Bell And Bopara Drive England To Convincing Win
England 252-4 (Bopara 82, Bell 75) beat
Australia 251-7 (Watson 66) by 6 wickets
Second One-Day International, The Kia Oval
England made a run chase of 252 look relatively simple as half-centuries from Ian Bell and Ravi Bopara helped them to a six-wicket victory over Australia in the second One-Day International at The Oval.
Bell made 75 and Bopara 82 after Australia had reached 251 for seven in their innings, Shane Watson (66) and George Bailey (65) registering half-centuries before England raced to a 2-0 series lead with three matches to play.
This was England's eighth ODI win in a row, a run of results they have achieved three times before.
Australia won the toss and chose to bat first but lost David Warner for 10 inside the opening Powerplay, which set the tone for the majority of their innings. The left-hander was caught by Bell off Steven Finn as he skied a pull high into the air.
Shane Watson raced to 50 in as many balls with eight fours but runs were not easy to come by, particularly at the other end where Peter Forrest used up 30 balls in making 12 and Michael Clarke 21 in making 10. Forrest clipped Stuart Broad down the leg-side to be excellently taken by Craig Kieswetter behind the stumps and Clarke feathered an edge trying to drive at Bopara.
Once past his half-century, Watson found the going difficult as England kept things tight and with George Bailey also struggling early, England dominated in between a couple of rain breaks.
Under pressure to accelerate, Watson perished when he top-edged Swann to be caught by Finn, who was involved in the next wicket when he ran out David Hussey for 29 in 37 balls, the bowler making a half-stop and then recovering to throw down the stumps.
By now, Australia had begun to up the scoring-rate and Bailey reached his second half-century in 71 balls, reached a new career-best with his seventh boundary, and then fell when he was bowled by Tim Bresnan for 65 in 86 deliveries.
Bresnan struck again in the 47th over when Matthew Wade flicked the ball to Stuart Broad, who made no mistake – earlier in the day Jonathan Trott and Bresnan had dropped Watson and Bailey respectively and Bopara missed an easier run out chance than the one Finn pulled off.
Eoin Morgan also dropped Brett Lee late on, and he took advantage by hitting a six soon after – the only maximum of the innings - and Morgan’s miserable few minutes ended when he dropped Lee from the final ball of the innings, allowing Australia to pass the 250-run mark, Lee closing on 19 in 11 balls and Mitchell Johnson on eight.
Bresnan finished with two for 50 as Jade Dernbach was the only to not take a wicket, although it was from his bowling that the late chances were going down.
England made a good start to their reply and were helped along the way as Johnson’s first two overs went for 20 runs including three no balls. Alastair Cook (18) and Bell took full advantage until Johnson was taken off and the much more accurate Clint McKay had Cook trapped in front.
Jonathan Trott looked comfortable before he was bowled by Shane Watson for 17, making room to hit but missing to leave England at 81 for two at the end of the 15th over.
Bell was dropped by Warner when Lee returned to the attack – still searching for the wicket which will put him ahead of Glenn McGrath as the leading Australian wicket-taker in ODIs and eventually fell for 75 in 113 balls, bowled by Clarke’s first ball. It was the Australian captain’s first ODI wicket in England.
He had a willing ally in Bopara, who reached his half-century in 54 balls, backing up his good work with the ball with a fluent, well-paced innings.
Eoin Morgan was given out leg before first ball to Clarke but successfully reviewed the decision having managed to get the slightest touch on the ball. The wickets of Bell and Morgan in consecutive deliveries would have thrown the game wide open but it wasn’t to be for Australia.
Morgan, whose 89 in the opening game went a long way to winning the game as England batted first, confirmed his reputation as England’s finisher par excellence, racing to 43 not out in 40 balls to wrap up the game in a hurry.
Bopara was run out by Brett Lee with the finishing line in sight for 82 in 84 balls, leaving Morgan to win the game with more than four overs to spare.
England won the opening match by 15 runs and the third game is at Edgbaston on 4th July.
© Cricket World 2012
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