Fan Following

First-person reports from the stands

England v Australia, 5th ODI, Lord's

Speed, sixes, and tennis reports

A full house at Lord's watches Tait undo England. Meanwhile, Bolly gives it back to the crowd, Swann entertains and Hopes nearly knocks the scorers' heads off

Kunal Wagle

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Mike Hussey cut loose in the closing overs and finally departed for 79 from 60 balls, England v Australia, 5th ODI, Lord's, July 3, 2010
Up, up and away © Getty Images
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The game
When you get to go to an England-Australia match at Lord's, you aren't going to pass up the opportunity. I had not seen England beat Australia yet (though I did see the last day of the draw in Cardiff last year) and predicted Australia to win comfortably.

Team supported
Having lived in England all my life, I was supporting the home team.

Key performer
Shaun Tait may have been Man of the Match, but Shaun Marsh's fifty turned it, and his two sensational catches sank England when they looked to be in a strong position.

One thing I'd have changed
The Aussie run-rate in the first 35 overs. For a while it became so dreary that the spectators around me resorted to reading the report of the Murray-Nadal tennis match from the previous day. That did wonders for the sales of the Times around the ground!

Face-off I relished
Stuart Broad's barrage of short balls to Tim Paine was the only "face-off" worth talking about, but there was also Tait against the entire English team with his super quick fast-bowling speeds.

Wow moment
Doug Bollinger's reply to sledging from our stand. They said to him, "Dougie, you were **** at Worcester," to which his reply was "That's because Worcester was a **** place."

Player watch
James Anderson received sarcastic applause after his final over went for 15 runs. But he silenced the crowd by taking two catches in the next over, including that of the brilliant Michael Hussey.

The Swann factor
Swann provided some entertainment at the end. The crowd didn't particularly care who won the match as long as Swann kept going with his superb reverse-sweeping and big hitting. He was exceptional with the ball as well and provided three crucial wickets, including the hilarious dismissal of Tim Paine, who completely missed a reverse sweep. It was a bad decision by Strauss not to give Swann his full quota.

Shot of the day
There were many huge sixes. Hussey hit a couple, as did Marsh. However, the best one was in the final over of the Australian innings, where James Hopes, on his first delivery, smashed Broad for six over the cover boundary, a few feet short of destroying the scorer's box, just below Father Time himself.

Crowd meter
The match was a sellout. Though there was no music, the atmosphere was amazing going into the final stages of the match, even though the largely favoured England were at a stage of no-return. There was the big six that was caught in the Grand Stand next to us. Our stand grew fond of the security guard sitting in front of us, and he received a standing ovation each time his shift ended. However this may just have been an apology from the spectator who accidentally set off a champagne cork in his direction!

Overall
The first half of the Australian innings was dire, but Marsh and Hussey turned the entire match around, unfortunately a bit too far for my liking. Tait was devastating, and despite Collingwood, Bresnan and Swann's heroics, it was always looking unlikely that England would win. The atmosphere was excellent through the day, and the ground was full throughout. The overall experience was great, and not unlike the previous matches that I have seen at Lord's.

Marks out of 10
8. Everything was perfect. Fours, sixes, fast bowling from Tait. It had everything in it to make it a great game. But the only thing that was wrong with it was the result. My prediction was unfortunately correct, and instead of winning the series by a large margin of 4-1, it ended up close at 3-2. The Ashes are on their way, and the Australians now have the momentum.

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Kunal Wagle is a 15-year-old of Indian origin, born in Manchester, and living in London. He supports India with all his heart and England in all other causes. He plays cricket every week for the Bank of England Under-15 team, who were recently crowned Mid Surrey League Cup Champions. Cricket is his be all and end all, and has always been.

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Comments: 9 
Posted by   on (July 5, 2010, 4:13 GMT)

Saim, Scgboy, these are comments from fan following section...Being an England fan, Kunal had given credits to Aussie players as they deserve it. Allow him to grow.

Kunal : Its a nice piece of report and i see a lot maturity in your writing, good job. I would like to read your report on Ind vs. Eng match.

All the best for your cricket career too.

Posted by   on (July 5, 2010, 2:25 GMT)

@Saim93: C'mon give him a break, my friend, he's 15!!

@Kunal: I must say, very well-written article, especially considering your age (I say this really sincerely, do not mean to sound condescending here), I watched the match on TV.. and it was amazing the pace Tait generates.. he doesn't seem to put in a lot of effort in his run-up, like say the Shoaib Akhtar of old... even Shane Bond looked like he meant business when he ran in.. but Tait, like Jeff Thompson famously said, just seems "to run in and go whang!" Remarkable, really.

Posted by Marcio on (July 5, 2010, 0:40 GMT)

He's a 15 year old kid, Saim, give him a break!

Thanks for sharing this, Kugal. Glad you enjoyed the game. You are indeed lucky to have gone to the home of cricket for this game.

Posted by Towelie on (July 4, 2010, 21:53 GMT)

@Saim9- Dude get off of him. Didnt you read he's a 15 year old boy. Goog job Kunal!!! Keep it up.

Posted by umke on (July 4, 2010, 21:52 GMT)

This is an excellent report and I think that Saim93 is being a bit harsh. This report was entertaining and showed how the majority of fans felt after the game. He is not that biased as he says plenty of good things about the Aussies and he even states that he wanted England to win. Excellent report!!!! I want him to do another one soon!!

Posted by piwwow on (July 4, 2010, 21:43 GMT)

no it is a fan view so he is entitled to his opinion. If you ever do it you will understand

Posted by   on (July 4, 2010, 21:16 GMT)

Very nicely written, Kunal. Especially for someone so young; or perhaps that's why it is so nice to read :-) You English teacher at School must be very happy.

Posted by Scgboy on (July 4, 2010, 21:03 GMT)

saim 93 - I think you hit on the head.

Kunal, its a good piece and well written . As an aspiring cricket writer , you have to report the facts as you see it.if we want biased opinions we can read a blog , what we want is fresh perspective from some one who analyses the game for what its worth .

For example , take Ian chapple , whilst its true , that hes some what biased being a former cricket captain and all , yet on the whole he's an open and honest annalist of whats happening. If the poms beat the Aussies and do it well , he will concede it was a smashing match , which Australia deserved to lose and visa versa. Along with he's thoughts why.Its he thoughts why that make it such interesting reading.

Bycott , harsha , Grieg , Athrers , Richie Benaud whoever all have the same ability just with a different twist or flair. Their analysis is just what makes them so interesting along obviously with a bit of home team slant.(which is fine)

Posted by Saim93 on (July 4, 2010, 15:02 GMT)

I think it is wrong by the writers here taking away points because their team lost. It is your job to write fairly and you should be neutral and not biased.

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