If you’re recording the football for later, please look away now. Saudi Arabia have just taken the lead against Argentina. Do join Daniel Harris here for our MBM.
Time for me to sign off. Here are the scores on the doors for anyone tuning in late: Travis Head 152, England 142. And that says it all.
Thanks for your company and correspondence, and we’ll see you soon for a Test series – Pakistan v England, starting next Thursday. Can Ben Stokes’s buccaneers do it on a dustbowl in Rawalpindi? We shall see.
And here’s the winning captain, Pat Cummins. “It’s been fantastic,” he says. “Good to finish them off here with just about the best ODI I’ve been part of.” He may be referring to the Australian performance, rather than the match as a whole.
Here’s Jos Buttler, easy-going as ever. “We tried our best, we fell a long way short. I thought Australia outplayed us in every department… But lots to be proud of. We got exactly what we wanted from coming here.”
The player of the series is David Warner. He’s been good, but not that good – someone call the police, Adam Zampa’s been robbed.
Here’s Isa Guha with the presentations, wearing a pistachio suit. You don’t get that from Mike Atherton. The player of the match is, of course, Travis Head, who made 152 and put on 269 with David Warner. He makes modest noises: “I rode my luck a little bit for the first 30 or 40 runs.”
A few weeks ago, England beat Australia 2-0 in a T20 series. Then they went and won the T20 World Cup, while the Aussies fizzled out at the group stage. The rules of the game state that if England have the temerity to beat Australia, they have to expect a hiding the next time the two teams meet. And so it transpired.
Australia were very good, especially Head, Warner, Hazlewood and Zampa. England were very bad, and the series was very pointless. It will be forgotten next week, while the World Cup will be long remembered.
Stone is befuddled by Zampa’s googly, so that really is that.
31st over: England 133-9 (Willey 3, Stone 4) A well-earned wicket for Mitch Marsh, who was moving the ball too much to find the edge in his first spell. Olly Stone, who surprised everyone by grabbing four late wickets, now repeats the trick with four early runs – a proper cover drive.
Dawson goes for a flail and gets a nick.
30th over: England 127-8 (Dawson 16, Willey 3) Dawson misses a sweep and Zampa is convinced he’s goddim. Pitched in line, hit in line … but doing too much. This provokes a lot of high-pitched mirth on the stump mike, as if the Aussies weren’t laughing already.
“Please tell me,” says Tony Cowards, “Adam Zampa’s nickname is ‘Christmas’?”
29th over: England 123-8 (Dawson 14, Willey 1) Success for Sean Abbott, the only Aussie bowler with one-day figures (8-0-45-2).
“Evening Tim,” says Patrick O’Brien. “This is so bad, the only ethical decision is to watch the World Cup.” Ha.
Looking for his second six, Curran can only pick out Hazlewood at deep mid-off. And that’s drinks, with England needing a drop of brandy.
28th over: England 119-7 (Curran 11, Dawson 13) Sam Curran plays the shot of the innings, a back-foot straight loft off Zampa that goes for six! And a very economical one, as it lands on the rope. Dawson backs him up with a sweep for four, which, as a commentator observes, is not an easy shot to play off Zampa. This partnership is already 24, one more than the one between Vince and Moeen, off about half as many balls.
27th over: England 106-7 (Curran 8, Dawson 3) Liam Dawson, whose bowling earlier was nothing like Zampa’s, sets about making amends with his unfussy batting. He is dropped at deep square by the sub, Mackenzie Harvey – a tough chance, over his shoulder. The ball dribbles away for four.
26th over: England 97-7 (Curran 1, Dawson 1) If you thought Cummins and Hazlewood had good figures, have a look at Zampa’s: 3-1-5-2. He has ten wickets in the series, which is apparently the most ever taken by an Aussie leggie in a bilateral one-day series. Somewhere above Melbourne, a leg-spin legend utters a chuckle of disbelief.
Moeen goes down the track and slices Zampa straight to Marnus Labuschagne at long-off.
25th over: England 95-6 (Moeen 18, Curran 0) Moeen, after witnessing the latest bit of carnage, strikes back with a four … off the top edge, over the keeper. We all knew this series was going to be an anticlimax, but it has surpassed itself.
24th over: England 90-6 (Moeen 13, Curran 0) Cummins, finally realising that he can afford to set Test-match fields, gives Zampa two short legs for the hat-trick ball. Sam Curran is equal to it, getting a thick inside edge to a full flat delivery that may have been doing nothing at all. Still, that is a double-wicket-maiden.
Here’s Matt Winter. “I wonder if any of the stattos out there know what the ‘least inspiring run chase’ is? This must be up there. I’m giving up and watching Jersey vs. Where The Hell Is That in the wendyball. I think that’s who is on anyway.”
The googly is too good for Woakes, and Zampa is on a hat-trick.
Butter isn’t going to die wondering. He goes for a big hit without sizing up Zampa at all and duly perishes to a top edge, caught at cover. And that’s that.
23rd over: England 90-4 (Moeen 13, Buttler 1) And so ends the most painful partnership ever between two players as elegant as Vince and Moeen. Here’s Jos Buttler, who would be England’s last hope, if this weren’t essentially a Test match played in coloured clothing. He’s off the mark with a clip to leg.
Vince hits a four, at last – an elegant pull – and it goes to his head. He tries again, gets a top edge and is comfortably caught at fine leg.
22nd over: England 85-3 (Vince 18, Moeen 13) Here is Zampa. As they can barely lay a bat on the seamers, England need to get about 20 an over off Zappa’s leg-breaks. They manage three off this one, with Moeen carting a couple over midwicket.
21st over: England 82-3 (Vince 17, Moeen 11) Abbott replaces Hazlewood, and after a few more dots Moeen finally locates the middle of the bat, playing an uppish off drive for four. That’s the first boundary in several years.
20th over: England 77-3 (Vince 16, Moeen 7) On this pitch, even Mitch Marsh is unplayable. He has Moeen dropped for the second time – at third man this time, by Adam Zampa, who may have been distracted by wondering if he is going to get a bowl.
19th over: England 73-3 (Vince 14, Moeen 5) Hazlewood continues, bowls a nip-backer and hits Vince slap in the box. Ouch. “It’s James Wince, isn’t it,” says Adam Gilchrist (I think). Almost as painfully, the rate required is now 10: England need 291 off 29 overs.
“Hi,” says John Starbuck. “Good news about St Helena, but what match would be between the very smallest cricket nations?” I’m going to have to throw that one out to the floor.
18th over: England 71-3 (Vince 13, Moeen 4) Moeen, facing Marsh, continues to bat like a man who’s not really in the team. His drives find the fielders in the ring, his only scoring shot is a top-edged chip over midwicket for two, and while running the second he bumps into his partner. To be fair, the commentators are saying that the movement, which has become more pronounced since the 10th over, is the most ever recorded in an ODI at the G.
17th over: England 69-3 (Vince 13, Moeen 2) Cummins takes himself off and brings back Hazlewood. He thinks he’s nabbed Vince LBW but there’s an inside edge. Together, Hazlewood and Cummins now have figures of 12-2-44-3. Their English counterparts, Woakes and Willey, managed 19-0-125-0.
16th over: England 68-3 (Vince 13, Moeen 1) Moeen gets off the mark … by being dropped at slip, by Steve Smith, off Marsh, tipping it over the bar. That was a classic Moeen waft.
The required rate is now 9.25.
15th over: England 66-3 (Vince 12, Moeen 0) Just a wicket-maiden from Cummins, who now has figures of 6-2-25-2. And here’s Moeen Ali, who wasn’t even playing until Phil Salt banged his head and his shoulder as he tried to save a boundary.
Just when I was thinking “why aren’t England trying to pull”, Sam Billings answers the question. He’s late on the shot and can only send it straight up into the night sky. Cummins, cool as a cucumber, waits for it to drop into his hands.
14th over: England 66-2 (Vince 12, Billings 7) Mitch Marsh comes on with his medium pace, which should be a relief to the batsmen, but he finds some lavish movement. Billings is first beaten by a leg-cutter, then bamboozled by a full ball that loops up off the leading edge, just over the ring on the off side. At drinks, England need 298 off 34 overs. They will be doing very well if they get anywhere near that.
13th over: England 62-2 (Vince 11, Billings 4) Cummins kept himself on – what is this, the Ashes? – and Roy kept playing and missing. One of the commentators revealed that he had now missed 21 times in 45 balls. He managed two more misses after that, in fact three including the ball that did for him. Billings looks better already: he lets a wide go by and then hits a four, punched past mid-off.
Got him! Roy moves over to off stump, tries something wristy, misses and looks plumb. Only the height can save him, and it’s umpire’s call as HawkEye shows the ball brushing the bails.
12th over: England 56-1 (Roy 33, Vince 10) Five off the over from Abbott, who tries to interest Cummins in a review for LBW as an attempted yorker thuds into the bottom of Roy’s pad. Cummins is unconvinced, rightly as it’s going down, and the umpire decides Roy has got some bat on it anyway – or perhaps forgets to signal leg-bye.
11th over: England 51-1 (Roy 32, Vince 6) Hazlewood takes his sweater (5-0-18-1) and Cummins fancies a change of ends. Roy resumes playing-and-missing but manages to pick up a two with that flick of his. The required rate is already about eight and a half.
We have an email! “You’ve not heard from me for a while,” says Damian Burns, “but as we speak another British team are playing an ICC-recognised game of cricket. St Helena, a British Overseas Territory with a population of just 4000, are competing in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Sub Regional Africa A Qualifier in Rwanda.” That is quite the title.
“Their first game against the mighty Kenya was drawn due to rain, and the boys learned some hard lessons about playing on a difficult turf wicket in a loss to home nation Rwanda in the second game. However, the guys bounced back yesterday in a spectacular 2 run victory against the Seychelles. Live now is our fourth game against Lesotho, before we face Mali this afternoon.” Great stuff.
10th over: England 49-1 (Roy 30, Vince 6) Vince, facing Abbott, plays and misses yet again before finally remembering that he’s James Vince and cutting for three. The powerplay ends with Australia well on top but England hanging in there. The sun is half-out, so England’s blushes are not about to be spared by the rain.
9th over: England 45-1 (Roy 29, Vince 3) Roy has found his touch, to the point where he can take a length ball from Hazlewood, on off stump, and time it past mid-on. He has now added 30 in a useful little stand with extras.
8th over: England 38-1 (Roy 24, Vince 2) Cummins takes himself off and turns to Sean Abbott, who starts well (four dots) before letting Roy escape with two fours, a cover punch and a flick through midwicket. At the age of 30, Abbott is playing only his eighth ODI.
7th over: England 32-1 (Roy 17, Vince 2) Vince, facing Hazlewood, gets bat on ball for once and almost perishes as an inside edge pops up towards square leg but lands just short. Serves Cummins right for not having a short leg. Vince celebrates by taking a scrappy single to mid-off. His timing, usually so effortless, has deserted him tonight.
6th over: England 30-1 (Roy 16, Vince 1) Cummins keeps himself on and starts with a wide to Roy that is so wide, down the leg side, that it goes for four byes to boot. Cummins is finding movement and beating the bat but bowling too short to find the edge. There’s a second wide soon afterwards, and then a third. England are getting ’em in extras! Eleven so far.
5th over: England 23-1 (Roy 16, Vince 1) England could do with a boundary, and J-Roy supplies one, pinging a flick off Hazelwood. Vince still can’t buy a run (1 off 11). An ad on the pitch says “Bat. Bowl. Dettol.” which may be the silliest three-word slogan since “Take back control”.
4th over: England 17-1 (Roy 11, Vince 1) Too good from Cummins too: a maiden! To Vince, who was beaten on the inside edge, then the outside edge, then the inside edge again, more painfully. Game off.
3rd over: England 17-1 (Roy 11, Vince 1) Too good from Hazlewood, a Test bowler with Test figures this evening (2-0-5-1). Shame about Malan, who was England’s best bet for a designated driver to make 130 off 100 balls. That role now beckons to James Vince, who did get a hundred two games ago in his own personal timeline.
Mr Measured gets his measurements wrong! Malan sees a full length and goes for the drive but can only get an inside edge, well held by the keeper.
2nd over: England 13-0 (Roy 11, Malan 1) OK, one over to get your eye in, then you go for it. Jason Roy, who desperately needs runs, gets four from Pat Cummins’ first ball, forcing past cover, and another four later in the over from a clip off the pads. Game on!?
1st over: England 3-0 (Roy 1, Malan 1) How do you set about a monster chase? Sedately, it seems. At least when facing Josh Hazlewood. Three dots, two singles and a leg-bye as England’s Mr Measured, Dawid Malan, steps up to open in place of Phil Salt, who took a blow to the head earlier. I do hope he’s OK.
Hello everyone and thanks Geoff. What an elegant writer he is, even in an elongated shift covering a giant anticlimax. Still, this is quite a tally that Australia have piled up here. It should be more than enough to see off this depleted, demotivated England team. The only glimmer of hope for England is that (according to Cricinfo) of the nine successful chases above 350 in ODI history, four have come against Australia.
Let’s factor in the DLS adjustment. Australia’s 355 becomes 363, because if they had known about the missing overs then they would have attacked earlier.
So it will need to be one of those barnstorming England chases of old, to get something massive in 48 overs.
Should be fun. That’s enough for me, I’ll leave you in the capable typing hands of Tim de Lisle.
48th over: Australia 355-5 (Carey 12, Labuschagne 8) No time-wasting from Labuschagne. Bashes his second ball down the ground for four, cross-batted, after missing the same shot from his first. Lofts two over the bowler, then clears the front leg and smears two to midwicket.
M-m-m-m-monster Marsh! First ball of the last over, home run over left field. Second ball though, big outside edge as he aims a drive at a full ball. Looping up to cover where Dawson tracks back under the high ball.
If Stone gets a five-for here it will be… quite something.
47th over: Australia 341-4 (Marsh 24, Carey 12) Two overs to go. Carey is clever in these situations. Flicks a couple of runs, then baseballs four over Willey’s head. Taking it off a length. Places twos into the gaps. The left-hander also messes up the bowler’s lines, twice he errs past the leg stump for wides.
46th over: Australia 328-4 (Marsh 22, Carey 3) A further drop for Labuschagne as Carey comes in, sensible option here. You do often see this after a huge partnership, that the rest of the players bat more frantically and wickets tumble. Olly Stone 3 for 6 in his last two overs after 0 for 65 in his first seven.
Olly Stone’s weird long day continues! Does well with his first couple of balls, blockholing Marsh to the tune of one run. Then Smith premeditates a scoop shot but Stone bowls shorter. Too short to make contact as Smith goes through with it. Or not quite? There’s the tinest feather of a touch on that ball, and Buttler makes a very understated appeal. Paul Wilson gives a very understated signal of out, and Smith walks straight off.
45th over: Australia 323-3 (Smith 21, Marsh 20) There’s the power of M. Bison. Short from Curran, but Marsh backs himself to make the distance and pummels it over the fence at deep square leg. Some hit at the MCG. Up and over cover for two more after that, then a single via inside edge and boot as Curran hits the blockhole. Good delivery. Too much width to Smith though, who is able to open the face and calypso drive this over backward point! Some shot for four. The field goes back there, so he hits past the bowler for two, then two through cover.
44th over: Australia 306-3 (Smith 13, Marsh 11) Smith walks at Woakes, leading edge into the covers for a run. Called a leg bye in the end. Marsh pulls another. And so it goes: back of a length, hitting to the square sweepers. Finally Marsh waits on one, pulls it finer, and nearly beats the fine leg but can’t quite. One run from each ball of the over.
43rd over: Australia 300-3 (Smith 11, Marsh 8) Chris Jordan is now at slip, following the Stoinis wicket. England taking the proverbial here. Marsh isn’t worried about slip, he flicks two runs and then bashes four straight.