Australia v England: third Twenty20 international – as it happened

The Guardian-6 years before

Right, then. The winter of discombobulation is official over. I might hug myself, and advise that you do the same.

Thanks all for your company and comments throughout a very trying period. May you all return to your families and equilibria with love and happiness, and let us say Amen.


Credit where it's due. After so many magnificent wallopings, the man on the Clapham omnibus might assumed that England - even England - were out of magnificent wallopings. Not so. Never so. 84 runs, in a T20! Wow. That is a magnificenter walloping. We are in the presence of true greatness, and for that we must be grateful.



Mac Millings: "'Frightening', Stuart Broad called this line-up. He's got a point. As an England supporter, every time they walk out to bat, I'm terrified."

Patrick Over: "The Australian cricket board has just announced a review of England's tour to try and work how England beat the Chairman's XI."

Surely there must be some kind of means of exiting this circumstance? There exists a surfeit of disorientation, and I am unable to locate even a modicum of respite.

This is a lovely delivery, bouncing and turning back into Broad, who tries to hit with it, mentally hoisting one over midwicket. He misses, and is gone.

A quiet over from Coulter-Nile, mainly short stuff - but Jordan manages to get hold of one, pulling his head away in case he missed but sending a four down to square-leg. 92 required, off 24 deliveries.


How will we replace such a reliable provider of despondency once this tour is over? Can our family, friends and jobs really accept such a monumental burden? Now that's pressure.

Brave bowling, this, Muirhead tossing one up and finding a little extra drift and turn, Bresnan missing with his blacksmith's swipe and Wade quickly whisking off the bails.

Muirhead's leggies are introduced to the attack, and Bresnan canes his second delivery over the boundary at long-off for six.

Say what you like about Ravi Bopara, he's creative. So here, he takes an almighty swing a full one, imparts a substantial outside-edge onto his pad, and then waits for the ball to krich into his leg-pole, just dislodging the bail.

Just a perfect day
drink Sangria in the park
And then later
when it gets dark, we go home

Oh, it's such a perfect day
I'm glad I spent it with you
Oh, such a perfect day
You just keep me hanging on
You just keep me hanging on

Just a perfect day
you made me forget myself
I thought I was
someone else, someone good

Oh, it's such a perfect day
I'm glad I spent it with you
Oh, such a perfect day
You just keep me hanging on
You just keep me hanging on

You're going to reap just what you sow
You're going to reap just what you sow
You're going to reap just what you sow
You're going to reap just what you sow

Morgan has no option but to swing, which he does - not hard enough. And Starc, leaning in, pitching forward and inserting fingers neath ball for yet a yet a yet another great catch. Morgan isn't sure, so waits for the replay, but he's done. And so are England. I am the Resurrection is playing - down, down, they bring you down.


Another quiet over forces a big shot - by the look of things, Buttler was planning to hit straight, but ended up sending one to cow corner, where Maxwell pouches easily.


At some point, England are going to require an over or two of enormity - perhaps they might target Christian. But his line is good, straight enough and following the batter

"You've got my mouth watering", says Mac Millings. "Try saying "Refrigerated Kit Kat" out loud. Poetry. Let it roll around your yap. Let it melt in your maw. Tastes almost as good as the real thing."

All chocolate should be cooled, but here's something special about this particular iteration - obviously this is pre-chunky days, too, and your four-fingered special.

Morgan is right onto Maxwell's first ball, slammed through cover four. But it's followed by two dots, and then an almost caught as he tries to compensate, edging just in front of third man. Four runs from the final five balls is very good bowling indeed.

Mark Taylor is telling Morgan off, for saying that he'd earned the right to bat as low as five, rather than as high as somewhere higher. Quite. "Selfish" and "rubbish", he reckons. In the meantime, England's two hitters can't do much hitting, just three runs from the first four balls, before a Butt-Scoop gets four, Buttler moving to off and just managing to catch up with the ball. He then tries the same again, and misses.

The pressure tells, again. Root flings his bat, off balance, and picks out Cutting on the midwicket boundary, again.

Morgan takes four from Maxwell's opening delivery after Cutting slides past his cover drive on the boundary - and then a single. That's 23 off 9 for him - and Root tries to return him the strike, but a nurdle to leg earns two by mistake, and then two dots increase the peace pressure.

Christian into the attack, and after Root finalges a single, Morgan moves to the offside and a snap of the wrists sends the ball hurtling over his right shoulder for six down at backward square-leg. But the rest of the over is quiet, sending the required rate above 12.

"It's beginning to seem that England's biggest eff-up on this tour was winning that ODI. Without that they could laid claim to a triple whitewash and the most gloriously awful tour of all time. But no, they couldn't even manage that and failed even to be the best at being the worst. Which therefore makes this tour the very worst ever. QED."

I'd agree - though they've partially redeemed themselves with the extent of almost every defeat.

Root is trying, narrowly avoiding an lb after missing a reverse sweep. Two byes then give a hand, and then a single brings Morgan on strike for the final ball of the over. He opens his body, and smashes an inside-out six over cover.

Here's Gary Naylor: "I'm in my snooker club in Tooting playing against my kids (start 'em early on mis-spending their youth). The subdued hues in the dusky light; the quiet,
interrupted only by the beautiful clink of ball on ball; and the sheer relaxed slowness of it all is about as far away from the bright, bright Australian sun and its associated, manmade hostility. The lads could do a lot worse than spend an afternoon or two here once they've got over the jetlag."

My snooker club did fridged Kit Kats. The best thing about it was its 24-hour nature, such that you could always say you were there, and your parents had no way of knowing whether the same was so - it was in pre-mobile days. They also had a generally tolerant approach to life, such that often, we were - four on a Sunday morning was good, as you could watch the end-of-night ruckus following chucking out time at the adjacent club.

Indicate the way to my habitual abode, I'm fatigued and have a desire to retire. I consumed an alcoholic beverage 60 minutes ago, and it's gone right to my cerebrum. Wherever I may perambulate, on land or sea or atmospheric vapour, you will always hear my chanting this melody, indicate the way to my habitual abode.


Intense mirth. Stokes tries to drive over the top towards long on, imparts a leading edge instead, and then has to watch as Maxwell, chasing back at point, makes a hard catch look easy on the edge of the circle. This is this.


Stokes is off the mark, bashing Maxwell's first delivery to square-leg for four. Then, after a nurdled single, Root tries to do something, and eventually manages to edge the fith ball behind, down on his knees playing a slog-sweep.

This is not so good. Hales swipes to square-leg, and the catch is trickier this time, Muirhead forced to take it on the move. But this is this, so he does. Well taken, low and with the very tips.


Hales eases an ariy drive just between mid-off and cover. You can guess the rest. I'm not typing it.

Starc's opening spell has deserved this, though this isn't a great ball. It's short, but Wright doesn't get enough on it, pulling almost directly to square-leg, where Cutting takes the catch after a short knee slide.


Starc's first ball is a wide, but he's back with those that follow, a touch of swing forcing Hales to squirt one to point for no run, then one backward of point that earned one. "Frightening" was how Stuart Broad described England's top order.


It's Coulter-Nile from the other end, and he begins with three dots, Wright leaving the first altogether. Why wouldn't he? The fourth ball is wide, but Wright misses his swing, and then flicks one behind on the leg-side, Wade dropping one he ought really to have held. The final delivery is also on leg, and this time Wright turns it away hard behind square for a one-bounce four.

Starc's extra pace immediately finds some swing, though Wright scrambles a single off the first delivery. Then Hales plays the third hard, to extra cover, but picks out the fielder, before running one down to third man.

"Just finished reading the item in the Observer (Sport - Big homecoming) about England turning up at Heathrow and not expecting any red carpet or plastic flags", writes John Starbuck. "Well, why not? If the OBO could promote it, at least some of the fans could turn up to meet them, even if it's only to show their sympathy. We have to keep going, after all."

Well, neither side would have been expected that - and isn't that the beauty of this tour? Each time, just when it seems that things are ok, things are not ok. 160 is considered a decent total here, 180 a very good one, and when England took that flurry of wickets, they were handily placed. Now, they are unhandily placed, thanks in part to George Bailey, in part to Jade Dernbach, and in part to management and captaincy that just won't accept what they see.

Dernbach's first delivery is slow and wide of off, Bailey somehow dragging a forehand to long-on for four. Next up is a slow bouncer, and this time Bailey waits, steps, laughs at the tennis ball effect, and pounds flat over long-on off the back foot. Yes, the back foot. In comes Death Dernbach again, and Bailey almost crouches to get underneath this one, creaming it over wide long-on. Then a full, wide one, then another four over cover that's not shy of six. Then another four, knucked past cover, before a dive to make sure of contact with the final ball, two down to third man secured with a dive. That's 26 off the over - brilliant batting from Bailey, who scored 49 off 20 in all - and a huge, total for the conditions.


Here comes Bresnan, beginning with a slower ball that Wade hits very quickly, flat over midwicket for a boundary-six. But the remainder of the over is populated by mishits, Bresnan cleverly varying line and length as the batsmen move around the crease. 12 from it.

Death Dernbach is back, and exerting decent control - this track is not unlike those he'll be wanted for in Bangladesh, it is thought. But, after three that cede a single each, another tremendously wide wide. Wade is then impelled for force the issue, and smashes one that flies over the vertical boundary for six - but we're not playing 3D cricket, so when it eventually comes down, there's Bopara, racing to take the catch. Except he's misjudges the flight, passing the ball and forlornly throwing back hands as he slides. The next ball goes for four, obviously.

Jordan is not intimating a wicket in the same way that Broad was, but this over will do him, five singles and a two. He's 1-23 off four, and we'll be seeing plenty more of him, despite that necklace.

This might just have been the crucial over of the game - Broad really found the right length on this track, just back of one, and clipping the bails or passing over the top,.

Length ball, hint of movement, neck-crop interface. Ah - perhaps not, there was a thick inside-edge.


After a quiet start to his innings and the over, Hodge manouvres his legs out of the road to swat one towards square-leg - but his head is in the way, and he instead pulls his pull, straight to Dernbach at long leg.

England have righted themselves slightly, but then Hodge inside-edges a cut that evades stumps and keeper before racing to the fence.

"I recall watching Graham Norton who had Robbie Williams as a guest", says Dean Laffan. "Robbie's wife had just had a baby, and Graham asked if he was there "at the business end". Robbie confirmed he was. "What was that like" asked Graham. After a thoughtful pause Robbie answered "Like watching your favourite pub burn down". I had previously thought Robbie was a twit but over the course of this interview I came to want to have a beer with him. In his second favourite pub, obviously."

Jordan's first ball of his spell is leg-side, low - if White misses it, it's a wide. But following it to send it down to fine-leg, he instead imparts the faintest tickle, and is caught, to his intense consternation. He is deeply consternated. Well appealed from Buttler and Jordan, and well spotted by the umpire, because everyone else appeared to miss it.


Bailey plays a dot - not on purpose, coming down the track but missing - before smacking four to wide midwicket. There follow two more, this time to long-off, and then a mosey down the track to almost flick six over long-on - what a shot that was.

Oooh, this is a great snaffle. Cutting makes room again by stepping to leg, gently this time, and times a drive intended for long-on. But Root scurries left and extends a hand, the ball somehow sticking.


England need to do something here; White sees Stokes coming, withdraws legs, and crunches six from the first ball, high over long-off. Stokes comes back well with three that cost just one, before Cutting makes room to muller a further six over wide long-off, inside-out like a Boris Becker backhand. That's the 50 partnership.

Dernbach is one step away from ripping his shirt down the middle, such that we might all enjoy the beauty of his chest tatt. But, a very wide wide apart - down the off-side - this is a decent over, until Cutting rams the fourth ball to long-off where Root can't prevent the boundary, though he ought to have done.

White must be fancying a move now, and he swings Bresnan's first ball for four to midwicket before flicking four more to finest leg. And then, after a single, Cutting steps in then out before administering an almighty frask over cow corner and the longest boundary in the ground. I said 160, I meant 180.

Heeeeerrrrrre's Jadey! And this is a decent over, nothing obviously hittable and two slower ones sneaked in. Australia must be looking for about 160 here.

In at four is Cutting, who eases one towards Lumb - on for Morgan - at the 45. He dives to stop, superbly, but with one stump to aim at, misses a shy that would have run White out. Then, from the following and final ball, Cutting zetzes six more to underline the pure sitcom hilarity of it all.

Broad bowls a fuller one, and Maxwell misjudges both length and bounce, attempting a pull with the ball almost at his chest, swiping to Hales at long-on.

Returning is Stuart Broad, and his first ball is a touch short, allowing Maxwell to wait and swivel, six dispatched over square-leg.

Stokes is varying his deliveries well, first a length ball then a low, straight full toss. But just when this looks like a decent over, he sends down a leg-side wide, before Maxwell steps away from the fourth ball and bangs it over cover for six.

Finch is into this now, and waits again - for Bresnan, this time - clattering his second ball to long-off. Hales is there, but stretching and jumping, so can't get the angle to divert it back to then take the catch inside the rope, or just divert it back.


Stokes into the attack and begins well, with a length on off-stump, but then Finch mooches down to the second and with no apparent effort lifts six over deep backward square. Then, from the penultimate ball, Finch waits for it, still, and then spanks it over long-on.

Poll job: a birthday treat. Beatings are administered until the subject is horizontal, then a goalpost or similar vertical piece of metal is charged at.

Bacon slice: whipping two fingers down the bottom when confronted with speedos or similar. Take care when performing this act on a wrestler, and be sure to ensure there is no adjacent side room into which you might be taken and threatened.


Bresnan replaces Broad and his second ball is clumped hard by Finch, making room - to Jordan, at short midwicket. It's come off the toe of the bat, so not all that hard, but is dropped anyway - because why not? - bursting the hands. Bresnan then comes back well, a heavy one beating the bat and smacking the meat of the thigh like a leather donkey bite, a real sair yin. That's got to be better than a wicket. Good over.

Jordan dashes in and lets a short one go, slammed off the notmiddle by Finch for four to square-leg - eventually. They do not appear to have fully resolved the long jump pit that once inhabited the outfield. The next ball is fuller, Finch making room to cut and missing, then fuller again, pulled for one. It's impossible not to admire the manner in which Jordan's jib is coutured - he sees Finch backing away to leg and has the nads and nous to spear one in at him. He looks not just a limited overs type, but a Test Bowler.

White has had enough, and when Broad drops a fraction short, he waits, extends, and eases four down the ground. Very nice. Isn't he clever. Broad then returns with a cross-seamer, but the bounce is tennisbally, and summarily dispatched over midwicket's head for four. But he remains uncowed, adjusting his aim to follow the man before finishing with one that lifts and nips, that has White shying away.


Jordan takes the new ball from the other end, and begins with a leg-side wide. But he's tight enough subsequently with two dots preceding a two, turned behind square. Then, a short ball elicits a false pull, which drops just short of Dernbach. Good start from England. Don't laugh.

"Not sure it is quite the worst tour of all time, although it has certainly posted a competitive total in that event," reckons John Cullen. "At least we won a one day match this time

In 1990-91 legend had it that New Zealand had planned to be knocked out in the group stages of the World Series Cup and had to cancel all their holidays when England proved so incompetent that it ended up as a NZ vs Aus final. And then four years later the Australia A team reached the final ahead of England, so it was Aus vs Aus A in the final."

In 90-91, England didn't lose - or get obliterated in all five Tests, won two one-dayers, and there was no T20 in which to become annihilated. That Australia A side were good.

It looks very nice in the Olympic Stadium, people enjoying themselves and stuff; I wonder if there are more people enjoying themselves there than in the whole of England. Though, on the way here, I drove past people still pretending to at a local night spot. Anyway, Broad starts well, with two straight dots before three singles abutted by a further straight dot. Well bowled - though Australia's serenity is unnerving.

Here come the umpires, followed by England - down red carpet - followed by jeers. Who decided that carpet should be walked down, and that it should be red? What would happen if it was green, or not there?

Dearie me, This haitch pee advert thinks it's good ole 1995. It's just so damn bantorious.

Nick Knight is putting on a stern, sage face to say that Eoin Morgan should captain both one-day and T20 sides. I agree - and I'm close to wondering if they couldn't give the Test captaincy, too. I know, I know, but they need to do something, and they're not exactly replete with options.

"Hello" says Lanky. "The England team selection committee working overtime to bring us ...... Dernbach????? Root???????????? drop Lumb????????? No spinner because they'll get hit out of the ground???????????? What absolute and utter rubbish. Don't think they win the Ashes like this?????????????????????"

I'm surprised Dernbach's inclusion was allocated fewest question marks. I can see why they've left out Lumb, though - he's not batted well, and someone had to drop out to get Stokes in. He's batting at three, by the way.

So England haven't picked a specialist spinner. It is thought that this is because the straight boundaries are short, but that really is a gamble. I wonder whether they'll end up forcing Root to chuck down a few.

Australia: Finch, White, Maxwell, Bailey, Hodge, Wade, Christian, Cutting, Starc, Coulter-Nile, Muirhead.

England: Hales, Wright, Stokes, Root, Morgan, Buttler, Bopara, Bresnan, Jordan, Broad, Dernbach.

Australia make two changes. Christian and Cutting are in, Hazlewood and Lynn - slightly curiously - are out. England also make two changes, and not before time: Stokes is in for "Lumby", and will bat three, with Wright opening, while Jordan replaces Tredwell.

Has this been the worst tour of all-time? It's certainly the worst that I can remember, worse than the 90s kickings. You can only admire its intensity.

Preamble. Childbirth is a funny thing. Did I say funny? I meant appalling and harrowing. That's the OBO, treading on your dreams, one by one. Speaking plainly, there's very little to separate it from torture, apart from one thing: once it's over, it's over. Now, this piece of information really is a favour for anyone planning on taking a spectator's role, because it reassures you that when you're utterly consumed with devastation at the horrific, staggering, chilling pain being visited upon the person you love most in the world, there's no need to be also consumed with worry at how an earth the psychological damage might heal. Because, somehow, the nature that couldn't make it not hurt is able to make it stop as soon as it stops. Stop. Over. Smiles. Rapture. Love.

England's cricketers have been in Australia for roughly a third of a year. It's been funny, in an appalling and harrowing kind of way. It's been a sporting and psychological torture. Once it's over, it's not over; it might never be over. Oh.

Alternative preamble. One more day of school, one more day of sorrow, one more day in this old dump, and we'll be free tomorrow!

Australia v England limited-overs internationals 2014 Australia cricket team England cricket team Australia sport Twenty20 Cricket Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via Email Share on LinkedIn Share on Pinterest Share on WhatsApp Share on Messenger

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