England v Australia, NatWest Series, Chester-le-Street

Lee takes his leave

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the 4th ODI at Chester-le-Street

Daniel Brettig at Chester-le-Street

July 7, 2012

Comments: 21 | Text size: A | A

Brett Lee limped off an English cricket ground possibly for the last time, England v Australia, 4th ODI, Chester-le-Street, July 7, 2012
Brett Lee may have left an English cricket ground for the last time © Getty Images
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Departure of the day

Australia had already lost Shane Watson to injury when Brett Lee pulled up after the second ball of his third over to grab and stretch his right calf. Seemingly unsure whether or not it was cramp, Lee tried to straighten out the kink before attempting to run in and bowl. He did not make it halfway through his run-up before pulling up again, and a concerned Michael Clarke then ran from slip to encourage Lee to take his leave. The Chester-le-Street crowd offered warm applause, and it is just possible that Lee was leaving an English cricket ground for the last time.

Change-up of the day

Sometimes a fuller ball can be used as a surprise tactic, even on a pitch that is crying out for them. Steven Finn succeeded in pushing David Warner back by bowling short of a length in the early overs, often with extravagant movement. There was the odd slightly fuller delivery that Warner played from the crease, before the first ball of Finn's third over arrived faster and further up than the batsman had computed for. Completely on his heels, Warner was plainly lbw, though it took a review of the umpire's original decision to confirm it.

Surprise of the day

Given the firepower at Alastair Cook's disposal, it was hardly expected that the day's most perfect ball was to be delivered by Ravi Bopara. Yet a tacky, seaming surface and slightly damp air afforded Bopara's mediums the ideal setting, and he would use them to confound George Bailey. Angling the ball in towards middle and off to have Bailey shaping to play to the leg side, Bopara zipped it away off the seam to clip the off bail. Bailey has now been bowled five times in as many innings on tour, though never was he as blameless as here.

Introduction of the day

James Pattinson had been straining all tour for a chance to charge in at England's batsmen, but his first delivery was not one to remember. Full at leg stump and neither swinging nor particularly fast, it was summarily dispatched to the backward square leg boundary by Ian Bell. What's more it was a no-ball, offering Bell a free-hit. Pattinson evaded punishment for his transgression with a slower ball that the batsman miscued, but the final ball of the over was not dissimilar to the first, and Bell flicked it wide of mid-on for another boundary.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by The_bowlers_Holding on (July 8, 2012, 9:10 GMT)

If that is the last we see of Lee in England it will be a sad end for someone who's stupid haircut has always annoyed me bit he is both ultra competitive but also a very good sport in the finest Australian traditions. Watto looks like he has been at the pies to me, he is injury prone and this unfortunately will not improve as he ages. The Aussie bowlers seem to be made of glass I agree perhaps it is the pre-occupation witht the 90+mph(lets not use kmh);Pattinson and Cummins already have a history of breaking down I hope they do not have careers cut short.

Posted by   on (July 8, 2012, 6:21 GMT)

australia seemingly unsteady with openers not doing their bit and bowlers getting injured...maybe it is time to try a forrest-wade opening partnertship...australia's new fast bowlers have a greater tendency to illness and they should pick another fast bowler..maybe they left their best fast one day bowler behind...coulter-nile...it might also be time to drop bailey and warner who seemingly are failing badly...

Posted by landl47 on (July 8, 2012, 5:55 GMT)

@Patchmaster: I think it's something to do with the weather.

Posted by Badgerofdoom on (July 8, 2012, 5:45 GMT)

I think Bopara might be a little underused as a bowling option for England, he's taken 146 wickets @26 in list A and has done well in T20s. Bailey might get stick for getting out to Bopara but that ball would have got most batsmen.

Posted by RandyOZ on (July 8, 2012, 4:38 GMT)

@Patchmaster - nice try, but considering you posted that at 2am, I was asleep. Grow and and learn some geography. @TheHoneymonster - agree with all your comments. The selections have been appalling and the recommendations of the Argus review completely and utterly ignored.

Posted by SachinisNogod on (July 8, 2012, 3:57 GMT)

Miserable effort by Australia. I almost know how an Indian fan must feel! Our consolation is we lost to a wonderful England team. No shame in losing to the best.

Posted by Patchmaster on (July 8, 2012, 2:03 GMT)

Has anyone heard from RandyOz ? He was writing all sorts of stuff about AUS being too strong for ENG, and how all four of the AUS bowlers could reach 90mph. I can;t seem to be able to contact him now. Weird.

Posted by   on (July 7, 2012, 23:13 GMT)

Lee was not in top form even in IPL..he was benched....

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (July 7, 2012, 20:51 GMT)

@Nick - The rain couldn't save Australia this time!

Posted by SDHM on (July 7, 2012, 20:00 GMT)

@Landl (again!) - I also agree about Warner. I said the way he played Swann at Lord's and the way he got out to Anderson should have had alarm bells ringing, but seeing as he scored 56, it was kind of brushed under the carpet. He flapped at the short ball at The Oval too (odd for an Aussie batsman), so the weaknesses are beginning to pile up. A year is a long time for him to work on them so he shouldn't be written off by any means, but it doesn't look too good ahead of next year. With Watson, I feel that even though he's a dangerous player, England just don't fear him - they know he's going to get out sooner or later if they just keep plugging away. Basically, Australia need to find some batsmen from somewhere!

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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