The old enemy arch-rivals Australia & England are back on the field together in a while last night at the huge Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad following the recent Ashes Test series in English soil during the middle of this year (June-July).
England have asked the Aussies to bat first after the winning toss where they might have early wickets on hand, but Australia have turned themselves around though to 286 thanks to a Marnus Labuschagne 50 as well as brilliant all-round knocks from Cam Green & Marcus Stoinis. Later on, England too scored not bad this time following Jonny Bairstow’s first ball duck of their batting spell, with 50s coming from Dawid Malan & Ben Stokes including some good runs down the order by Moeen Ali. But out of the best of the all-round displays between England’s Chris Woakes & Australia’s Adam Zampa in this game, it’s Zampa who never looked out of place as the frontline spinner (3 wickets) along with his excellent 19-ball 29 cameo off the willow.
Australia went on to not just bowl England all out for 253 thanks to a 33 run victory, but they also confirmed their elimination from the CWC with two games left where England will not defend their 2019 crown come semi-finals time after next weekend.
It’s not been the tournament England was hoping for, especially when they came in as the defending champs who play an attacking, positive style of cricket under Bazball – even though Brendon McCullum doesn’t coach their white-ball team in One Day & T20s. The bowling/on-field performance wasn’t bad to begin with where they were good at limiting to such low scores thanks to the winning toss advantage. Now their batting has improved in some way but still just couldn’t quite hold it off there when it comes to the winning runs, as no hundred being scored against at least the top teams is the one big weakness that let’s them down big time. They still got the Netherlands (Wednesday) and Pakistan (next Saturday) left to play over the next seven days before England will fly back home empty handed, but sadly it’s been largely disappointing for the majority.
Meanwhile, it’s great to see another win for the Aussies which is five games in a row now. While the first 3 batters didn’t work out where they kept on trying to hit over the ground before being caught, but great seeing Marnus pile up the runs along with both fast bowling all-rounders in Green & Stoinis. Then with the ball, It’s always the Adam Zampa show when it comes to spin who not only got away with three wickets but he also batted well a bit down the tail end at 10. He might not be the biggest hitter but at least Zampa has found the gaps really well with some simple stuff to execute through these ropes for four. Let’s hope the fast bowlers step up to support Zampa in the hope of finishing 2nd or 3rd in the ladder so they can avoid Team India with Afghanistan next on Tuesday before before finishing off the group stages v Bangladesh next Saturday.