9th Match: England v Australia at The Oval, 21 Jun 2001
Mahmood Ahmad

Australia innings: 15 Overs, End of match,
Pre-game: Toss and Teams,
England innings: 15 Overs, 30 Overs, End of innings,


Gilchrist and Ponting shared a 124-run partnership for the second wicket, completing magnificent fifties in the process, to ease Australia to a comprehensive eight-wicket win over England at the Oval. While Ponting remained not out on 73, his left-handed partner departed when only 14 more were needed.

Displaying batting of the highest class and quality, these two made a formidable England attack look mediocre, smashing boundaries and finding runs with authority to steer Australia through with 19.5 overs to spare.

After the pacemen’s inability to find a breakthrough in the first 16 overs, Stewart introduced the offspin of Croft from the Pavilion End. However, completely undeterred by the change of pace, Gilchrist got a boundary off the fifth ball – a deft touch to deep point – to bring up his 21st ODI fifty off just 54 balls, eight of which were hit for boundaries.

Ponting was soon to follow his partner to the landmark. The right-handed Tasmanian used up nine fewer balls to hoist his 26th fifty in ODIs, which contained two sixes and eight fours.

Not long after, the hundred partnership was reached off just 95 balls, the scoreboard showing 139 in the 22nd over. Another boundary by Gilchrist – a powerful sweep to mid-wicket – brought up the 150 in the 24th over.

Gilchrist went two overs later – caught and bowled by Croft after making a commanding 80 off 90 balls, 14 of which were dispatched to the fence.

Ponting, however, remained unbeaten on 70 (72 balls) and had the honour of hitting the winning shot – a straight drive counted as a single despite the ball crossing the rope.


Any chances of a surprise victory by England have been laid to rest by a belligerent Gilchrist, as the left-hander continued his magnificent form, finding boundaries, as if at will. After Hayden’s early departure, he was joined by Ponting, and both these players have so far made a mockery of the English attack.

The left-hander Gilchrist got down to business immediately, cutting Gough in the very first over for a boundary. He smashed two more in Gough’s next over, the score racing into the 20s by only the third over.

Hayden, on the other hand, clearly didn’t look as confident as his partner; perhaps it was the fear of another duck that haunted his mind. He didn’t get off the mark until the fourth over, when he took two boundaries off Caddick.

However, that was all he was going to get. Trying to pull a short one from Caddick in his next over, he managed only to offer a straightforward catch to Mullally at mid on. The wicket fell at 39 in the sixth over.

Ponting was the next at the crease and not surprisingly got into action by flicking the Somerset paceman for the first six of the innings. This shot hoisted the Australian fifty in just the eighth over.

It was a flurry of fours after that from both Gilchrist and Ponting, as they took the score to 74 by the end of the tenth over. The hundred came up in the 15th over, as Ponting pulled Caddick for his second six, but not before he was given a let-off off the previous ball. Mistiming a pull, he ballooned the ball in the air, only to see Mullally and Owais failing to take the chance as the ball fell between them.

At the 15-over stage, Australia were well on their way for another easy win over their arch-rivals, having already scored 101, with both Gilchrist and Ponting batting on 40 off 40 and 37 balls, respectively.


Helped by a career-best 36 by Andy Caddick and his invaluable partnerships with Robert Croft and Allan Mullally, England moved on to a comparatively respectable 176 after being reduced to 119 for 8 in the 33rd over.

Coming to the crease when England looked nowhere near even the 150-mark, Caddick immediately got into the business of scoring runs. Obviously helped by an unorthodox one-day field by the Aussie skipper, he and Croft took the score past the 150-run mark by the 37th over.

It was a brave show from the tail considering the Aussie attack had got on top after grabbing eight wickets earlier than many would have expected.

They say fortune favours the brave and it did favour the Australians when least expected. At a time when the bowlers were doing all the damage, a run out came from nowhere that further demoralised the home side.

Hollioake had scored 22, with three boundaries, and looked the likeliest candidate to resurrect the innings, when a straight drive from Croft knocked the stumps at the non-striker’s end after brushing the bowler’s fingers. The Australians appealed, the third umpire acknowledged and Hollioake started his walk back to the pavilion, with the scoreboard a sorry sight at 119 for 7.

Gough also walked back without any addition to the total. He lasted just one ball, as his middle stump was shaken by a fiery Lee, leaving England reeling at 119 for 8 in the 33rd over.

Then came the timely partnerships – first between Caddick and Croft then between Caddick and Mullally. The former pair added 36 to bring up the 150 in the 37th, before Croft (20 off 30, 3 fours) mistimed a pull to be caught by McGrath off Harvey.

The last wicket added 21 before Caddick, trying a shot once too often, was well taken by Hayden in the deep, off the left-hander Bevan.

Caddick’s 44-ball innings contained 6 fours. Mullally faced 11 balls to remain unbeaten on three.


Four more wickets for the addition of 58 have added to England’s miseries, as their batsmen continued to struggle against an organised Aussie attack, sliding to 109 for 6 by the 30th over.

Nick Knight seemed the only batsman to have some answer against the Aussie professionalism. However, straining for runs, he too got out while trying an ambitious shot off Fleming.

Earlier, Owais Shah stayed at the crease for just 4 balls before edging Harvey behind the wicket. He made just one, as the wicket fell at 53.

Ally Brown, failing to adjust himself to the new No 5 position, also scored one before becoming Lee’s second victim. He was caught by Ponting at gully while trying to fend a short one away.

Nick Knight, however, looked in good nick, despite the procession of wickets at the other end. He rapidly moved into his 40s after getting two consecutive boundaries in Lee’s fifth over.

Another four, this time off Collingwood’s bat, in that Lee over, prompted the skipper to replace him with McGrath from the Vauxhaull End, and the paceman struck immediately.

Collingwood made 9, having added 22 with Knight, before edging one to Harvey at first slip, England slipping to 81 for five in the 23rd over.

Hollioake, the next man in, took some time to settle down before handsomely driving the Aussie top bowler for a boundary to get himself off the mark. He followed this up with anther off drive that looked even better than the first one; England moving into the 90s in the 25th over.

The re-introduction of Fleming for the 28th over didn’t deter Hollioake from executing his shots. He pulled the seamer to mid-wicket to bring up the 100 of the innings in style. However, the experienced paceman came back strongly in his second over to get the all-important wicket of Knight.

The left-hander scored a patient 48 off 81 balls before being caught at the wicket while trying to steer the ball to third man.

After 30 overs, England have moved on to 111 for 6, with Hollioake, maybe their last hope, looking good on 21 (30 balls, 3 fours). Robert Croft has made one after facing three balls.


One wicket each to McGrath and Brett Lee has given Australia a commanding start to their last league match against the home side. After losing Trescothick in the very first over, Stewart, opening the batting, and Knight added 51 for the second wicket before Lee accounted for the England captain.

Trescothick got his second duck in as many matches, after being clean bowled by Waqar Younis at Headingley. This time round, however, he was unlucky to play a wide one from McGrath on to his stumps, the scoreboard showing nought for 1.

It was extremely slow going after the dismissal of Trescothick, as after five overs the score showed 1 for 1 – that run coming from Stewart’s bat. McGrath’s first three overs were all maidens.

Knight got off the mark with a single to fine leg off Fleming. The next over from McGrath saw Stewart slashing a wide one to cover for the first boundary of the innings, followed by another one from the last ball, the over bringing 9.

Knight got his first boundary in the next over – an elegant clip off his pads to deep square leg – as the scoreboard suddenly jumped to 25 at the end of 8 overs.

With both McGrath and Fleming coming out of the attack after bowling 13 overs for 33 between them, runs began to arrive with a bit more ease.

England hoisted the 50 of the innings in the 15th over, after Knight drove Lee for a boundary to extra cover. Lee, however, struck back in the same over, getting Stewart caught at point for 22 off 46 balls.

At the 15-over stage, England had reached 53 for 2, with Knight, batting confidently, on 25 off 40 balls, with four boundaries. Owais Shah, who has just come on to the crease, has one off 2 balls against his name.


England have won the toss and as expected they have elected to bat first on a sporting Oval pitch.

The home side have made a couple of changes to their side: opening batsman Ally Brown and off spinner Robert Croft are back in the side in place of Michael Vaughan and an unfit Dominic Cork.

Australia, in keeping with their rotation policy, have brought back Glen McGrath, Ricky Ponting and Ian Harvey in place of Jason Gillespie, Shane Warne and Damien Martyn.

© CricInfo

Date-stamped : 21 Jun2001 - 22:24