7th over: Australia 37-1 (Head 18, Smith 2) Woakes finally gets his line right with his first delivery of an over and in so doing he beats Head’s outside edge. He does the same to complete his set of six. In between, singles keep the strike rotating but one of them almost leads to a run-out when Head calls Smith through despite the latter bellowing “WAIT!” to the non-striker.
6th over: Australia 35-1 (Head 17, Smith 1) Just two singles and the wicket form Moeen’s first over. England are into the contest after a torpid start.
Bold and interesting from Moeen Ali, bringing himself on early. Nothing was happening with his seamers and the pitch is clearly going to favour the slow bowlers, but can he survive in the powerplay? Yes, yes he can! His first delivery has Warner fishing around off stump and his second is swept straight to Dawson at square-leg. Superb captaincy from England’s stand-in. That changes the complexion of this phase of the game, especially with England selecting three frontline spinners.
5th over: Australia 33-0 (Warner 16, Head 16) Five overs, five times the first ball has gone for runs. However, for the first time they come behind square on the off-side, four of them, with Warner clattering an uppish square cut off a Woakes. The first bowler-induced false stroke of the day with a Woakes offie gripping in the pitch and finding the thick outside edge of Head’s bat. No chance comes of it and the hosts continue to build an ominous opening partnership.
4th over: Australia 24-0 (Warner 10, Head 13) Guess what? Another over begins with a run behind square on the legside. This time it’s a leg-bye, but still, poor bowling. Moeen has adapted to the conditions, replacing catchers behind the wicket with ones in front, acknowledging the lack of pace in the pitch and menace in his fast-medium attack. But all the catchers are spectators when Willey drops short and Warner slaps him disdainfully over midwicket for a one-bounce four. England are going to need 20 good overs in the middle from Rashid and Dawson, and maybe ten more from Moeen.
3rd over: Australia 18-0 (Warner 5, Head 13) Three overs in a row now begin with Warner scoring behind square on the legside. This is not good from England. The pitch almost comes to Woakes’ rescue next ball with a shooter that scoots under Head’s swipe. The opener adjusts and times the next ball through the V for a sumptuous on-driven four. Warner reclaims the strike but almost gives his wicket away with that short-arm bunt he occasionally calls on, lobbing into the on-side just short of midwicket. Clearly this surface is going to be hard to trust.
2nd over: Australia 12-0 (Warner 5, Head 8) Like Woakes before him Willey begins on Warner’s hip and the Australian clips a couple. The England left-arm seamer is a long way short of express and Australia’s openers are hungry to climb into anything in their half of the pitch. Warner doesn’t time his swipes but he does rotate the strike to allow Head to brutalise an extra cover drive.
1st over: Australia 5-0 ( Warner 1, Head 4) Warner gets off the mark first ball with a tuck off his hip then Head flays his first delivery through extra cover for four. It was a garbage delivery, moderately paced short and wide. The world cup winner finds his groove thereafter.
“Sat in bay 15 of the Victor Trumper stand and the teams today give the game real muck up day vibes,” emails Andrew Jolly, clearly very much on my wavelength. “England again field basically a 2nd XI and Australia have just chosen the captain based on I guess who’s the tallest bloke? Nice day for it but.”
I’m pretty sure an early school team I played in was captained by the cleverest guy in the year – independent of cricketing ability. There must be plenty of other examples out there of questionable captaincy decisions – the guy whose mum brought the orange quarters etc…
Chris Woakes has the new ball, David Warner has strike, the SCG is the picture of responsible social distancing. Let’s cricket!
Out come the sides onto the SCG oval. England in their 50-over uniform of navy blue with sky blue accents. Australia clavicle to toe in canary yellow, a monochrome palate offset only by green helmets.
Smith is currently being interviewed on the host broadcaster about that cover drive. It is excellent #content but the chumminess of it all is hard to connect with. I think I’m a little dead inside. Maybe more than a little.
Four changes for England with Moeen, Adil Rashid, Sam Curran and Chris Woakes all coming in. Buttler, Chris Jordan, Luke Wood and Olly Stone drop out.
England XI: Jason Roy, Phil Salt, Dawid Malan, James Vince, Sam Billings (wk), Moeen Ali (c), Chris Woakes, Sam Curran, Liam Dawson, David Willey, Adil Rashid
Two changes for the home side with Hazlewood replacing Cummins in the attack and as skipper, while Mitch Marsh gets an audition for the allrounder role in place of Cameron Green.
Australia XI: David Warner, Travis Head, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Alex Carey (wk), Mitch Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Agar, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood (c)
Josh Hazlewood won the toss and reckons the pitch will deteriorate as the day goes on so is happy to have first use.
And Moeen Ali will skipper England! No Jos Buttler…
That news has been confirmed, and this is fun, Josh Hazlewood will captain Australia. Not Steve Smith, not David Warner, not Alex Carey, or literally any of the ten other possibilities. Maybe today is going to be full of #context after all.
Some early reports coming through that Pat Cummins, just one match into his ODI captaincy career, is going to be rested today.
It’s dry in Sydney, for a change, with temperatures hovering around 21C for the duration. A stiff north-easterly wind may dictate the choice of ends for some bowlers.
Hello everyone and welcome to live over-by-over coverage of the second One Day International between Australia and England at the SCG. We’ll be underway in Sydney at 2:20pm AEDT/3:20am GMT.
Thursday’s series-opener went according to script: Australia, hungry for action following a disappointing T20 world cup and eager to establish a positive narrative under new skipper Pat Cummins ahead of next year’s 50-over world cup, cruised to victory over England’s second or third-ish XI a matter of hours after celebrating a major international trophy.
Adelaide Oval was about a quarter full. Few outside seemed to give two figs. With rugby league world cup finals, the men’s football world cup on the doorstep, and the recent men’s T20 world cup only concluding last weekend, there’s only so much attention and effort to go around. And a bilateral ODI series between familiar bedfellows sponsored by #contractualobligation ain’t going to get the pulse rating.
But here we are, approaching the second instalment, and quite probably 100-overs of cricket spanning roughly eight-hours. May as well make the best of it.
Here’s to another look at Travis Head opening, Australia selecting two frontline spinners, and the battle for allrounder supremacy. Here’s to more exposure for England’s newcomers, Jason Roy’s battle for form, and James Vince making a pretty 20 or 30-something before edging elegantly behind the wicket.