About the Match
With rain once again playing spoil sport, the 3rd ODI of the NatWest Series had to be abandoned. Australia, who is leading with a score of 1-0, will face the hosts England at Cardiff for the 4th ODI of the series. The visitors are keen to make a clean sweep but the Rain Gods have so far denied them the chance to do so. England on the other hand wants to level the series in the last two matches that remain to be played. Both teams are equally matched and longing for a win. It will surely be an interesting and a long awaited contest on Saturday.
The English top order looks shaky, in the few glimpses that we saw yesterday in the first hour of the match. Kevin Pietersen looked under pressure right from the start and wasn’t his usual self. He caused havoc in the middle leading to Carberry’s unfortunate run-out. Jonathan Trott and Joe Root tried to rebuild the innings, but could only contribute with a lowly 40. At 15 overs England only had 59 on the board and the rains must have surely brought them some relief. The strategy to continue with a third fast bowler, diminishing the batting strength has already cast a shadow of doubt on the fans. Unless the batsmen return with some spell bounding performances, it will be an uphill task for England to beat the tough Australian one-day side.
In a short span of one hour, the Australians displayed their superiority and worked their magic in the 3rd ODI yesterday. However, Mother Nature intervened in their plans for another win and cut short their brilliant run on the field. Mitchell Johnson excelled with his bowling and claimed the early wicket of Pietersen. The strong fielding and good performance by other bowlers like McKay, Hazlewood and Voges clearly showed that the team was in full form and positioned well to defeat England. In the previous matches, Clarke, Bailey and Finch gave brilliant performances. However, the batsmen didn’t have a field day as the match was called off after 15 overs. Though disappointed, the players are peaking and will come out with all guns blazing on Saturday too.
England has big worries going out for their 4th ODI encounter. The batsmen haven’t shown much promise and the lack of a tight bowling unit has dwindled their hopes of a convincing win here. Australia on the other hand is waiting for a chance to register a face-saving ODI series victory after a long summer of failed missions. Most of the players are in their best form and are longing for victory. It will be a tough side to beat as seen in the 2nd ODI and also in yesterday’s short outing. England will have to bring out the best in them to win this match. Australia is backed up by solid performances and determination and it will be another easy win for them.
Australia, 1.61 @ William Hill
Right from the beginning of this Ashes series, it has been sorry state for English openers. Although their opening combination changed for the ODI series, their troubles continue to grow. They did not have even one solid opening partnership whereas Australians have done fantastically; at least their players have individually performed well. I think Aussies will have a better opening stand than the hosts.
Highest Opening Partnership:
Australia, 1.80 @ William Hill