England and Australia will lock horns in the second One-day International of the three-match series at the Emirates Old Trafford on Sunday as the 50-over world champions aim to get back in the rubber after having suffered a 19-run defeat in the first game.
It was a brilliant performance by the Aussies in the first game, one that was set-up by a brilliant 126-run-stand between Mitchell Marsh [73 off 100 balls] and Glenn Maxwell, who scored a whirlwind 59-ball 77, an innings which included four sixes and as many fours. Australia have grappled with their middle-order issues in white-ball cricket in the past 2-3 years, something that was truly evident during the T20I series, where they bottled the first T20I from a winning position and eventually ended up losing the series.
The script was threatening to repeat itself in the first ODI after the tourists, who were without Steve Smith, were reduced to 5-123 in 23.4 overs. But, Mitchell Marsh, just like he did in the last T20I, shepherded the fledgling innings and proved to be the pivot around with the flamboyant Glenn Maxwell flourished, paving way for Australia to eventually post 9-294 in 50 overs. Skipper Aaron Finch was full of praise for the duo in the post-match presentation.
”It was a great partnership (Marsh and Maxwell), they played smart and matured innings. I thought on that wicket, if we bowled well, we knew we had a chance. I was confident that we would pull it off,” Aaron Finch said in the post-match interview as quoted by CricBuzz.
Josh Hazlewood’s brilliant spell meant Australia were always ahead of England during the latters’ run-chase
9-294 was a competitive total but certainly not out of reach of England’s power-packed batting line-up. But a hostile spell of fast bowling by the Australian trio-led by the ever-so relentless Josh Hazlewood meant England were on the back foot right from the very outset. With the ball seaming around under lights, Hazlewood bowled a brilliant first spell which read- 6-3-5-2.
Hazlewood claimed the prized scalps of Jason Roy and Joe Root while Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler were dismissed by Adam Zampa [4-55], leaving England reeling at 4-57. Jonny Bairstow scored his slowest half-century but the right-hander, despite not being in the best of form, dug in to stitch a brilliant 113-run-stand with centurion Sam Billings to keep England in the hunt but just as it was looking that he was finally coming into his own, Adam Zampa got the prized scalp at 84.
Sam Billings played some cracking strokes and stayed till the end during his 110-ball 118 but it proved to be a bridge too far to scale as Australia closed out the game with 19 runs still in their kitty.
England vs Australia 2020, 2nd ODI, Manchester: Match Prediction
With the series on the line, England will be desperate to shrug off the indifferent performance of the last game. Shrugging off defeats and coming up with match-winning performances in the next game has been the feature of Eoin Morgan’s England since 2015. We saw that during last years’ World Cup and also during the 2018 ODI series against India, where England came back with disdain to reverse the 0-1 scoreline into a 2-1 series win. Backing the world champions to do the same on Sunday.