England v Australia, Group B, ICC World Twenty20 September 14, 2007

Missing the cut, and renewing rivalry



Brett Lee finds the turf as Darren Maddy sticks to his line © Getty Images

Excuse me
There is always extra spice when these two sides meet. When Matt Prior dropped the ball into the leg side during the first over, he called Darren Maddy through for a quick single. Brett Lee also set off from his follow-through to try and meet the ball, and went tumbling as Maddy held his line. Lee ended up kicking the ball away as he fell and the batsmen considered stealing another run. That would have pleased Australia no end.

Three strikes
Maddy, though, struggled to find any early momentum and if this had been a baseball game he would have gone in Stuart Clark's second over after missing three successive cuts. With the pressure growing he managed to mow the next ball through midwicket, but reverted to sign off the over with, yes, another flash and miss. It goes to show that domestic success is hard to replicate against the world's top bowlers, even in Twenty20.

No-ball problems
Overstepping is a costly error in Twenty20 with the batsmen then granted a free hit off the next ball. Stuart Clark erred twice, and Maddy was the batsmen having license to swing each time. The first time it didn't really go to plan as he lost his off stump, and when Clark overstepped a second time, Kevin Pietersen nicked a single so Maddy was on strike again. This time he made a better fist of the opportunity and swung Clark behind square for a boundary. However, Clark had his revenge next ball when Maddy scooped to mid-off

That's the way to do it...nearly
But Paul Collingwood showed how to really deal with a free hit after Lee also transgressed. The England captain cleared his front leg and heaved a low full toss over the deep midwicket boundary. Like Maddy, though, that was Collingwood's high point as he was trapped leg-before next ball trying a similar shot. It was typical of England's day.

Luck or skill
Being run out backing up is a rough way to go and Dimitri Mascarenhas had no chance when Chris Schofield's straight drive clipped Clark's fingers and crashed into the stumps. Initial thoughts were that Clark had known very little about the dismissal and it was a large chunk of fortune, but the replays suggested he may have realised that Mascarenhas was almost running up the pitch as the bowler delivered and directed the ball onto the stumps.

Nothing like a solid start
Australia's top order finally hit their straps, but they didn't have much to beat after a tough start in South Africa. Their opening stands in the two warm-up matches and first group game were 0, 16 and 7. But Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden were quickly into their stride and in 8.2 overs added 78 to blow away some of those cobwebs.

Welcome back
James Kirtley has been through a lot since he last bowled for England in 2003, having to remodel his action after being reported in 2005, but there was no fairytale return to the international stage. Held back until the sixth over, by which time Australia were already 44 for 0, his first three balls were dispatched to the boundary by Matthew Hayden. An ironic cheer rang around Newlands when he managed a dot ball, but his over cost 17 and he was immediately removed from the attack.

Andrew McGlashan is a staff writer on Cricinfo