Shane Watson blazed a magnificent 161 not out, and clubbed a six to win the game, as Australia scored 297 for four to beat England by six wickets in their first one-day international yesterday.
Australia’s score was the highest successful run chase in a one-day international at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
Watson shared in two century stands, an opening partnership of 110 with Brad Haddin (39) and 103 for the second wicket with captain Michael Clarke (36), though Australia were struggling to keep up with the required run rate by the time Clarke departed.
Steve Smith attempted to take advantage of the batting powerplay by swinging at every delivery and while he got away with a bottom edge past England wicketkeeper Steve Davies, his second edge was well caught by Michael Yardy off Ajmal Shahzad.
However, Mike Hussey came in and set about the England attack, taking 15 runs off one Tim Bresnan over to ensure Australia were at least up with the required rate when they began their final push for victory.
Bresnan had the final laugh, though, when he deceived Hussey with an off-cutter that he chipped to Chris Tremlett at square-leg to be dismissed for 21 off 15 balls and Australia were again drifting behind the required rate.
Cameron White took a few balls to get used to the pitch, before taking advantage of a dropped catch by Jonathan Trott in the deep off Tremlett when he was on 9.
That got Australia down to a run a ball with just over three overs remaining. They needed four runs from the last over.
Watson smashed the first ball of the 50th over into the crowd over long-on for his fourth six to ensure victory. It was his highest one-day international score and his fifth century.
Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Strauss had earlier blasted half centuries, while Haddin fluffed three stumping opportunities, as England made their imposing 294 in 49.4 overs.
Pietersen top scored with 78, before he was run out just as he was looking to launch a final assault on the Australia bowlers shortly after England had taken the final powerplay.
Strauss scored 63 off 65 balls as he punished anything short of a length in a blistering start with Davies (42), when they rattled up 90 runs inside the first 12 overs.
NEW ZEALAND V PAKISTAN
Taufeeq Umar and Azhar Ali both stroked patient half-centuries after the loss of an early wicket to guide Pakistan to 134 for two in reply to New Zealand’s 356 at the end of play on the second day of the second Test at the Basin Reserve yesterday.
Taufeeq blotted his copybook when he was dismissed on the last ball of the day, caught in close by Martin Guptill off Daniel Vettori for 70.
Azhar was not out 62 after he and Taufeeq had combined for a 132-run partnership following the early loss of Mohammad Hafeez for 1, when he was given out caught by wicketkeeper Reece Young off Tim Southee to leave Pakistan reeling at 2-1.
Hafeez was unlucky to be given out as replays raised doubts as to whether he had hit the ball.
New Zealand’s innings had been boosted by captain Daniel Vettori’s sixth Test century, which was brought up amongst some tense moments at the Basin Reserve.
Vettori resumed after lunch on 79, but accelerated his scoring rate when he lost Southee (1) in the first over after the break and had just Brent Arnel and Chris Martin to come.
The New Zealand captain was on 96 when Arnel was trapped in front for 1 by Umar Gul and tension rose as the crowd wondered if Vettori would achieve the milestone with Martin striding to the crease to face three deliveries.
Vettori managed to sneak to 99 in the next over, leaving Martin to face one ball from Abdul Rehman, which he successfully defended to rapturous applause and Vettori tickled the first ball of Gul’s next over behind square to bring up his century.
He was eventually last man out, caught in the deep by Misbah-ul-haq for 110 off Rehman.
SOUTH AFRICA V INDIA
India leveled the one-day series at 1-1 after paceman Munaf Patel clinched a thrilling one-run win over South Africa in the second match at the Wanderers on Saturday.
South Africa, chasing a modest target of 191, appeared on track after captain Graeme Smith hit 77.
When opener Smith inside-edged Munaf on to his stumps, the home team needed 39 more runs with five wickets in hand, but India seized control after seamer Zaheer Khan dismissed David Miller (27) and Johan Botha (4), then Dale Steyn was run out for 6.
Munaf, who finished with four for 29, then removed Morne Morkel for 6 and Wayne Parnell for 12 in the 43rd over as South Africa were bowled out for 189.
Earlier, paceman Lonwabo Tsotsobe claimed his second successive four-wicket haul as India made 190 all out.
Tsotsobe produced a telling burst of three for 11 in four overs and received fine support from Steyn and Morkel, who took two wickets apiece, as South Africa took the last seven wickets for 40 runs.
Sachin Tendulkar opened the batting and was on 24 when he was bowled by spinner Botha.
India slipped to 67 for three, before Yuvraj Singh and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni shared a stand of 83.
Tsotsobe then had Yuvraj caught by Steyn at deep mid-off for 53, before clean bowling Dhoni for 38.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two