England v Australia, 2nd NatWest ODI, Old Trafford September 8, 2013

Clarke's ton rewarded with victory


Australia 315 for 7 (Clarke 105, Bailey 82) beat England 227 (Buttler 75, Pietersen 60, Morgan 54, McKay 3-47) by 88 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Michael Clarke has remained in England after a dispiriting Ashes series to seek some one-day solace and, at the start of the NatWest series, Old Trafford provided it in abundance. A graceful first hundred against England in one-day internationals was followed by an overwhelming victory. For Australia's captain, it was a rare visit this summer to the pleasure palace.

England's pursuit of 316 for victory was a non-event, their defeat every bit as comprehensive as the 88-run margin indicates. They had never chased down such a total in ODIs, their best effort being 306 for 5 against Pakistan in Karachi 13 years ago. They had also never conceded such a large total to Australia in an ODI in England. They were not about to challenge such statistics.

The balance of England's side was weighted towards an extra batsman, a shift in policy from a Champions Trophy campaign earlier this summer in which they were beaten finalists, and the captain, Eoin Morgan, time and again found himself playing a limited hand in the field, never more so than when Clarke and George Bailey were compiling a fourth-wicket stand of 155 in 22 overs.

Clarke measured up the England attack serenely for his 105 from 102 balls before Boyd Rankin, England's biggest threat, had him caught at the wicket 22 balls from the end of the innings. Bailey, untroubled while making 82 from 67 balls, smiled upon England even as he punished them, as if influenced by some minor religious sect which instructs him forever to spread happiness.

England had a sally firstly through Kevin Pietersen, who made 60 from 66 balls before he drove Shane Watson to cover, and later Jos Buttler, who had the rare luxury of more than half the innings to bat and took advantage of more time at the crease with a maiden ODI fifty. He made 75 from 65 balls but became the sole victim of Fawad Ahmed, whose legspin will have more successful days.

The English summer is departing, and the house martins are taking flight, but Australia are still here, seeking to ease memories of their 3-0 defeat in the Test series. That England, influenced by a 10.15am start, inserted them on a benign, grassless pitch, correctly assessed at the toss by Clarke as a "fantastic" batting surface, provided a helping hand. England, 1-0 down with three to play (the first match at Headingley was washed out), must surely re-examine their strategy.

Morgan was in no mood to contemplate error. "We've a very strong batting line-up," he said afterwards, adding that England's bowling attack had "lots of options". But the satisfaction - and the Man-of-the-Match award was Clarke's. "We're here to win the series and we are off to a good start," he said.

Rankin, who is making a good impression at the start of his England career, escaped with 2 for 49 and Ravi Bopara was the most resourceful of England's back-up bowlers, allowing only 32 from his first eight overs, even if he could not quite complete the job. Bopara might have escaped unscathed, however, if Bailey had been caught at deep miswicket when 69, but the ball evaded Stokes, who was in from the boundary; the next ball cleared the rope by a distance.

It was an inconvenient time for James Tredwell to have one of his most unrewarding days in an England shirt - he conceded 37 from his first 22 balls and eventually 60 from eight overs as Australia attacked him from the outset. It was a tough examination, too, for Ben Stokes, the Durham allrounder batting at No. 8, who struggled to fill the role of third seamer on such a surface.

Australia's opening alliance, Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh, had put on a record partnership against Scotland but produced naught in Manchester, as Marsh poked unconvincingly at a full delivery, the fourth ball of the match, and edged to the wicketkeeper Buttler.

Watson's emotional struggles with DRS could be turned into soap opera. Twice within 13 overs, the umpire Richard Kettleborough had to reverse decisions, with Watson the batsman involved on both occasions. Both were difficult calls for the third umpire, Aleem Dar, and he probably got it right on both occasions.

Watson successfully reviewed after he was given out lbw first ball by Kettleborough. Then, on 38, it was England's turn to overturn Kettleborough's decision, as Bopara had Watson caught at the wicket cutting. Not for the first time this summer, Watson departed with the hurt, pursed-lips expression of an elderly woman imagining herself short-changed at the till.

When Tredwell intervened with the wicket of Finch - a flat catch to Joe Root at long-on - England accepted the third wicket with considerable relief. For a few overs they hinted at a recovery, but soon Clarke and Bailey were killing them with kindness.

There was encouragement for Australia in the field, too: Mitchell Johnson is approaching his best form again. Australia omitted him for this summer's Ashes series but, after observing his new-ball spell, they must have had visions that their most mercurial bowling talent can make an impression in the return Test series. Johnson's rhythm was good, his bowling arm much higher than in recent years and his pace repeatedly above 90mph.

He struck twice in his second over. His first wicket had an element of good fortune as Michael Carberry slapped a catch to Clarke at backward point. But Jonathan Trott's first-baller came via a fiercely rising delivery on a perfect line that he could only fend to the wicketkeeper. Root followed immediately after the Powerplay, trying to run a ball from James Faulkner that sneaked back into him.

Pietersen and Morgan met a mammoth task with invention, enough to see Ahmed withdrawn from the attack after his first two overs cost 23.

But Pietersen's departure was a reality check for a crowd of 25,000. Bopara chipped a return catch to Adam Voges, Morgan succumbed to Clint McKay's slower ball, Stokes made a mess of a pull shot to complete a dismal day and, by the time Buttler brought up his half-century by striking Faulkner's slower ball over square leg for six, the game had long gone.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Graham on September 12, 2013, 9:35 GMT

    Harmony111- If selective watering was used to not create dusty wickets it hasnt worked. Selective watering was to make certain parts of the pitch dusty. If your able to water why wouldnt you water the entire pitch. Even normal Indian wickets watered correctly will still go dusty but not in the first hour of the game. Again I implied "Dusty" as the wickets are dusty. You have implied the "Proper". As for selectively watering it was done to cater for calls from the Indian captain. You guys could beat us on your normal wickets - I just dont understand why you need to go down the selective watering process.

  • Harmon on September 12, 2013, 8:48 GMT


    You did not mention PROPER but that is implied by the way you used the word dustbowl for Indian Wickets. You initially used dustbowl as if Ind Wickets were not good ones to play tests and as if winning on them did not matter. But then you criticized Selective Watering that was done to prevent the wicket from becoming a dustbowl & took the line that the natural nature of a wicket should not be altered. So on one hand you say that India's wins on the natural dustbowls of India don't really matter but at the same time you say that the nature of the wicket should not be altered. Such a confused point.

    You quoted me here & say that comment is derogatory. FYI, that quote was a combination of historical fact + Biggus' own opinion. My own role in that comment was merely adhesive. I asked you where is the exact derogation in that quote, no reply came from you. You skipped it. Is this not running here & there? Stick to your points & reply to mine.

  • Harmon on September 12, 2013, 8:04 GMT


    Yawn, I expected better but you have merely repeated your old points hoping to somehow present a reply to my pointed questions.

    I asked you to show me where was the derogation in that quote but you did not reply to that.

    I asked you how was Selective Watering helping a certain team when the Chennai wicket lasted 5 days, Oz batsmen scored 100s/50s on it & an Oz Fast Bowler got 6 wickets but you did not reply to it.

    First you suggested that winning on Ind dustbowls wasn't all that special cos you felt Aus can beat Ind away (i.e on PROPER Wickets) but when Aus were given an almost ideal test wicket they still lost. Pls make up your mind, what kind of wicket do you want & also show me how was that Chennai Wicket not a good wicket.

    Indeed Eng-Aus have promoted cricket a lot in the last 100+ years - a total of 8.5 test playing nations. Eng-Aus couldn't even get Cricket into Olympics. Then we have ppl here who deride T20 & call its fans as pseudo fans. Oh yes, I got no idea.

  • Graham on September 11, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    Harmony111; You come across so agressive relax.No matter what I right you are going to take it in a different context. How am I running, you pointed out how poor Australia was and all I said is we will beat you away from India. No mention of the word "PROPER" there is no ranking of importance as you suggest. As for selectively watering I don't agree with altering a strip, as It is altering the traditional strip to suit a certain team. I am just saying if you are truly a great test side you have no need to alter a strip how hard is that to understand. As for your comments you said Australia and England should take responsibility for promoting cricket to the world - I now understand you are not being derogatory you are just clueless with what Australia and England do to promote cricket. Also I just thought you were using outlandish statements in disrespect of us but it seems you were using them once again because you have no idea.

  • Harmon on September 11, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    @Shaggy076: Show me where is the exact derogation?

    I ask you again --- when did I say that Ashes should not be promoted? Show me pls.

    Your initial comment hinted as if winning on dustbowls did not matter as much as winning on so called PROPER wickets of Oz. But now you are clawing back. :-)

    Now as per you, dustbowls is merely a natural description for Indian wickets due to local conditions. So why do you have to use it suggestively if Ind have won 4-0 vs Oz? Even if they are dust bowls so what? Come to the point.

    Reg Selective Watering, you are desperately trying to find traction. Curator has every right to alter the nature of the wicket. I asked you if as per facts the Chennai wicket was bad or not. Answer that, don't run here & there.

  • Graham on September 11, 2013, 10:20 GMT

    Harmony111 - I quote "You two are happy playing your own bilateral series every 2 year and talk of it as if nothing else matters to you." - How is this not derogotary. The Ashes is the pinnacle for us and has just occured so get over us talking about it. We still play a lot of T20 cricket, one-day cricket and happy to promote it where we play so what harm is there with the promotion of cricket by talking about a century old contest. i would have thought it could only help the game. Then "Dust bowls" - Indian pitches are very dusty due to the Indian climate - it is simply a description. "Selective Watering" - It was the term coined by the curator. The term itself suggests altering the nature of a pitch. I'm only suggesting that if you were confident in your own ability to win on your traditional decks you wouldnt selective water. Why dont you guys trust yourself to win without this? So it looks you have taken offence at me using terms coined by indians to describe there pitches.

  • Harmon on September 11, 2013, 9:58 GMT


    You talked of selective watering process as if it was illegal or as if it was meant to harm the wicket or to help India. None of it. If you had bothered to read those articles properly before making an issue out of it then you would have realized that selective watering was actually meant to make the wicket more even.

    That Chennai wicket was originally made firm all over. After this, the central part was consistently watered and rolled to ensure good bounce for Fast Bowlers. The lateral part of the wicket was not watered so as to assist Spinners but cos the wicket was not bone-dry so it did not totally crumble and held together till Day 5.

    On that wicket, an Oz Fast Bowler took 6 wickets, the Oz Captain got a 100 & the Oz debutant got 2 50s. Indian spinners took 20 wickets & India got a 100 & a 200.

    Thus that wicket held for 5 days, helped Fast Bowlers, Spinners & Batsmen & gave a result. Sounds like an ideal wicket to me.

    You respond with facts right? Waiting ...

  • Harmon on September 11, 2013, 9:01 GMT


    Suppose an Aus captain says that Ind team struggles on wickets that have bounce & so we want these wickets to be like that AND the wickets turn out to be like that.

    Suppose an Ind captain says that Aus team struggles on wickets that take turn & so we want these wickets to be like that AND the wickets turn out to be like that.

    Now you tell me which one of these is cooking and which one is not.

    Oh yes, you are humble enough indeed. I saw a lot of that humility here when your buddy said that he doesn't care about T20s even though they are the best way to spread this very game that you is larger than you.


    FOA, Ind fans by & large like Cricket - any format. Rarely when an Ind says he dislikes Tests he gives his own reasons such as too slow or too long. He doesn't ridicule others. Reg T20s, pls read what Biggus said for other T20 fans - they are pseudo fans & got SHORT ATTENTION SPANS.

  • Harmon on September 11, 2013, 8:41 GMT


    Whatever I've said is a direct deduction from whatever you'd said in your prev comment. I've tried to post a detailed response but it is not coming up here for some reason. Your usage of dustbowl alone is ample proof for this deduction.

    Talking about belittling, someone said that millions of Indians are pseudo fans and have short attention spans? What about that?

    Show me where I belittled Tests or Ashes. Your own biases prevent you from being objective yet you pretend as if you are the epitome of objectivity.


    Don't twist my words. Did I ever say Ashes is boring? And how come T20 fans are pseudo fans or have short attention spans? What's the basis for that?

    When did I ask you to swap Tests with T20s? I said A AND B but you read it as ONLY A NOT B.

    Btw Ind got more Test fans than Eng-Aus put together & we also love T20s (& ODIs).

  • John on September 11, 2013, 6:46 GMT

    @Biggus /Shaggy - I actually quite enjoy some of the shorter formats stuff myself. My issue is that some folk seem to think we need it to be okayed with them re what we choose to watch and what we choose to ignore and I find it funny when someone says they're a test cricket fan and then just basically give reasons for not liking it. We get a regular pest on our threads who always says how dated test cricket is and that he hates it , yet he continues to post on the matter. Baffling