Steven Smith’s Efforts in Vain Since England Thrash Aussies by 5 Runs to Win Only T20 International on Home Turf

September 01 02:24 2015

smithNew Delhi, Tuesday, September 1 – Sophia Gardens in Cardiff was set to host Only T20 International between England and Australia on August 31. With Sam Billings, Adil Rashid, David Willey, Steven Finn, Reece Topley, Alex Hales, Jason Roy, Moeen Ali, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler in the Playing XI, the home-side was set to make contest interesting.

Australians weren’t behind at all having bigger names like David Warner, Shane Watson, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Nathan Coulter-Nile. Hopes were up from Marcus Stoinis and Cameron Boyce as well. The visitors won the toss and opt to field first.

England made best use of the invitation to bat and scored 182 runs in their first innings for the loss of 5 wickets in the shortest format. The start wasn’t good enough for the English cricketers as the opener Alex Hales succumbed to Pat Cummins post pocketing three runs off seven balls. Jason Roy was next to depart when Coulter-Nile did not make any mistake in pouching the catch in Cummins’ over. Right-handed batsman was out at 11 runs that were attained after facing 16 deliveries. He struck a boundary in his short stint.

But soon Moeen Ali arrived to hold the fort with England captain Eoin Morgan. The comfort in playing shots helped the  two attain some substantial runs. Before Watson got his catch, Morgan scored 74 runs in 39 balls, including three 4s and seven sixes. Jos Buttler, the wicketkeeper dell short to Mitchell Starc early but his short 11-run knock in four balls comprised a boundary and a biggie. Sam Billings was a run out victim and could only contribute a couple of runs in the team’s total score.

Ben Stokes was not out at 1 run with Ali, who was terrific with his batting style, scoring 72 runs in 46 deliveries. With a strike rate of 156.5, scores were attained. 6 boundaries and 3 sixes from him shifted pressure towards the rivals, who were expecting a decent start while chasing a challenging total. It was a tad suspiring for the viewers to notice that Australian skipper Steven Smith brought eight men in bowling attack to take quick wickets. Mitchell Starc and Nathan Coulter-Nile got 1 wicket apiece, while Pat had two in pocket for 25. Bowling change did not do a trick as Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Shane Watson and Cameron Boyce strove for wickets.

Australia received jolts ealy as David Warner lost his wicket to David Willey at 4 runs, whereas Shane Watson to Steven Finn at 8 runs (both boundaries). Thanks to Smith’s 90 runs, the visitors were able to heave a sigh of relief at least for time, feeling themselves yet in the game. Captain struck 7 4s and four sixes to get at this spot. Glenn Maxwell gave him desired support, though fell 6 runs short to pocket a fifty. But he did his bit by sending the ball into the fences for six times and making it cross for once. The moment he left, scenario changed completely. Mitchell Marsh hit a four but had to leave the crease after playing a knock of 13 runs failing to read a delivery by Reece Topley. Smith was out by Willey in the next over.

Matthew Wade was run out at 2 runs scored in 2 balls. Despite the fact that the Aussies weren’t too far from achieving the target, losing Nathan Coulter-Nile and Pat Cummins at a zero put them in problematic situation. Marcus Stoinis was not out at 10 runs and Mitchell Starc at 0 after 20 over game came to an end.  With 6 extras, men in yellow shirts were able to pile up just 177 runs. England won the 20-20 over match by 5 runs. Moeen Ali was given man-of-the-match award for contributing with both bat and ball. He bowled an over and earned a wicket as well. Australia were keenly looking forward to a victory, especially after being defeated by 2-3 in the Ashes Test series.  Now, they expect to crush England in the 5-match ODI series, which is to start on Thursday, September 3.