Australia-England: Jonathan Trott Stands Firm, England Contrive To Lose Again
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England had never scored 333 runs in a one-day international before. Australia had never made more than 333 in a one-day international before. Jonathan Trott made 137. That England managed to lose this game bodes ill for their World Cup chances, whatever complaints they may make about their lengthening injury list.
The most significant thing to happen in this game was not Trott's superb, composed innings. He was the one batsman all day who appeared entirely unruffled and unusually for him scored his runs at more than a run a ball.
He now has 844 runs in just 17 one-day internationals and must be odds on to beat the great Viv Richards' record for being the fastest player to 1,000 one-day runs in history. The contrast in their two styles could not be more different, yet even the Masterblaster took 22 games to get to that landmark, and that in an era when the matches were 10 overs per side longer.
No, the most significant event was the moment when Paul Collingwood injured his back whilst batting.
The loss of a man who, at 35, remains their best fielder was bad enough. But the important thing was that, with so many English bowlers injured, Collingwood was slated to be the fifth bowler in this side. He wasn't able to bowl a ball and will presumably join Messrs Swann, Bresnan, Shehzad and Tremlett on the sidelines.
Only having four bowlers would cause difficulties for any side. On a flat batting track and with James Anderson, the most experienced of the four, having a spectacularly bad day (his 10 overs cost 91 runs), England were struggling badly.
Shane Watson did not look in as good touch as he has been, but he was still able to bludgeon 51 runs from only 34 balls. Callum Ferguson, brought into the side because Australia have injury problems of their own, made 46 before Mitchell Johnson - promoted to number 4 - ran him out.
And captain Michael Clarke finally found some form with a cultured 82 that only ended when he was brilliantly run out by Trott (who was atoning for dropping him earlier in the over, lest you think that the man can do no wrong).
Australia paced their innings to perfection, with six from the last over being a mere formality. For once, England's batting didn't let them down, but their bowling certainly did. There is one more game of this series to go, Australia lead 5-1 and the only real interest in the remaining game will be whether England have enough players left to put a full side out.
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