England v Australia, 3rd ODI, Old Trafford June 27, 2010

Mixed emotions for England's sports fans

Decision of the day
After Shaun Tait and Doug Bollinger bowled out in their desperate late attempt to bring Australia back into the game, Ricky Ponting was left with an interesting decision. England needed three runs and Australia wanted one wicket from the 50th over, but Ponting could not turn to Tait, Bollinger or Ryan Harris. Would he trust Steven Smith, who had bowled well and collected two wickets, and hope the tailenders miscued trying for the winning runs? Or would he opt for the more tried and tested James Hopes? Ponting went for Hopes, Tim Bresnan got a thick edge for four from the first ball of the over, and that was that.

Surprise of the day
There were pessimistic rumblings that the spectators at Old Trafford would leave the ground in droves when England's World Cup match against Germany kicked off at 3pm. Even Andrew Strauss's decision to send Australia in was greeted with light-hearted cynicism: did he just want his boys to be in the dressing room to watch the football later in the day? In fact, very few people - a couple of hundred at most - left the ground, although many had headphones on to hear the commentary from Bloemfontein. There were plenty of backs to the cricket within the corporate boxes, and when Germany scored the first goal a loud muttering rippled through the crowd.

Unwelcome reception of the day
The dismissal of Kevin Pietersen isn't usually a cause for great optimism from an English crowd. But when he was walking off after poking a return catch to Shaun Tait, the fans suddenly erupted with cheers and hooting - a delayed appreciation of Tait's sharp take, perhaps? No, they had all just heard through their earpieces that Matthew Upson had scored a goal at the World Cup to bring England back to 2-1.

Sponsor of the day
Given the sporting rivalries of England this afternoon, one of the major sponsors at Old Trafford was especially notable. As the sightscreen rotated after every over, it advertised Wolf Blass Wines - a company founded by a German immigrant in Australia.

The point of the day
Old Trafford has welcomed a new addition with the official opening of The Point, which is advertised as a conference or reception centre that can host 1000 people. It's essentially a big red, rectangular box that, until the rest of the ground is redeveloped, looks as odd in its historic surroundings as the Lord's media centre. Andrew Flintoff was on hand to cut the ribbon and open the venue, which also provided a handy balcony from which to view the cricket. Or, once the football started, from which to retreat and concentrate on the television.

Arrival of the day
The absence of key bowlers has been one of Australia's problems, though not as much as their batting, in this series, so it was interesting to note that Mitchell Johnson has now joined the touring party. Johnson was ruled out of the one-dayers with an infection in his right elbow, which was not strapped as he donned a baseball glove and played backstop for the fast bowlers as they warmed up on the field during the innings break. Don't expect a miracle comeback from Johnson during the ODIs though; he's much more likely to make his return for the Twenty20s against Pakistan.

Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rajaram on June 28, 2010, 17:06 GMT

    Why don't you include the sick,incompetent partisan Englishman Umpire Ian Gould in Plays of the Day? He gave Steve Smith out lbw when he wasn't out, and did not give Andrew Stauss out lbw to Michael Clarke when he was clealy out. No URDS allowed either. England were playing with 12 men against Australia's 11, with the sword of fines for dissent with the umpire's decision hanging on their head. Great that England were disallowed the goal against Germany in the Football World Cup 2010. Poetic justice for cheating Germany in the 1966 World Cup Final at Wembley,and for cheating Australia time and again .

  • Dummy4 on June 28, 2010, 9:15 GMT

    well done England. But lets face it England arnt as good as this tired Aussie side make us look, and the Aussies arnt as bad as they have played. See the difference one decent bowler made (Tait). England are getting better but i reckon they are a strike bowler short of a decent side, and collingwood at four is a place too high. The worry for our Aussie mates is that there whole batting line up seems to be aging together and a bit bamboozled by the modern T20 and ODI bowling. Get your youngster's in.

  • Dummy4 on June 28, 2010, 5:34 GMT

    James i used to live at Nottingham now moved to Australia. I am huge fan of England and that day was horrible for me too. That was one bad day which i want to forget but somehow cant. BTW ur story is very interesting.

  • Giles on June 28, 2010, 2:07 GMT

    To all those who were SO down on the England teams chances of beating the Aussies - how's 3 zip for ya ? No more 'Aussies will thrash Poms' or 'England fragile batting and 'toothless bowling attack' comments ? Awesome...

  • Adrian on June 28, 2010, 1:13 GMT

    My heart goes out to the guy who witnessed England losing to Sri Lanka in cricket and then Portugal in the football, but I think I can top it. Just last weekend Australia won their last group stage match but it wasn't enough to put them through to the round of 16, and then we woke up the next day with a female, redheaded prime minister who none of us had elected, and are unlikely to do so in future.

  • lucy on June 28, 2010, 0:55 GMT

    And now Australia and England have something more in common - letting in four against Germany.

  • Dummy4 on June 27, 2010, 20:28 GMT

    I remember back in 2006 when England played Portugal in the quarter finals of the World cup on that same day I was watching England cricketers playing Sri Lanka in an ODI series already won by Sri Lanka. I wasn't really expecting much from the England batsmen as they had struggled throughout the series however they rattled up a decent score of over 300. After the interval half the stadium had gone off to watch the England match and me with my Dad and my Brother were listening to it on the radio, potentially this had all the makings of one of the best days off my life sadly it didn't turn out like that, within 10 overs Sri Lanka had already reached 100+ so we decided to go and watched the football match by that time had gone to extra time and then my day got worse Rooney got sent off and we ended up losing on penalties. I live in south east and this was the first time I ever went to Leeds I could've had a great time but it turned into a disaster I just wanted to share my story really.

  • John on June 27, 2010, 18:24 GMT

    Why no "Ball of the day"? Surely Tait's away swinging yorker to slogger Kieswetter would have to be it.

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