Australia in England / Features

England v Australia, 4th Test, Trent Bridge, 2nd day

Another Freddie special

Andrew Flintoff and Geraint Jones snatched the initiative when the game was in the balance

On the ball with S Rajesh and Arun Gopalakrishnan

August 26, 2005

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Over the last two matches, England have managed to dig deep and win most of the key moments, and they did it again on the second day at Trent Bridge after being reduced to 241 for 5, as Andrew Flintoff and Geraint Jones put on a 177-run stand for the sixth wicket. Not only did they build a huge partnership, they also did it quickly, using up only 238 balls, that's a scoring rate of almost 4.5 per over. As expected, Flintoff played the dominant role, smashing 94 from 112 balls, while Jones played the second fiddle perfectly, scoring 69 from 126.

From the beginning of his innings Flintoff was assured with his footwork, as the graphic below indicates. He was hardly ever caught on the crease, and was authoritative off either foot. And on a slow pitch, he made the bowlers pay every time they pitched it short, scoring at more than a run a ball off those deliveries. Flintoff scored at a fair clip against all bowlers: Brett Lee went for 15 off 20, Michael Kasprowicz 29 off 36, Shaun Tait 20 off 18, Shane Warne 34 off 51, and Ponting 4 off 7. Flintoff's control of his innings, by a factor of 81%, further illustrates how comfortable he was against the Australian bowlers.

When England took the field, their bowlers showed exactly how to work with conditions not entirely favourable for the fast men. England's four fast bowlers bowled 27% potentially-wicket-taking deliveries; Australia's seamers had only managed 17%. And here's more evidence of how effective England's seamers were - in 189 balls, they rapped the batsmen on the pads 20 times, getting four favourable decisions from the umpires; Brett Lee, Michael Kasprowicz and Shaun Tait did that only 18 times in 553 balls.

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S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.
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