Australia v England, 5th ODI, Adelaide January 26, 2014

Australia hit back for five-run win


Australia 9 for 217 (Bailey 56, Broad 3-31, Stokes 3-43) beat England 212 (Root 55, Coulter-Nile 3-34, McKay 3-37) by five runs
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Brilliant for much of this summer, Australia settled for simply being the lucky country on their national day, as a fortuitous moment at the pointy end of the final ODI effectively handed the hosts a fourth limited-overs victory out of five over England and a ninth from 10 encounters including the Ashes clean sweep.

In a scrappy contest dictated largely by the sluggishness of Adelaide Oval's drop-in pitch, Australia posted a mediocre total but defended it grandly against an England team who threatened to take control at several stages of the chase but could never quite manage to wrest command of the evening.

Alastair Cook, Joe Root and Eoin Morgan all contributed useful scores to take England close, but it was left to Ravi Bopara to try to take his team to a second win in a row. He seemed likely to carry them there, until falling victim to a most unfortunate end, as Matthew Wade's fumble behind the stumps bounced back onto the leg bail with the batsman's foot barely raised.

The Australians celebrated their win raucously and fittingly - it was one more moment of joy in a summer brimful of them, while England rued the swings of outrageous fortune that inevitably seem to go against the side to fall behind. The hosts owed much to Nathan Coulter-Nile, who delivered perhaps his best and most disciplined spell for Australia, before Clint McKay gave nothing away in the closing overs.

James Faulkner also bowled well despite complaining of knee soreness earlier in the day, while Shaun Marsh may be under his own fitness cloud having left the field midway through England's chase. Aaron Finch was the beneficiary of two dropped chances in the afternoon but was beaten for pace by a revved up Stuart Broad, before Shane Watson, Michael Clarke and Shaun Marsh all perished to loose strokes as they tried to raise the hosts' run rate.

The remainder of the innings was a struggle despite the best efforts of George Bailey, the only batsman to pass 50 in the face of a diligent England bowling line-up. Broad's pace and direction showed the way for his colleagues, while Ben Stokes, Tim Bresnan, Chris Jordan and James Tredwell also delivered sturdy spells.

Ian Bell and Cook began smartly, until the difficulties posed for shot-making on a decidedly slow surface began to rear. Bell tried to drive on the up and was taken at mid-off. Stokes' attempted pull shot was not middled and settled in the hands of midwicket. Then after a partnership with Root that hinted at success, Cook himself mistimed to short cover.

Root showed admirable composure on his return to the team, unhurried and unflustered while building another stand with Morgan. At 3 for 154 they were close to breaking the back of the chase, only for Morgan to follow his predecessors in perishing to a lofted stroke, this time finding Shane Watson at mid-off from the bowling of James Faulkner.

Three runs later and Root was trudging off too, his attempted paddle only succeeding in picking out short fine leg. A previously restive Australia Day crowd found its voice as the Australian huddle grew more enthusiastic. Jos Buttler enhanced their anticipation when he picked out deep midwicket with a pull shot, and Bresnan's one mowed six over wide long-on was cancelled out when he was thrown out by Glenn Maxwell, running in from cover.

Those who had witnessed the final day of the Adelaide Test against South Africa were made nervous by the sight of Wade stationing himself up to the stumps for McKay, but the bowler averted any problems by bringing one between bat and pad to bowl Broad. That left Bopara with just Jordan and Tredwell for company, and the fourth ball of the penultimate over brought unexpected reward for Wade's decision to stay up.

Beaten outside off stump by McKay, Bopara very briefly lifted his back foot, and at the same moment Wade's failure to glove the ball cleanly had it ricochet back onto the stumps. It was an exceptionally tight call, but the third umpire Kumar Dharmasena went the way of Australia. Bopara walked off in a daze, and Watson bowled a suitably tight final over to make the match safe.

Jordan and Broad had almost as much reason to curse their ill-fortune early in the afternoon, when Cook and Bopara both dropped chances they should have taken from Finch. Jordan's new ball swing posed problems at one end while Broad's pace was notable at the other, eventually rewarded when Finch was far too late on a ball that uprooted off stump.

Watson made a fairly ugly duck, narrowly avoiding an lbw appeal and DRS referral by Broad then swishing at a wide delivery and offering a catch to Buttler. Clarke spent 26 balls over 8 before trying to smear Bresnan across the line and also being bowled, and Marsh's start was wasted when he clipped Stokes to midwicket where this time Cook held on.

For a time Bailey and Maxwell stemmed the bleeding, manoeuvring the ball around a somewhat spongy outfield with the occasional muscular blow to the boundary. However Maxwell's patience is far from infinite, and a dabble too many outside off stump brought an edge behind the wicket.

Bailey's innings was nothing spectacular but he came closest to finding the right balance between aversion and aggression to score at a reasonable rate. Even so, his last 23 balls were devoid of a boundary, creating pressure that resulted in an attempted punch down the ground that skewed instead to mid-on.

Wade did his best with a busy 31, then Faulkner and Coulter-Nile tried to hit out at the finish, but the final tally looked meagre. Jordan was rewarded for his unrewarded earlier efforts with two wickets in as many balls during an excellent final over, but was to be left crestfallen at the finish as the chase fell maddeningly yet somehow fittingly short.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Harmon on January 31, 2014, 5:48 GMT


    Ok Physics grad. The ball did hit the leg side bail on its 'central' side, causing the other end to move up in an arc. If one end is going up & if the bail is rigid then clearly the other end would either go down (or would stay in its place). The middle stump prevented the 'central' end of the leg bail to move down thus it constrained the leg bail as a whole to move in the clockwise direction from the backside angle. In other words, the ball gave a torque to the leg bail with its 'central' end as its pivot. From the back side angle one can clearly see the leg bail 1st moving up while its 'central' end is masked by Wade's legs & gloves. Can you not see this? Come on.

    The bail did finally fall down. I don't deny this. But by the time that bail came off fully, Bopara's foot was back on ground.

    The law is crystal clear here but even if it is poor, we got to play by it. Rem Chappell, Lillee, David Hussey?

    We debate it cos some ppl just can't get it.

  • Harmon on January 30, 2014, 13:58 GMT


    The bail has two grooves , not one. Somehow most ppl here fail to see this or deliberately ignore this. The bail must be out of its two grooves, if one end is in touch with the grooves then it is not out. Countless times we have seen replays for run-outs and stumping in the past where the 3rd umpire was trying to see when the bail was fully dislodged. This is a settled issue really.

    You are in a car and asked to come out, would you say you are totally out of the car if one leg of yours is still inside the car while the other leg is on the ground? I guess not. Pls transpose this for the the two ends of a bail in the two grooves.

    Reg your 2nd para, strictly speaking that would be not out cos the bail is still on the stumps. What you ask is really an extreme case of stuff that has already happened. A few times a delivery has hit the stumps, the bails have risen but have fallen back in place. That has never been given out even though both the bails were in the air.

  • Steve on January 30, 2014, 1:41 GMT

    @Harmony111.....Mate as you have enthusiastically made your point, the stumps are broken when the bail is out of its grove. It only has to out of the grove, not clear of the grove. Had the bail resettled into the grove it wouldn't have been out but it didn't, so the only way they can make a decision is by ascertaining that the bail had left its grove when Bopara was out and not resettled in it so therefore he was out. Not when both ends of the bail had left their groves, it only takes one end of the bail to leave its grove for the stumps to be broken.

    Going by your "pendulum" theory, if a batsman is short of his ground when the stumps are hit and the bail has left off stump and is standing on its end, perpendicular, still touching middle stump, the batsman should be deemed "not out" as it hasn't completely left both groves. No, my friend, the stumps were broken as soon as any part of the bail is no longer touching, the only reprieve being is when, and if, they happen to resettle.

  • Graham on January 29, 2014, 21:41 GMT

    Harmony111; I'm a physics graduate I understand what your trying to say. Try spinning a horizontal bail and you will realise the ridiculousness of your claim. The reality is the bail initially pushed into the stump then the whole bail lifted, but there was more force at one end to lift one end higher. The rule is written poorly and leaves to conjecture. The point of the bail being dislodged was when we visible saw the bail lift. There is no mention of grooves in the rule just clearance of the stump. My opinion will always be the moment you see the bails disturbed is the moment the stumps have been impacted. It is out and should always be out don't know why we are debating this

  • Harmon on January 29, 2014, 15:19 GMT


    I will try to use a diff example that you can visualize better.

    You must be aware of a thing called 'pendulum', right? The rod of a pendulum has two ends, one of which is at a pivot & the other end is free. The free end keeps changing its position as the pendulum goes to-n-fro. However, the pivoted end remains at its position.

    I am not saying the bail would get into a to-n fro motion like a pendulum. I talked about pendulum cos I think you can now better visualize it rather than imaging how a bail would be rotating.

    When a bail is struck by the ball, for a little while, the bail may act like the rod of a pendulum, one end of this bail would remain at a (sort of pivoted) fixed position while the other end would keep moving.

    To say that the bail has been dislodged fully, you must wait till the fixed end too is out of its place, not before that. No cam proved this.

    Hope this helps.

  • Asad on January 29, 2014, 13:18 GMT

    What a run AUS is having by winning 9 of the last 10 matches. It seems that ENG rankings have dropped in the two formats considerably because of this.

    Well done AUS !!!

  • Graham on January 29, 2014, 10:58 GMT

    Harmony111; Give it a rest, it was given out by the ump and my opinion the correct decision you obviously disagree but your attack on Pras Punter was unwarranted when so many people share his view. My view the stumps were clearly broken, your rotation theory is a little hard to comprehend particularly with where the bail finished up but I guess your not Einstein either. One bail lifted enough for the cameras to see, indicates the breaking of the stumps to me satisfying the law ou have correctly written.

  • Harmon on January 29, 2014, 9:55 GMT


    You yourself are being dishonest in your comments while you accuse me of being dishonest.

    1. FoA, there are 4 grooves (3 if one is pedantic), you pretend as if there is only 1. Why did you do this? Dishonesty or poor arithmetic?

    2. Why do you talk of interpretation when the law itself is crystal clear? Don't the Aussies usually insist that the law is what matters, interpretations can vary?

    3. How can a bail be said to COMPLETELY REMOVED when one end of it is still in its groove? Remember there are two ends of a bail both of which are in their respective grooves. How hard is it for someone to understand the diff between NEARLY & COMPLETELY?

    4. In that entire footage, there is not a single moment when the bail was COMPLETELY REMOVED while Bopara's foot was in the air. I challenged Aussie fans to point that moment out, NONE could do it.

    5. Bopara would have known he was in trouble but there is no way he would've known he was out when even Wade wasn't sure.

    You FAIL.

  • Harmon on January 29, 2014, 9:42 GMT

    @Shaggy076 on (January 27, 2014, 10:58 GMT):

    -------"Harmony111; Can you explain something for me? If the stumps are a fixed distance apart and the right side of the bail lifts 5cm so we can view it how is the left side of the bail still on the stump? Has it bent to form a new shape or increased in size. One side of the bail has visibly dislodged to the eye must also mean the other side is dislodged although by a lesser distance. Clearly out. "-------

    Clearly you do not know the thing called rotation.

    One end of the bail can move out of the groove even when the other end is still in the groove cos the the ball might strike the bail in such a manner that one end of the bail is dislodged & begins to rotate --- with --- the other end of the bail acting as the centre of this rotation but still in its groove.

    A while later, the bail 'may' fell down cos it rotated out of its place too much.

  • Andrew on January 28, 2014, 12:18 GMT

    @DISHarmony111 on (January 27, 2014, 8:33 GMT) - you are being dishonest. IF, you took the time to cut and paste the bloody rules SURELY you read the Interpretations of the rule? No? It states that a bail is CONSIDERED completely removed when a bail HAS LEFT THE GROOVE!!!!!! A Bail had clearly left the groove at the same time as Bopara's foot was out of the crease & guess what? - even Bopara knew it too! He was dreadfully unlucky - but OUT!