Australia crush hapless England
by Jinu Sabastian

Ground:Centurion Park, Centurion
Scorecard:Australia v England
Player:RT Ponting, SR Watson, LJ Wright, TT Bresnan
Event:ICC Champions Trophy 2009/10

DateLine: 2nd October 2009


Australia continued their domination over the English one-day side as they crushed the their opponents by nine wickets in the ICC Champions Trophy 2009. England did a commendable job by pushing the score to a level which could have made Australia sweat. But in the end there was nothing the English team could do to stop the marauding pair of Watson and Ponting.


Electing to bat, England innings was in tatters having lost six wickets without reaching the half-way mark but Bresnan and Wright batted with steely resolve to extricate their team. Bresnan, who replaced Stuart Broad in the match, dug in with Wright to redeem the England innings with some clever batting under pressure. England did not have the kind of start they wanted after opting to bat as skipper Andrew Strauss (14) returned to pavilion as early as second over. After hitting one off Peter Siddle into the crowd in the third man region, Strauss played a sweetly timed shot on the leg-side but an air-borne James Hopes pulled off a stunning catch. Owais Shah departed without bothering the scorer as his faint edge flew to the gloves of Paine to push England into further trouble.


In form Paul Collingwood could not play a big innings but hit a splendid 34 to help England overcome those early blows along with Joe Denly (36). The 55-run partnership between the two for the third wicket resurrected the England innings but once Collingwood departed the English team lost the way. Siddle removed well set Denly and Shane Watson got rid of Steve Davies (5) and Eoin Morgan (9) in successive overs to leave England reeling.


From a depressing 101/6 in 20.2 overs, England went on to put up at least a fighting total thanks to Bresnan's splendid knock which came off just 76 balls and which included 11 boundaries. Peter Siddle separated the pair when he had Wright caught behind but there was no let up in England's assault. Swann supported his partner well with some smart batting before running himself out. Bresnan's excellent innings ended when Brett Lee castled him as England innings folded in 47.4 overs. Peter Siddle (3/55) was the most successful bowler while Brett Lee (2/46) and Shane Watson (2/35) took two wickets apiece.


Australia in reply had to cope up the early loss off Tim Paine (4) to Onions but Shane Watson (136) and Ricky Ponting (111) ensured that England did not any more reasons to celebrate later as they pulverised the English bowlers with ease. No bowler made much off an impression on the marauding duo as they cut, drove and pulled the English bowlers to distraction. While the English batsmen struggled to score runs, indicating that the pitch was a difficult one to bat on, the Australian pair made a mockery off the target by batting with ease never taking the foot off the accelerator.


Only James Anderson looked potent but he too lost his sting after the initial burst. The pair collected the boundaries at regular intervals to throw the English bowlers off the track and once Watson found his confidence back he began to open up. Needing just 28 runs to win, the Australian pair took the batting powerplay, but Watson wiped off the 23 runs from a Collingwood over and Ponting took the honour off taking the winning single to ensure that Australia reached the final off the tournamnet for the second successive time.