Mon, Jan 17, 2011 - Page 20 News List

Watson steers Aussies to one-day victory at the MCG

REUTERS, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

England’s Jonathan Trott attempts to catch Australia batsman Shane Watson during the first one-day international in Melbourne, Australia, yesterday.

Photo: AFP

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

REUTERS, WELLINGTON

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.

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