By BV Swagath
Australia found its first success against England on this tour with a massive 99-run win in the Second ODI at Old Trafford on Sunday. The comprehensive victory was set up by Skipper Michael Clarke, who scored his first ODI ton against England along with Vice-Captain George Bailey.
Asked to bat first in the morning, Australia were off to a miserable start with Shaun Marsh departing for a duck in the opening over of the match to Steven Finn. The visitors were steadied after that through a 60-run stand before Shane Watson was next to get out after a 51-ball 38 to Ravi Bopara. Opener Aaron Finch carried his rich form in this game but his innings was cut short to a run-a-ball 45 by off-spinner James Tredwell.
Australia were decently placed at 116 for 3 in the 22nd over when Clarke and Bailey got together to pound the hosts. Bailey provided lots of momentum for the Aussies with a knock of 82 from 67 balls with 5 fours and 4 sixes. When Bailey got out in the 44th over to Bopara, Australia moved into a commanding position of 271 for 4 with the fourth wicket pair putting on 155 runs.
Skipper Michael Clarke, who scored his 8th ODI century, got out in the 47th over on 105 (from 102 balls with 14 fours). Australia didn’t get a great finish but their total of 315 for 7 was quite huge to chase for England. The best bowler for the hosts was Boyd Rankin with 2 for 49 in 10 overs.
England’s run chase was derailed inside the first hour with the score at 38 for 3 in a little over 10 overs. Mitchell Johnson claimed a couple of early wickets in consecutive deliveries. The match was sealed by the Aussies when they got rid of Kevin Pietersen in the 23rd over with England at 97 for 4. Pietersen, who opened the batting, scored a busy 60 from 66 balls with 6 fours and 2 sixes before getting out to Watson.
Skipper Eoin Morgan scored 54 from 69 balls and Jos Buttler came up with a superb knock of 75 from 65 balls (with 5 fours and 3 sixes). However, the two knocks were only good enough to reduce the margin of defeat. England folded to 227 all out in 44.2 overs with Clint McKay wrapping up the game with a 3-wicket haul. Michael Clarke for his century got the Man of the Match. The Third ODI of the Series is on the 11th at Edgbaston with the Aussies leading it at 1-0.