Commonwealth Bank Series, 2006/07 / Commentary

Commonwealth Bank Series - 1st final

Australia v England

England won by 4 wickets (with 3 balls remaining)

2.10pm The teams are out on the field. Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden will open for Australia, and it's Liam Plunkett to take the new ball. I'm Andrew Miller, and here we go.

1.55pm Australia have won the toss and will bat first. It's a glorious sunny day in Melbourne, with a top temperature of 29 degrees celsius expected. Ideal for batting. "It's another good wicket, so it's important we get off to a great start," says Ricky Ponting.

And the teams have been unveiled. Shane Watson is back for Australia, alongside Brad Hogg, with Cameron White and Mitchell Johnson missing out. Mal Loye comes back in for England at the top of the order.

Australia 1 Adam Gilchrist (wk), 2 Matthew Hayden, 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Brad Hodge, 5 Michael Clarke, 6 Michael Hussey, 7 Shane Watson, 8 Brad Hogg, 9 Brett Lee, 10 Nathan Bracken, 11 Glenn McGrath.

England 1 Mal Loye, 2 Ed Joyce, 3 Ian Bell, 4 Andrew Strauss, 5 Paul Collingwood, 6 Andrew Flintoff (capt), 7 Paul Nixon, 8 Jamie Dalrymple, 9 Sajid Mahmood, 10 Liam Plunkett, 11 Monty Panesar.

1pm Hello and welcome to the first final of the CB Series between Australia and England at Melbourne. It's the match-up that no-one believed was possible - Australia, the mighty conquerors of all-comers, against England, the timorous also-rans, who seemed to be running full-tilt for home until their improbable turnaround last week. Instead, they have secured themselves three last shots at glory. It's not the Ashes, but in the circumstances, it would be some consolation ahead of the World Cup. Join us here from 3.15am GMT for full live coverage.

0.1

Plunkett to Gilchrist, 1 run, pushed down the leg-side and Gilchrist is off the mark with a clip to square leg.

That's one more delivery than Gilchrist survived in the last match at Sydney

Now then, now then. We have a contest here at the MCG. The Australians are out on the field, and here come England's openers, Mal Loye and Ed Joyce

0.1

Plunkett to Gilchrist, 1 run

Brett Lee will take the new ball. England need 253 for a mightily unexpected victory.

0.1

Plunkett to Gilchrist, 1 run

0.1

Plunkett to Gilchrist, 1 run, lovely start for Lee. Full, fast, inswinging onto off stump. Joyce defends cagily to point

0.2

Plunkett to Hayden, no run, good length on off stump, hint of drift back into the batsman, pushed into the covers off the front foot

0.3

Plunkett to Hayden, 1 run, good start from Plunkett, zippy again, and a thick edge down to third man. Hayden off the mark

0.4

Plunkett to Gilchrist, no run, tight on off stump, defended back down the pitch. Tidy stuff from Plunkett, who served up an 11-ball over against New Zealand the other night

two slips, point, third man, cover, mid off, mid on, midwicket, fine leg

0.5

Plunkett to Gilchrist, 1 wide, oops, it couldn't last. A swing and a miss, and the first extra. A bit harsh, to be honest

0.5

Plunkett to Gilchrist, no run, firm drive back down the ground. Too straight, and the stumps at the non-striker's end do the fielding

Just as well Plunkett didn't get a fingertip to that. Hayden would have been well out

0.6

Plunkett to Gilchrist, no run, good first over. That was a bit straighter, and nudged into the leg-side

It'll be Sajid Mahmood from the Southern Stand End. Flintoff trusting his younger seamers to get them off to a tidy start

End of over 1 (3 runs) Australia 3/0 (RR: 3.00)
AC Gilchrist    1* (4b)      LE Plunkett    1-0-3-0
ML Hayden    1* (2b)     

1.1

Mahmood to Hayden, FOUR, cracking shot. Too full and wide from Mahmood, and Hayden climbed into that - a juicy half-volley scuds through the covers

1.2

Mahmood to Hayden, no run, better length. That one zips through

1.3

Mahmood to Hayden, no run, good line now. Hayden, with his runs already in the bag, now enjoys a few sighters

1.4

Mahmood to Hayden, no run, steady stuff now from Mahmood, just outside off stump, Nixon takes with a flourish

1.5

Mahmood to Hayden, no run, tighter to the stumps, Hayden square-drives but without much power and point tidies up

1.6

Mahmood to Hayden, FOUR, and that's a carbon copy of the first ball. Full, wide, thwacked. This was more of a caress, if we are splitting hairs, but the outfield is so quick

Disappointing over from Mahmood - he got two-thirds of it right, at any rate

End of over 2 (8 runs) Australia 11/0 (RR: 5.50)
ML Hayden    9* (8b 2x4)      SI Mahmood    1-0-8-0
AC Gilchrist    1* (4b)      LE Plunkett    1-0-3-0

2.1

Plunkett to Gilchrist, 3 runs, drops a touch short, and pinged off the hip and over square leg. Just helped off the hip and fielded on the boundary

2.2

Plunkett to Hayden, no run, wicket-to-wicket, turned to midwicket

2.3

Plunkett to Hayden, no run, a fraction shorter, but too straight to work with for Hayden, and that's played straight to point

2.4

Plunkett to Hayden, no run, better ball. A stifled appeal as Hayden is squared up, but the ball was always going over

2.5

Plunkett to Hayden, FOUR, fantastic strike! It's that cover-drive again, for the third time in 11 balls, and this time it's Plunkett who's bowling too full and wide

A man comes in on the drive now. Not before time

2.6

Plunkett to Hayden, FOUR, poor bowling. Over-compensates with the length, bangs it in too short, and that's thumped through the covers off the back foot

Australia are getting off to their usual flyer

End of over 3 (11 runs) Australia 22/0 (RR: 7.33)
ML Hayden    17* (13b 4x4)      LE Plunkett    2-0-14-0
AC Gilchrist    4* (5b)      SI Mahmood    1-0-8-0

3.1

Mahmood to Gilchrist, 1 run, Collingwood at short-extra fears for his life then, but another fierce drive eludes him

3.2

Mahmood to Hayden, no run, fuller and tighter to off stump. Defended

3.3

Mahmood to Hayden, 1 wide, oh dear. That's not very clever. A slower ball, and it's straight down leg

3.3

Mahmood to Hayden, no run, back on a good length, defended

3.4

Mahmood to Hayden, 1 wide, bouncer. Too short to be a danger, and a wide is called after an improbable delay from the square leg umpire

3.4

Mahmood to Hayden, no run, drawn forward, looking to attack, steered out to point instead

3.5

Mahmood to Hayden, no run, width, but not enough to work with. Cleaned up in the covers

3.6

Mahmood to Hayden, no run, slower ball, better line and a good full length

End of over 4 (3 runs) Australia 25/0 (RR: 6.25)
ML Hayden    17* (18b 4x4)      SI Mahmood    2-0-11-0
AC Gilchrist    5* (6b)      LE Plunkett    2-0-14-0

4.1

Plunkett to Gilchrist, 1 leg bye, fended into the leg-side

4.2

Plunkett to Hayden, 2 leg byes, speared into the pads again. Clipped fine, but not timed

4.3

Plunkett to Hayden, no run, on the drive again, can't beat the field

4.4

Plunkett to Hayden, 1 run, short and swivelled off the hips down to fine leg. Lucky to get away with that, as it was a bit of a long-hop again

4.5

Plunkett to Gilchrist, no run, fuller and better

4.6

Plunkett to Gilchrist, no run, a good finish to the over. Outside off stump but not by much. No room to swing the arms into a big drive

"Australia has lost just once in ODI matches at the MCG over the past eleven years when batting first," points out Stuart Capel. Ominous

End of over 5 (4 runs) Australia 29/0 (RR: 5.80)
AC Gilchrist    5* (9b)      LE Plunkett    3-0-15-0
ML Hayden    18* (21b 4x4)      SI Mahmood    2-0-11-0

5.1

Mahmood to Hayden, 2 runs, pushed out to point, beats the field

5.2

Mahmood to Hayden, 1 run, a touch short but pretty straight. A neat dab to third man

5.3

Mahmood to Gilchrist, OUT, GOT HIM! And that's a big breakthrough. It was full and in Gilchrist's slot, but a touch slower, and a big swipe came straight off the toe of the bat, for Andrew Flintoff to circle beneath in the covers and take a comfortable catch. Vital wicket for England!

AC Gilchrist c Flintoff b Mahmood 5 (28m 10b 0x4 0x6) SR: 50.00

5.4

Mahmood to Ponting, no run, ooh, chancy! Looking to turn to leg, got a leading edge, and looped just short of cover! Lucky ...

5.5

Mahmood to Ponting, no run, pushed into the leg-side, forward to meet that one

5.6

Mahmood to Ponting, FOUR, clattered! Two sighters and now the big yahoo through the covers! That scorched to the rope. Ponting is on a mission already, one senses

End of over 6 (7 runs) Australia 36/1 (RR: 6.00)
RT Ponting    4* (3b 1x4)      SI Mahmood    3-0-18-1
ML Hayden    21* (23b 4x4)      LE Plunkett    3-0-15-0

6.1

Plunkett to Hayden, no run, good length, defended back to the bowler

6.2

Plunkett to Hayden, no run, a bit of a waft outside off this time from Hayden. Tried to dab it down to third man, but didn't make contact

6.3

Plunkett to Hayden, no run, straighter and fuller, deflected into the leg-side off the front foot

6.4

Plunkett to Hayden, 1 run, played through midwicket with soft hands

6.5

Plunkett to Ponting, 1 run, drawn forward, defended not quite off the middle of the bat. Rolls into the leg-side

6.6

Plunkett to Hayden, 2 runs, deep backward-square gets down well to save two, as Hayden clips firmly again

End of over 7 (4 runs) Australia 40/1 (RR: 5.71)
ML Hayden    24* (28b 4x4)      LE Plunkett    4-0-19-0
RT Ponting    5* (4b 1x4)      SI Mahmood    3-0-18-1

7.1

Mahmood to Ponting, 3 runs, you can' t bowl there to Ponting - a leg-stump half-volley is sent whistling through midwicket. Panesar at deep backward square covers great ground to save the boundary

7.2

Mahmood to Hayden, no run, slower ball, well bowled this time, and short extra tidies up

7.3

Mahmood to Hayden, 2 runs, another slower delivery, misdirected this time, and turned fine

"Sack Gilly before he ruins our World Cup dream!" screams a chap calling himself the Dodgy Llama. "Bring back Jacques and/or Haddin!" Well, there you have the spitting South American mammal's opinion. I'm sure the selectors are listening

7.4

Mahmood to Hayden, 1 run, carved down to third man. Too much width this time

7.5

Mahmood to Ponting, no run, tighter, and defended off the front foot

7.6

Mahmood to Ponting, no run, width, and that is a brilliant stop from Ian Bell in the covers. Ponting absolutely drilled that, but Bell got down quickly to his right. Good work

Running repairs for Flintoff, as Dean Conway waddles onto the pitch

End of over 8 (6 runs) Australia 46/1 (RR: 5.75)
RT Ponting    8* (7b 1x4)      SI Mahmood    4-0-24-1
ML Hayden    27* (31b 4x4)      LE Plunkett    4-0-19-0

8.1

Plunkett to Hayden, 1 run, full but slightly leg-sided. Picked up at midwicket

8.2

Plunkett to Ponting, no run, fuller and maybe even a hint of late swing. Either way, short cover picks up and threatens a shy at the non-striker's end

8.3

Plunkett to Ponting, 1 run, Ponting was looking to clobber that, but adjusted late and worked across the line into the leg side

8.4

Plunkett to Hayden, 1 wide, another wide, another one sprayed down the leg side

two men in on the drive now for Hayden

8.4

Plunkett to Hayden, no run, a bit of an appeal from Plunkett. Pitched in line, hit in line, and Hayden was late on it, but no-one was entirely convinced. It was going over, says Hawkeye

8.5

Plunkett to Hayden, no run, wider and left alone with a big flourish

8.6

Plunkett to Hayden, no run, decent over, bar the wide. This one is fuller and straighter, and defended into the covers

"Sack Gilly"?! I bet that bloke's a bloody Victorian," grumbles Alex

End of over 9 (3 runs) Australia 49/1 (RR: 5.44)
ML Hayden    28* (35b 4x4)      LE Plunkett    5-0-22-0
RT Ponting    9* (9b 1x4)      SI Mahmood    4-0-24-1

9.1

Mahmood to Ponting, no run, full face of the bat, tidied up by the bowler

9.2

Mahmood to Ponting, 1 run, back of a length, a quick single to gully to bring up the fifty

9.3

Mahmood to Hayden, 3 runs, shovelled into the covers. Not really timed, but it is a deep and fast outfield

9.4

Mahmood to Ponting, no run, drawn forward in a smothering defensive stroke. Played that almost like a spinner

9.5

Mahmood to Ponting, no run, tight lines again, defended again. Australia have made a good start, but England's bowlers haven't completely surrendered the initiative

9.6

Mahmood to Ponting, 1 run, run down to third man to complete the first powerplay

And here comes the second powerplay, straight up. Flintoff is loosening up. Could we see the first change at the end of this over

End of over 10 (5 runs) Australia 54/1 (RR: 5.40)
RT Ponting    11* (14b 1x4)      SI Mahmood    5-0-29-1
ML Hayden    31* (36b 4x4)      LE Plunkett    5-0-22-0

10.1

Plunkett to Ponting, no run, pushed into the covers again and a loud squawk as a run is turned down

10.2

Plunkett to Ponting, no run, big stride outside off stump, driven without power to cover

10.3

Plunkett to Ponting, 3 runs, a false shot from Ponting, looking to club through the covers but instead hit all across it and out to midwicket. That was airborne for a while, but wide of the fielder

10.4

Plunkett to Hayden, no run, good wheels from Plunkett. That was timed at 90.5mph (145kph), which is unusally sharp. Fielded in the covers, incidentally

10.5

Plunkett to Hayden, 1 run, driven on the walk as Hayden comes out to meet the ball. One more down to long-off

10.6

Plunkett to Ponting, FOUR, beautiful shot, just caressed on the up, all the way along the ground and past deep point. Picks the gap perfectly!

"Ring of Fire" rings out around the PA system. Which means it must be Andrew Flintoff

End of over 11 (8 runs) Australia 62/1 (RR: 5.63)
RT Ponting    18* (18b 2x4)      LE Plunkett    6-0-30-0
ML Hayden    32* (38b 4x4)      SI Mahmood    5-0-29-1

11.1

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, typically tidy start, on off stump and defended with a big stride

11.2

Flintoff to Hayden, 1 wide, untypically untidy follow-up. Short and wide down leg side

11.2

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, wide of off stump, but this time Hayden gets a bat to it in a mistimed drive

11.3

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, a double-whirl of the arms, one of Flintoff's little tricks, and a good ball too. TIghter and fuller, and defended late

11.4

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, forward and pushed down the ground again

Third man, backward point, extra cover, cover, kind of short mid off catcher, mid off, mid on, midwicket, deep backward square

11.5

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, shorter and outside off stump, steered off the back foot to gully. Only 82mph so far (132kph) which is short of his usual pace

11.6

Flintoff to Hayden, 1 run, a push-and-go to mid-off. Easy run, but perhaps it shouldn't have been. Symonds, for instance, would have turned that into a run-out chance

End of over 12 (2 runs) Australia 64/1 (RR: 5.33)
ML Hayden    33* (44b 4x4)      A Flintoff    1-0-2-0
RT Ponting    18* (18b 2x4)      LE Plunkett    6-0-30-0

12.1

Plunkett to Hayden, no run, more width for the batsman, but point does well to intercept a slapped steer

12.2

Plunkett to Hayden, 1 wide, leg-side, poor bowling

12.2

Plunkett to Hayden, 1 run, short and nudged off the hip into space on the leg-side

12.3

Plunkett to Ponting, 2 runs, Plunkett's bowling on both sides of the wicket at the moment, and this time he strays onto Ponting's pads - never a good plan. Gets away with it though, as fine leg tidies up

12.4

Plunkett to Ponting, no run, fuller and straighter. The pitch isn't quite as fast as it might be though, and Ponting can't time his drive

12.5

Plunkett to Ponting, FOUR, ping! Right in the slot for Ponting, who swings lustily across the line and deposits an off-stump delivery over long-on!

12.6

Plunkett to Ponting, no run, great pounce from Panesar at deep mid-off, cuts off a certain boundary from a firm drive

End of over 13 (8 runs) Australia 72/1 (RR: 5.53)
RT Ponting    24* (22b 3x4)      LE Plunkett    7-0-38-0
ML Hayden    34* (46b 4x4)      A Flintoff    1-0-2-0

13.1

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, drawn forward in a defensive push.

13.2

Flintoff to Hayden, FOUR, slower ball, but that emerges as a horrid loopy full-toss. Hayden latches on immediately and thumps that down the ground!

Flintoff's not yet hitting his straps here. Short of pace and accuracy so far

13.3

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, wide half-volley, but Hayden times it too well and drives to extra cover. A let-off

13.4

Flintoff to Hayden, 1 run, straighter and turned into the leg-side

13.5

Flintoff to Ponting, 1 run, pushed into the covers and a quick call for a single. Joyce fields well and shies, just misses at the non-striker's end. Could have been tight!

13.6

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, pushed into the covers to complete a reasonable over for England, runs-wise

Now here's Monty Panesar for an early foray. Interesting move, midway through the powerplay. Two men outside the circle, and a slip in as well

End of over 14 (6 runs) Australia 78/1 (RR: 5.57)
ML Hayden    39* (51b 5x4)      A Flintoff    2-0-8-0
RT Ponting    25* (23b 3x4)      LE Plunkett    7-0-38-0

14.1

Panesar to Ponting, 1 run, tidy start, floated onto a good length and pushed into the covers

All change for the left-hander

14.2

Panesar to Hayden, 1 run, trading singles, as Hayden steps back and clips a gentle tweaker into the leg-side

14.3

Panesar to Ponting, 1 run, forward in a measured drive. One more to deep extra cover

For Hayden, it's a slip, backward point, short cover, deep cover, mid-off, mid-on, short midwicket, deep backward square, short fine leg

14.4

Panesar to Hayden, 1 run, another clip through midwicket. Singles, singles, everywhere

14.5

Panesar to Ponting, 1 run, one more, one more. Nothing much wrong from Panesar, but he's hampered by his field restrictions. This one was a bit shorter and wider though

14.6

Panesar to Hayden, 2 runs, quicker delivery on leg-stump, Hayden closes the face, and that's seven effortless runs off a pretty blameless over

Right, that's drinks so time for a change. Here's Martin "The Night Owl" Williamson

End of over 15 (7 runs) Australia 85/1 (RR: 5.66)
ML Hayden    43* (54b 5x4)      MS Panesar    1-0-7-0
RT Ponting    28* (26b 3x4)      A Flintoff    2-0-8-0

Thanks Andrew, a sterling effort since he hasn't been to bed for more than a day after entertaining some local cricket club with his full after-dinner repertoire. Back to the important stuff ... Paul Collingwood into the attack and the Powerplay not taken

15.1

Collingwood to Ponting, no run, Full and defended. Nixon standing up to add to the pressure

15.2

Collingwood to Ponting, 1 run, Ponting back and angles the ball to the left of backward point

We have a fine leg, deep midwicket, long on, deep cover, third man, point, short cover, mid off, short midwicket

15.3

Collingwood to Hayden, 1 run, sweetly timed clip off his legs through midwicket

15.4

Collingwood to Ponting, 1 run, Ponting opens up and thumps the ball to Strauss at deep extra cover

15.5

Collingwood to Hayden, no run, Hayden taps the ball into the off and thinks about a single by Joyce is in quickly at short extra cover

15.6

Collingwood to Hayden, 2 runs, same shot by this time placed wide of Joyce and a yell of "two, two" as soon as he hit it. The man in the deep had a long way to come in, so while the ball barely left the fielding circle it was easy to come back for the second

End of over 16 (5 runs) Australia 90/1 (RR: 5.62)
ML Hayden    46* (57b 5x4)      PD Collingwood    1-0-5-0
RT Ponting    30* (29b 3x4)      MS Panesar    1-0-7-0

16.1

Panesar to Ponting, no run, one step, pushed firmly to mid-on, too firmly to allow the single

16.2

Panesar to Ponting, 1 run, placed into the gap in the covers for another ambled single

16.3

Panesar to Hayden, 1 run, wide, no spin, and pushed into space in the covers

16.4

Panesar to Ponting, no run, full, again hit against the spin up to mid-on

16.5

Panesar to Ponting, no run, Ponting slips into the covers, no run and Hayden had to turn smartly as he had come some way down the track by the time Ponting called "no"

16.6

Panesar to Ponting, no run, driven to mid-on, Joyce sprinting in from short midwicket put them off the run even thought he ended up diving over the ball

End of over 17 (2 runs) Australia 92/1 (RR: 5.41)
RT Ponting    31* (34b 3x4)      MS Panesar    2-0-9-0
ML Hayden    47* (58b 5x4)      PD Collingwood    1-0-5-0

17.1

Collingwood to Hayden, 1 run, driven firmly back at - and past - Collingwood and fielded at long-on

17.2

Collingwood to Ponting, no run, Ponting back and punches the ball into the off side

17.3

Collingwood to Ponting, no run, firm straight drive, Collingwood just misses touching the ball which hammers into the stumps with Hayden a long way out of his crease. Ponting then races down the pitch before being sent back himself

17.4

Collingwood to Ponting, no run, thumped into the covers where Strauss makes a good stop at extra cover

17.5

Collingwood to Ponting, 1 run, pushed up the ground to long-on

17.6

Collingwood to Hayden, 1 run, clipped into the leg side for an easy one to end the over

End of over 18 (3 runs) Australia 95/1 (RR: 5.27)
ML Hayden    49* (60b 5x4)      PD Collingwood    2-0-8-0
RT Ponting    32* (38b 3x4)      MS Panesar    2-0-9-0

18.1

Panesar to Hayden, no run, pushed into the leg side but not into space

18.2

Panesar to Hayden, no run, driven back to the bowler with no real pace

18.3

Panesar to Hayden, no run, steered into the off side, again he finds the fielder at point

18.4

Panesar to Hayden, 1 run, whipped behind square on the leg side to bring up his 29th one-day fifty

18.5

Panesar to Ponting, 1 run, pushed into the off for a well-judged single, good communication

18.6

Panesar to Hayden, 1 run, worked into the leg side

End of over 19 (3 runs) Australia 98/1 (RR: 5.15)
ML Hayden    51* (65b 5x4)      MS Panesar    3-0-12-0
RT Ponting    33* (39b 3x4)      PD Collingwood    2-0-8-0

19.1

Collingwood to Hayden, no run, Hayden shapes to run the ball down to third man, misses by a whisker and throws his head back in frustration

19.2

Collingwood to Hayden, 1 run, firmly pushed to long-on

"Is anybody else tiring of this new 'tip 'n run' style that is prevalent this summer?" asks Craig Z. "It removes all fielding and bowling intensity, the fielding side just allows five or six runs an over and apart from the first 5 and last 10 overs, the games are boring. 60 per cent of the overs are tip 'n run!"

19.3

Collingwood to Ponting, no run, weak drive to extra cover

19.4

Collingwood to Ponting, 2 runs, full, Ponting waited and placed that just out of the grasp of a diving extra cover

19.5

Collingwood to Ponting, no run, driven again, but not timed as sweetly and it bobbles up to extra cover

19.6

Collingwood to Ponting, 2 runs, wristy whip through midwicket

End of over 20 (5 runs) Australia 103/1 (RR: 5.15)
RT Ponting    37* (43b 3x4)      PD Collingwood    3-0-13-0
ML Hayden    52* (67b 5x4)      MS Panesar    3-0-12-0

20.1

Panesar to Hayden, 1 run, into space between cover and extra cover

20.2

Panesar to Ponting, FOUR, Ponting takes a big stride and drives the ball up and over Panesar for a two-bounce four

20.3

Panesar to Ponting, 2 runs, tickled behind square on the leg

20.4

Panesar to Ponting, no run, forward and blocked

20.5

Panesar to Ponting, 1 run, pushed up to long-off for an ambled single

20.6

Panesar to Hayden, 1 run, textbook cover drive but not timed

Peter Hobbs emails from Australia: "Is this the youngest ever English ODI team? As Alan Hanson once said - you never win anything with kids." Peter Hobbs used to be a decent cricketer ... one of the rare exports from England to Australia I believe. He'll be in in India with the famous Old Cranleighan side later this month ...

End of over 21 (9 runs) Australia 112/1 (RR: 5.33)
ML Hayden    54* (69b 5x4)      MS Panesar    4-0-21-0
RT Ponting    44* (47b 4x4)      PD Collingwood    3-0-13-0

Jamie Dalrymple into the attack and as Matthew Hayden has sat down to change his boots, the umpires have taken the opportunity to call for drinks.

21.1

Dalrymple to Hayden, 1 wide, speared down the leg side and a bemused-looking Nixon parries rather than stops

21.1

Dalrymple to Hayden, no run, better line, blocked

21.2

Dalrymple to Hayden, no run, Hayden takes a big stride, drives and well stopped at short cover

21.3

Dalrymple to Hayden, no run, leading edge to a flick/drive and it almost carries back to a sprawling Dalrymple

21.4

Dalrymple to Hayden, no run, again straight to short cover

21.5

Dalrymple to Hayden, no run, a bit of a heave/sweep, hitting across the line and a loud but rather overambitious shout for leg-before

21.6

Dalrymple to Hayden, 1 run, clipped into the leg side and deep midwicket has to hare in to prevent the second

Apart from one or two remarks about Craig's dodgy maths, there's a general agreement with his sentiments. "Why not play two Twenty20 matches as a 1st and second innings," suggests Kezz. Bernie, however, is a rare dissenting voice. "If you are looking for excitement go to The Mens Gallery," he mutters. "This is a game of cricket."

End of over 22 (2 runs) Australia 114/1 (RR: 5.18)
ML Hayden    55* (75b 5x4)      JWM Dalrymple    1-0-2-0
RT Ponting    44* (47b 4x4)      MS Panesar    4-0-21-0

Panesar out of the front line. Flintoff brings himself back on and immediately takes the final Powerplay. Flintoff bowls a gentle practice delivery at Panesar which he misses completely and the ball toddles off towards the boundary!

22.1

Flintoff to Hayden, 1 run, driven to deep cover

22.2

Flintoff to Ponting, 1 run, short and wide, flat batted by Ponting to deepish mid-off

Good point from Jason Mac. "The rule about the non-striker being allowed to back up as the bowler is in delivery stride ensures this tip 'n running," he says. Bring back the Mankad!

22.3

Flintoff to Hayden, 1 run, full, driven to mid-off and as both batsmen set off as soon as it is hit, always a run. Mid-on is back on the 30-yard line

22.4

Flintoff to Ponting, no run, opens the face and steers into the packed off side

22.5

Flintoff to Ponting, no run, Ponting takes a step but the ball is speared in at his feet and he can do no more than pat it back

22.6

Flintoff to Ponting, 1 run, checked drive across the line and it loops a few yards short of Strauss who was charging in from deep midwicket

End of over 23 (4 runs) Australia 118/1 (RR: 5.13)
RT Ponting    46* (51b 4x4)      A Flintoff    3-0-12-0
ML Hayden    57* (77b 5x4)      JWM Dalrymple    1-0-2-0

One over from Dalrymple and Mahmood comes back into the attack.

23.1

Mahmood to Ponting, 2 runs, slower ball, leg side, and clipped fine where Panesar has to scuttle round from wide long leg

23.2

Mahmood to Ponting, 1 run, driven firmly to the left of mid-off where Flintoff has to slide on his knees to gather

23.3

Mahmood to Hayden, 1 run, fullish and crisply thumped straightishly to long-off

23.4

Mahmood to Ponting, no run, Ponting turned square as he shapes to whip it through the leg side and the ball ends up squirting to extra cover

23.5

Mahmood to Ponting, no run, into the off side which is heavily fortified

23.6

Mahmood to Ponting, no run, another slower ball, Ponting pushes it back, Mahmood shapes to throw it back at the striker's end which would have been fine had he not completely missed picking it up

Lots of chat about Hayden's boots which are personalised. Very nice.

End of over 24 (4 runs) Australia 122/1 (RR: 5.08)
RT Ponting    49* (56b 4x4)      SI Mahmood    6-0-33-1
ML Hayden    58* (78b 5x4)      A Flintoff    3-0-12-0

24.1

Flintoff to Hayden, 1 wide, sprayed wildly down the off side

24.1

Flintoff to Hayden, FOUR, wide half-volley, Hayden frees his arms and thumps it over extra cover, not timed as well as it could have been but it still had enough gas to reach the rope

24.2

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, pushed back to Flintoff

24.3

Flintoff to Hayden, FOUR, super shot, full and Hayden smashes it over midwicket where it bounces a yard inside the rope. That time he did middle it

24.4

Flintoff to Hayden, 1 run, push and run to extra cover to bring up the hundred partnership off 115 deliveries

24.5

Flintoff to Ponting, 1 run, Ponting drops it into the off side, no more than five yards from the crease, and comes through for one to bring up his 58th ODI fifty ... the 80th time he has passed the landmark in all

24.6

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, pushed into the off side but this time to a man

End of over 25 (11 runs) Australia 133/1 (RR: 5.32)
ML Hayden    67* (83b 7x4)      A Flintoff    4-0-23-0
RT Ponting    50* (57b 4x4)      SI Mahmood    6-0-33-1

25.1

Mahmood to Ponting, no run, slower ball, not timed into the off side

25.2

Mahmood to Ponting, FOUR, ye another slower ball. Ponting waits and cracks it past extra cover

Mahmood is bowling so many slower balls that we better start just mentioning the faster ones ...

25.3

Mahmood to Ponting, FOUR, short, swatted dismissively over midwicket, sweetly timed

Ponting and Nixon exchanging pleasantries.

25.4

Mahmood to Ponting, no run, plopped into the covers but a quick shout of "no" as the fielders converge

25.5

Mahmood to Ponting, 1 run, a rather ugly heave through midwicket from well outside off stump, but it was short enough for him to try that even thought he didn't really get hold of it

25.6

Mahmood to Hayden, 1 leg bye, more vim there - 89mph (143kph) which thuds into Hayden's midriff as he tries to pull it

End of over 26 (10 runs) Australia 143/1 (RR: 5.50)
ML Hayden    67* (84b 7x4)      SI Mahmood    7-0-42-1
RT Ponting    59* (62b 6x4)      A Flintoff    4-0-23-0

26.1

Flintoff to Hayden, 2 runs, too leg side, clipped to deep midwicket

26.2

Flintoff to Hayden, 1 run, pushed into the covers for a well-run single

26.3

Flintoff to Ponting, 1 run, full, cracked back straight but to a fielder

26.4

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, full, squeezed out but again right at cover

26.5

Flintoff to Hayden, 1 run, pushed into the covers for a well-run single

26.6

Flintoff to Ponting, 1 run, leg-side, clipped to deep midwicket

Jamie Dalrymple back on for the unimpressive Mahmood.

End of over 27 (6 runs) Australia 149/1 (RR: 5.51)
RT Ponting    61* (64b 6x4)      A Flintoff    5-0-29-0
ML Hayden    71* (88b 7x4)      SI Mahmood    7-0-42-1

27.1

Dalrymple to Ponting, 1 run, pushed out to deep cover

27.2

Dalrymple to Hayden, no run, dragged down the leg-side, Hayden responds with quick feet but can't get it away

27.3

Dalrymple to Hayden, 2 runs, big carve over point. Plugs into the deep, and nearly a run-out as they hesitate over the second. Unusually ponderous running from this pair

27.4

Dalrymple to Hayden, 1 run, Hayden comes forward and then steps back, Dalrymple isn't fooled and in the end Hayden settles for one as he steers the ball behind square on the off

27.5

Dalrymple to Ponting, 1 run, more tip and run. Dalrymple has bowled well but still conceded a run-a-ball

27.6

Dalrymple to Hayden, no run, driven back at the bowler who collapses in a heap to stop it

And the bowling merry-go-round rumbles on. Panesar back on as Andrew "Brearley" Flintoff plays around

End of over 28 (5 runs) Australia 154/1 (RR: 5.50)
ML Hayden    74* (92b 7x4)      JWM Dalrymple    2-0-7-0
RT Ponting    63* (66b 6x4)      A Flintoff    5-0-29-0

28.1

Panesar to Ponting, 1 run, placed into the covers

28.2

Panesar to Hayden, 1 run, Hayden goes back to a slightly short one and paddles it to long-on

28.3

Panesar to Ponting, FOUR, Ponting takes two big strides and makes the delivery into a half volley, thumping it over mid-on

28.4

Panesar to Ponting, no run, no run into the off side

28.5

Panesar to Ponting, 1 run, oh dear. pushed into the covers, Hayden committed to the run is stranded, Dalrymple underarms to Panesar who makes a complete mess of it, demolishing the stumps as he tries to collect the ball and there are overthrows to add insult to injury. The throw wasn't great but even so ...

28.6

Panesar to Hayden, 1 run, pushed to leg for a single

End of over 29 (8 runs) Australia 162/1 (RR: 5.58)
ML Hayden    76* (94b 7x4)      MS Panesar    5-0-29-0
RT Ponting    69* (70b 7x4)      JWM Dalrymple    2-0-7-0

29.1

Dalrymple to Hayden, 1 run, a single into the leg side

29.2

Dalrymple to Ponting, 2 runs, angled behind square on the off

29.3

Dalrymple to Ponting, no run, nothing shot, into the covers, no run

29.4

Dalrymple to Ponting, 1 run, Ponting opens his arms and smashes that past extra cover

29.5

Dalrymple to Hayden, 1 run, Hayden back and flicks that just behind square on the leg

29.6

Dalrymple to Ponting, 3 runs, Ponting drives rather uppishly over extra covers, tag fielding in the deep which all goes rather wrong and to the jeers of the crowd they run an extra one

Back to Andrew Miller for the next passage ... can he get a wicket?

End of over 30 (8 runs) Australia 170/1 (RR: 5.66)
RT Ponting    75* (74b 7x4)      JWM Dalrymple    3-0-15-0
ML Hayden    78* (96b 7x4)      MS Panesar    5-0-29-0

Thanks Martin, and you know what, I can!

30.1

Panesar to Ponting, OUT, What a catch! Brilliant pluck from Collingwood at short cover - that was a bit of a filthy long-hop from Panesar, to be honest, but Ponting rocked back and clobbered it - it was in the air for too long and Collingwood dived back and across to his left, and clung onto a one-handed screamer!

RT Ponting c Collingwood b Panesar 75 (109m 75b 7x4 0x6) SR: 100.00

Superb innings once again from Ponting, but he'll be fuming to get out like that. He could have hit that ball anywhere. Here's Michael Clarke, in his cap

30.2

Panesar to Clarke, 1 run, good line and length to start, and a measured push to get off the mark

30.3

Panesar to Hayden, 1 run, width for Hayden, and driven out to point

30.4

Panesar to Clarke, no run, solid delivery, nice flight and loop, watchful defence from the new batsman

30.5

Panesar to Clarke, no run, bat and pad firmly together as this one is defended as well

30.6

Panesar to Clarke, no run, excellent ball-on-a-string stuff from Panesar. Tidy and successful over

End of over 31 (2 runs) Australia 172/2 (RR: 5.54)
MJ Clarke    1* (4b)      MS Panesar    6-0-31-1
ML Hayden    79* (97b 7x4)      JWM Dalrymple    3-0-15-0

31.1

Dalrymple to Hayden, 1 run, clipped into the leg-side

31.2

Dalrymple to Clarke, 1 run, bit of tweak from a good length, played out to square leg

31.3

Dalrymple to Hayden, no run, squared up a fraction, but clipped fine

31.4

Dalrymple to Hayden, 1 run, nudged into the off side for a quick single

31.5

Dalrymple to Clarke, no run, quicker ball, and wide outside off stump

31.6

Dalrymple to Clarke, 1 run, driven down the ground

End of over 32 (4 runs) Australia 176/2 (RR: 5.50)
MJ Clarke    3* (7b)      JWM Dalrymple    4-0-19-0
ML Hayden    81* (100b 7x4)      MS Panesar    6-0-31-1

32.1

Panesar to Clarke, no run, bowling, Monty, bowling

32.2

Panesar to Clarke, no run, fraction shorter, and nudged down to third man

32.3

Panesar to Clarke, 1 run, driven up to mid-on

32.4

Panesar to Hayden, 1 run, pushed into the leg-side, and they hustle through for another quick single. Had to scamper as mid-on was swooping

32.5

Panesar to Clarke, no run, wild slog, ugly slog. That was a quicker ball from Panesar, and nearly fizzed through to off stump

32.6

Panesar to Clarke, 1 run, tip and run again to midwicket. If he'd hit he was out, but the throw was wild

End of over 33 (3 runs) Australia 179/2 (RR: 5.42)
MJ Clarke    5* (12b)      MS Panesar    7-0-34-1
ML Hayden    82* (101b 7x4)      JWM Dalrymple    4-0-19-0

33.1

Dalrymple to Clarke, 1 run, floated onto middle-and-leg, clipped firmly to midwicket's left. Another single

33.2

Dalrymple to Hayden, OUT, big, big, swing, and that's an excellent catch from Mahmood on the long-on boundary! Hayden went for the big yahoo, looked to have hit it clean out of the ground but got fractionally underneath it. The ball topped out somewhere near floodlight height, but Mahmood kept his cool, and acknowledged his inevitable barrackers in the crowd

ML Hayden c Mahmood b Dalrymple 82 (152m 102b 7x4 0x6) SR: 80.39

33.3

Dalrymple to Clarke, no run, drawn forward in defence

33.4

Dalrymple to Clarke, 1 run, tight, tight run, and that's gone to the third umpire ... but the replays are inconclusive. It was punched to midwicket where Collingwood threw, but Nixon couldn't quite get the bails off in time

33.5

Dalrymple to Hodge, no run, sharp spin, inside edge onto the pads

33.6

Dalrymple to Hodge, 1 run, driven firmly back at the bowler, parried to mid-off

End of over 34 (3 runs) Australia 182/3 (RR: 5.35)
BJ Hodge    1* (2b)      JWM Dalrymple    5-0-22-1
MJ Clarke    7* (15b)      MS Panesar    7-0-34-1

34.1

Panesar to Hodge, no run, back of a length and turned to midwicket

34.2

Panesar to Hodge, no run

34.3

Panesar to Hodge, no run, bit of width and carved straight to point

Another camera angle - not shown to the third umpire - shows Hodge was an inch short when the stumps were broken.No wonder Collingwood uttered some expletives when the third umpire's verdict was delivered

34.4

Panesar to Hodge, 1 run, width again, and this time the gap is picked

34.5

Panesar to Clarke, no run

34.6

Panesar to Clarke, no run

End of over 35 (1 run) Australia 183/3 (RR: 5.22)
MJ Clarke    7* (17b)      MS Panesar    8-0-35-1
BJ Hodge    2* (6b)      JWM Dalrymple    5-0-22-1

35.1

Dalrymple to Hodge, 2 runs, cut to deep backward point

35.2

Dalrymple to Hodge, no run

35.3

Dalrymple to Hodge, 1 run

35.4

Dalrymple to Clarke, SIX, hoisted over extra-cover for a big six! Lovely strike

35.5

Dalrymple to Clarke, no run

35.6

Dalrymple to Clarke, 1 run

Err ... sorry about that latest gremlin. Back on it now, I believe

End of over 36 (10 runs) Australia 193/3 (RR: 5.36)
MJ Clarke    14* (20b 1x6)      JWM Dalrymple    6-0-32-1
BJ Hodge    5* (9b)      MS Panesar    8-0-35-1

36.1

Panesar to Clarke, no run

36.2

Panesar to Clarke, 2 runs

36.3

Panesar to Clarke, no run

36.4

Panesar to Clarke, 1 run

36.5

Panesar to Hodge, OUT, Panesar has his second! Hodge was down on the sweep, and umpire Harper upholds a massive appeal! That was not a clever decision, to be honest. Hodge was a long way down, and it was way outside the line of off stump. Apart from that, pretty good

BJ Hodge lbw b Panesar 5 (12m 10b 0x4 0x6) SR: 50.00

36.6

Panesar to Hussey, 1 run, pushed out to cover to get off the mark immediately

End of over 37 (4 runs) Australia 197/4 (RR: 5.32)
MEK Hussey    1* (1b)      MS Panesar    9-0-39-2
MJ Clarke    17* (24b 1x6)      JWM Dalrymple    6-0-32-1

37.1

Dalrymple to Hussey, no run, sharp turn from middle-and-leg. Pushed out to point

37.2

Dalrymple to Hussey, 1 run, turning again into the pads, clipped to midwicket

37.3

Dalrymple to Clarke, 3 runs, down on one knee, and that's threaded elegantly through the covers. Bit too much width

37.4

Dalrymple to Hussey, FOUR, outside leg, swept fine and hard, and that's Hussey's first boundary

Incidentally, Mike Hussey will lead Australia in the Chappell-Hadlee one-day cricket series in New Zealand after a decision to rest skipper Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist ahead of next month's World Cup. The selectors said they were acting on medical advice to rest Ponting, who has a sore back, and wicketkeeper-batsman Gilchrist from making the trip to New Zealand for the three limited-over matches.

Dalrymple comes round the wicket now

37.5

Dalrymple to Hussey, no run, good flight and direction. Pushed back up the track

37.6

Dalrymple to Hussey, 1 run, full-toss, but Hussey doesn't make best use of it. All the same, it's two more out to deep midwicket, and nine off the over

Fence sitting from Nasser Hussain, re Hodge's dismissal. "A poor decision from Darrell Harper who is, in my opinion, a poor umpire. He's made too many shockers and yet the ICC don't change their umpires ... they see the footage and yet we see the same umpires, year in and year out"

End of over 38 (9 runs) Australia 206/4 (RR: 5.42)
MEK Hussey    7* (6b 1x4)      JWM Dalrymple    7-0-41-1
MJ Clarke    20* (25b 1x6)      MS Panesar    9-0-39-2

38.1

Panesar to Hussey, 1 run, drawn forward and pushed firmly past a floundering mid-on

38.2

Panesar to Clarke, 1 run, a bit of width, and Joyce at backward point is down quickly to cut off two runs. Good fielding

38.3

Panesar to Hussey, 1 run, tip and run into the leg side. Half an appeal from Panesar, and that was probably closer than his lbw!

38.4

Panesar to Clarke, no run

38.5

Panesar to Clarke, 1 run

38.6

Panesar to Hussey, 1 run, opened the face of the bat, steered past gully

End of over 39 (5 runs) Australia 211/4 (RR: 5.41)
MEK Hussey    10* (9b 1x4)      MS Panesar    10-0-44-2
MJ Clarke    22* (28b 1x6)      JWM Dalrymple    7-0-41-1

39.1

Collingwood to Hussey, 1 run, opened the face of the bat, steered past gully

39.2

Collingwood to Clarke, 2 runs, flashed into the covers

39.3

Collingwood to Clarke, 1 run, fiddled into the leg-side for another quick single

39.4

Collingwood to Hussey, 1 run, forward in a measured drive, another single

39.5

Collingwood to Clarke, 2 runs, turned to square leg and as the batsmen saw it was Panesar they took the second

39.6

Collingwood to Clarke, 1 run, soft hands into the off side

Andrew Flintoff into the attack once more. Apologies for the up-down comms. It's not Miller's hangover kicking in so much as technical glitches.

End of over 40 (8 runs) Australia 219/4 (RR: 5.47)
MJ Clarke    28* (32b 1x6)      PD Collingwood    4-0-21-0
MEK Hussey    12* (11b 1x4)      MS Panesar    10-0-44-2

40.1

Flintoff to Clarke, 1 run, smacked an attempted drive into his feet and a well-=run single. Always hard to stop them taking one for that

40.2

Flintoff to Hussey, no run, short outside off stump, mistimed paddle and stopped by a sprawling short cover

40.3

Flintoff to Hussey, no run, again a decent tumbling stop by Bell at short cover

40.4

Flintoff to Hussey, 1 run, a controlled edge to third man

40.5

Flintoff to Clarke, 1 run, checked defensive shot, almost played on the run, and a scurried single

40.6

Flintoff to Hussey, no run, Hussey hurried by that one and he can do no more than push the ball to Dalrymple at short midwicket

End of over 41 (3 runs) Australia 222/4 (RR: 5.41)
MEK Hussey    13* (15b 1x4)      A Flintoff    6-0-32-0
MJ Clarke    30* (34b 1x6)      PD Collingwood    4-0-21-0

Liam Plunkett summoned from the deep. And he gets a new(er) ball as it's been swapped.

41.1

Plunkett to Clarke, 1 run, slower ball to start with - or perhaps he is just stiff - and it's turned to long-on

41.2

Plunkett to Hussey, 2 runs, driven, slightly uppishly, between cover and extra cover

41.3

Plunkett to Hussey, 1 run, dropped Hussey takes a big stride and drives in the air to Mahmood at mid-on ...he sunk to his knees and waited for it ... and then it bounced off his wrists ... poor drop

41.4

Plunkett to Clarke, 1 run, flicked off the back foot to midwicket

41.5

Plunkett to Hussey, 1 run, driven to long-on

41.6

Plunkett to Clarke, 1 run, Clarke turns it behind square where Panesar makes a tumblings top to a few cheers

End of over 42 (7 runs) Australia 229/4 (RR: 5.45)
MJ Clarke    33* (37b 1x6)      LE Plunkett    8-0-45-0
MEK Hussey    17* (18b 1x4)      A Flintoff    6-0-32-0

42.1

Flintoff to Clarke, no run, checked block into the off side, fielders in like bees to a honeypot

42.2

Flintoff to Clarke, OUT, slower ball, played into the off side, Collingwood swoops and throws down the stumps at the non-striker's end. Clarke must have assumed he was safe as he didn't stretch and replays show that he was a couple of inches short. A big cheer as the third umpire's verdict is shown

MJ Clarke run out 33 (51m 39b 0x4 1x6) SR: 84.61

42.3

Flintoff to Hussey, OUT, two in two! just short of a length, Hussey shapes to run the ball to third man but it's too close to him and he gets a thin nick to Nixon. Hussey doesn't even wait for the decision ...

MEK Hussey c †Nixon b Flintoff 17 (29m 19b 1x4 0x6) SR: 89.47

The field stays much as it was.

42.4

Flintoff to Hogg, FOUR, short and wide, slashed in the air between and slightly over men at point and gully. Flintoff gives a wry smile

42.5

Flintoff to Hogg, no run, prodded to point with a loud shout of "wait, wait, wait"

42.6

Flintoff to Hogg, no run, similar ball to the one that got Hussey, Hogg aims a big wipe and misses

End of over 43 (4 runs) Australia 233/6 (RR: 5.41)
GB Hogg    4* (3b 1x4)      A Flintoff    7-0-36-1
SR Watson    0* (0b)      LE Plunkett    8-0-45-0

43.1

Plunkett to Watson, no run, Watson back and plays into the leg side. Uncertainty between the two over the run

43.2

Plunkett to Watson, 1 run, Watson back and pushes square into the off side

43.3

Plunkett to Hogg, 1 wide, down the leg side, Hogg shimmies inside the line and then looks worriedly at the umpire in case he wasn't going to call it

43.3

Plunkett to Hogg, 1 run, pushed square on the off side and Collingwood in quickly and had he hit at the bowler's end then Hogg wouldn't have even been in the frame

43.4

Plunkett to Watson, 1 run, into the off side, a more comfortable single this time

43.5

Plunkett to Hogg, 1 run, ugly reach into the leg side, but effective

43.6

Plunkett to Watson, 1 run, firm on-drive to the man in the deep

End of over 44 (6 runs) Australia 239/6 (RR: 5.43)
SR Watson    3* (4b)      LE Plunkett    9-0-51-0
GB Hogg    6* (5b 1x4)      A Flintoff    7-0-36-1

44.1

Flintoff to Watson, no run, checked drive to short midwicket

44.2

Flintoff to Watson, 1 run, same again but this time it just evades the dive by Bell

44.3

Flintoff to Hogg, 1 run, slightly overpitched and driven wide of the man in saving the one and on to long-off

44.4

Flintoff to Watson, 1 run, slower ball, spotted, and turned to square leg

44.5

Flintoff to Hogg, 1 run, driven to deep cover

44.6

Flintoff to Watson, no run, good delivery which Watson gently plays back to Flintoff

End of over 45 (4 runs) Australia 243/6 (RR: 5.40)
SR Watson    5* (8b)      A Flintoff    8-0-40-1
GB Hogg    8* (7b 1x4)      LE Plunkett    9-0-51-0

45.1

Plunkett to Hogg, no run, Hogg turned square and the ball squirts out to gully

45.2

Plunkett to Hogg, 1 run, full and a wristy flick down to long leg off middle-and-leg stump

45.3

Plunkett to Watson, 2 runs, Watson steps to leg and cracks it through extra cover, Strauss in the deep makes good ground to field

45.4

Plunkett to Watson, no run, Watson again steps to leg, Plunkett sees it and follows him, and Watson can only steer the ball to point

45.5

Plunkett to Watson, 1 run, driven to deepish extra cover

45.6

Plunkett to Hogg, 1 run, Hogg steps back, completely mistimes a cut and hammers the ball into the ground at his feet ... but it still produces a run as Watson quick to call him through

End of over 46 (5 runs) Australia 248/6 (RR: 5.39)
GB Hogg    10* (10b 1x4)      LE Plunkett    10-0-56-0
SR Watson    8* (11b)      A Flintoff    8-0-40-1

46.1

Flintoff to Hogg, OUT, Hogg steps back and thumps it straight to Bell at extra cover. He timed it but right into the fielder's midriff

GB Hogg c Bell b Flintoff 10 (16m 11b 1x4 0x6) SR: 90.90

Out strides Brett Lee.

46.2

Flintoff to Lee, no run, Lee rather jumpily back as he jabs down on the ball

46.3

Flintoff to Lee, no run, Lee aims an expansive swish through the covers, gets a thick inside edge and Nixon makes a good stop diving to his left

46.4

Flintoff to Lee, no run, mistimed drive, Dalrymple dives full length from extra cover to keep Lee on strike

46.5

Flintoff to Lee, no run, frustration showing as Lee tries to swipe the ball over midwicket and misses

46.6

Flintoff to Lee, OUT, Collingwood is on fire! Lee, clearly frustrated, swished and missed, the ball cannoned off his pads to Collingwood at backward point and his underarm throw hit the stumps with Lee, diving full length, a yard short

B Lee run out 0 (5m 5b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

A maiden at this stage of an ODI is rare, let alone one with two wickets. But why was Lee, who had played five dot balls, looking for a single to keep the strike?

End of over 47 (wicket maiden) Australia 248/8 (RR: 5.27)
     A Flintoff    9-1-40-2
SR Watson    8* (11b)      LE Plunkett    10-0-56-0

The field is pushed back to give Watson the run

47.1

Mahmood to Watson, 1 run, clipped to midwicket for an easy - and almost gifted - single

47.2

Mahmood to Bracken, no run, slower ball, inside edge to midwicket and after a moment's yes-noing, they decide to stay put

47.3

Mahmood to Bracken, 1 run, angled poke to backward point and they risk - and get - a single to Collingwood

47.4

Mahmood to Watson, OUT, another one bites the dust ... Watson is undone by a slower ball which he lamely chips to Bell at midwicket. Watson's ignominy was compounded by the fact he then headed off towards the wrong exit and had to make a sudden and big navigational correction when he realised his mistake. The crowd spotted it and gave him a few jeers ...

SR Watson c Bell b Mahmood 9 (31m 13b 0x4 0x6) SR: 69.23

Out comes McGrath ... now what odds would you have got on that an hour ago?

47.5

Mahmood to Bracken, no run, prodded into the off side

47.6

Mahmood to Bracken, 1 run, defensive push beats the bowler and extra cover and Bracken trots through to keep the strike

McGrath has the air of a man who did not want to bat and is rather cheesed off that his colleagues have created a situation where he has to put on the kit.

End of over 48 (3 runs) Australia 251/9 (RR: 5.22)
NW Bracken    2* (4b)      SI Mahmood    8-0-45-2
GD McGrath    0* (0b)      A Flintoff    9-1-40-2

48.1

Flintoff to Bracken, 1 run, edged fine to third man

48.2

Flintoff to McGrath, no run, full toss, patted to mid-off. He is looking for the yorker ...

Flintoff pulls away in the final throes of his run-up ... and trudges back to start again

48.3

Flintoff to McGrath, OUT, full and straight and McGrath's 37th birthday present from Flintoff is to have his stumps scattered

GD McGrath b Flintoff 0 (4m 2b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

Well, when Australia were cruising at 170 for 1 in the 30th over it seemed a 300+ score was on the cards ... but they then lost their last nine wickets for 82 in 18.3 overs in a positively Englandish performance. After an indifferent start, England bowled well but Australia contributed to their own downfall. The pitch is not a belter and England have the added problem of batting under lights, so this could be a tight second half. Join us in 40 minutes ...

Tournament Results
Australia v England at Sydney - Feb 11, 2007
England won by 34 runs (D/L method)
Australia v England at Melbourne - Feb 9, 2007
England won by 4 wickets (with 3 balls remaining)
England v New Zealand at Brisbane - Feb 6, 2007
England won by 14 runs
Australia v New Zealand at Melbourne - Feb 4, 2007
Australia won by 5 wickets (with 10 balls remaining)
Australia v England at Sydney - Feb 2, 2007
England won by 92 runs
More results »

Photos

Feb 9, 2007

Paul Collingwood jumps for joy as England win the first final, Australia v England, first CB Series final, Melbourne, February 9, 2007

Paul Collingwood jumps for joy as England win the first final

© Getty Images

Feb 9, 2007

Shane Watson removed Andrew Flintoff but conceded crucial boundaries at the end, Australia v England, first CB Series final, Melbourne, February 9, 2007

Shane Watson removed Andrew Flintoff but conceded crucial boundaries at the end

© Getty Images

All photos for this match

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