Sophia Gardens in Cardiff was the hosting venue for the second ODI between England and Australia. After winning the series in Australia, England would be looking to replicate that winning formula with the tourists taking the opening match at the Oval. . Australia remained unchanged with D’Arcy Short and Marcus Stoinis looking to repeat their impressive start of the series with bat and ball respectively. England made one change as David Malan will be rueing his inability to cash in on his start and was replaced by Worcestershire’s up and coming star Joe Clarke, who was handed his international debut. Conditions early on are conducive for the spinners whilst later on seamers play a part on the flattening wicket and with that in mind, Morgan elected to bowl first.
Finch and Short began their assault on the opening bowlers of Tom Curran and Stokes and much like the first ODI, they began in an aggressive style with boundaries galore. But, Stokes fought back by taking the wicket of Finch for a quickfire 28 off 22 and then the wicket of the power hitting Lynn for 8 four balls later. Head backed up Short’s start by rotating the strike well and allowing Short to target the Currans. At a crucial time in the match, the spin of Rashid turned pivotal and bowled Head out for 17. Maxwell began in typical fashion with 2 fours and a six before falling foul of Rashid’s googly to leave the Aussies in trouble at 4-134. Captain Paine joined the crease and nullified the effect of Rashid as Short went from strength to strength with some outstanding hitting.
Their 54 run partnership was broken with the big wicket of Short, who will be disappointed he couldn’t make three figures, for a fantastic 95 caught behind off Woakes. An innings nonetheless he will remember in his debut series.
Paine and Stoinis began rebuilding with the latter playing counter attacking shots to up the dwindling run rate. Stokes’s return to the bowling crease brought about the wicket of Paine who was looking to increase the scoring rate LBW for 41 breaking another 54 run partnership. Adam Zampa arrived and with Stoinis added entertainment for the crowd with boundaries hit against Stokes and Woakes. Rashid returned at the conclusion of Stokes’s spell and immediately struck with Zampa leg before for a swashbuckling 26 off 21 adding Australia some lower order impetus. With the tail in, Rashid took advantage and cleaned up Jhye Richardson and Tye in the same over to bring up his 5 wicket haul leaving Stoinis to be joined by Stanlake.
Against the odds, Stanlake proved to be useful as he handed the strike to Stoinis with the aim of 300+. Stoinis brought up his 50 with a front foot slog for 6 off Woakes and built from there adding 39 for the last partnership with 9 boundaries from Marcus. Stanlake weighed in with 4 proper boundaries but come the penultimate ball, Woakes had the last laugh bowling Stanlake for 18 and concluding the Australian innings for 326. Short led the way at the top of the order with a stunning 95 ably supported by Stoinis counter attacking 68NO and handy contributions from Paine and big Billy Stanlake.
After a top order show in Surrey, it was a different story for both Bairstow and Hales as communication issues led to cheap runouts. A direct hit from AJ Tye to dismiss Bairstow for 3 at short cover started the train as debutant Clarke was caught up in Hales’s poor running but wasn’t the victim as Hales attempted a near impossible single as Maxwell cleaned up. England became in trouble at 3-38 with Clarke impressing with 3 boundaries but then falling leg before to Richardson with the extra pace. Eoin Morgan’s lane run scoring form continued with a brilliant return catch by Richardson for 4 and Stokes fell early again for 2 trapped in front for 2 by Tye. England were 5-57 with Root watching 3 dismissals quickly! An attempted relaunch was underway as Stoinis was smashed for 39 off only 3 overs mainly by Buttler and Zampa targeted to the short boundaries. But this positive contribution from the wicketkeeper batsman was over with Tye’s variations catching the edge to Paine.
Woakes joined Root and the latter carried on taking the attack to the Aussies and throwing Zampa off the attack for just the five overs going for 55. Rashid showed the more comfortable start to the ball and Zampa struggled with length and line. In a 107 run partnership, Root showed his permanent class and his ability to convert in the shorter forms of the game with his century coming off 67 balls. Just when England seemed back into the contest with Woakes backing up Root, Jhye Richardson produced a marvellous run out of the Test captain for 119 kickstarting the tail. As Woakes closed in on his half century, he fell for 49 to Richardson with the extra pace playing dividend. Rashid and Sam Curran put up small resistance but it was Maxwell who broke through Rashid, as he set himself to clear the fence, who was well caught by Head. The 2 brothers didn’t stay for much longer as big Billy finished the job off finding the edge of Tom Curran and wrapping up a 58 run victory for the Aussies.
England put up great resistance in the latter end of their innings with Root and Woakes in particular providing a positive ,after being 5-57, to a disappointing defeat where batsman struggled to convert their starts. After 2 successive wins, we are very pleased with our start and the contributions of D’Arcy Short, Jhye Richardson, Glenn Maxwell and AJ Tye have been the standout performances heading into the 3rd ODI. We will look to wrap up an unlikely series win at Trent Bridge which should be set for a high scoring contest. The team continued to be impressed by the support shown and hope to wrap up the series for the travelling fans!
Until next time Short Leg