Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tailenders save England

James Anderson and Monty Panesar played the most important innings of their lives as England's last pair survived 11.3 overs to pull off a thrilling escape at Cardiff. The Australians did everything possible into the final hour in an electric atmosphere with the crowd cheering the two unlikely batting heroes as though the Ashes had been captured.

James Anderson played Peter Siddle, Nathan Hauritz & Marcus North calmly (though inside he must have been churning). Meanwhile, Monty Panesar, the most unlikely of batting saviors, watched the cricket ball like a hawk. He received a huge cheer of the crowd when he cut Marcus North for a boundary.

Anderson and Panesar’s efforts wouldn't have been possible without Paul Collingwood's most determined innings for his team. He came in early after Kevin Pietersen got out, and soon faced an England card that read 70/5. He found vital support from Andrew ‘Freddy’ Flintoff, Stuart Broad & particularly Graeme Swann, to share a 20-over stand.

Ponting however was not happy with the ‘Dirty Tactics’ adopted by James Anderson. He said that how somebody’s glove could get wet from sweat, if he would have changed it just a couple of overs back. However, he admitted it was a tough result to take & Aussies were ahead of the game throughout the final day.

However, despite the scoreline reading 0-0, the reality is that England was easily second-best for much of the match. Australia appeared as a unit of huge desire who will take some beating. At least this time, though, it won't be a whitewash (for England)


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