad accounted for Smith's wicket and then a short while later, Bresnan had Hussey caught at square leg for 21 with the score reading 244/4 in 43.2 overs.

But then Watson and new man Cameron White stayed cool-headed to take their side over 250. In the 47th over, White and Watson each took a four off Tremlett, reducing the equation to 15 runs required off 18 balls. White hit a four in the penultimate over, before Watson finished off the match in an emphatic way by lofting Shahzad for six. Australia were home by 6 wickets with 5 balls to spare.


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