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Australia v England
Antigua, 8 April 2007

Test Match Special podcast | Blog

England 247 all out lost to Australia 248-3 by seven wickets

Australia cruised to comfortable seven-wicket win over England in Antigua despite a maiden World Cup century for Kevin Pietersen in Antigua.

Pietersen made 104 but a total of 247 all out, after they had been 164-2 at one stage, never looked enough.

Ricky Ponting made 86 to put his side on course to reach their target before he was run out by Paul Collingwood.

Ponting put on 112 with Michael Clarke who was there at the end on 55 as they reached 248-3 with 16 balls to spare.



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By Tom Fordyce

48th over: Aus 248-3 - Australia win by seven wickets
That's your lot - the easiest, most comfortable and controlled run-chase you ever did see. England lose again; Australia are almost nailed on for the semis. Phew. Mahmood finished with 0-60 off 9.2 overs. Insert your own head-shaking comment here...

47th over: Aus 244-3
A man with a yellow-and-green afro wig is dancing a sloppy conga round the boundary.

46th over: Aus 240-3
Eight off Saj's penultimate over, including a smashed straight four from Symonds off another one of those in-no-way-disguised slower balls. The end is nigh.

45th over: Aus 232-3
That's 50

That's 50 for Clarke - just two fours, but he's done the job. Australia haven't lost a World Cup match since May 1999.

44th over: Aus 226-3
Just what England need - the return of Big Saj. Seven off the over.

From Wim Jansen, Amsterdam, TMS inbox, in reply to quey after 33rd over: "No, that's the old one. I do have much better hair though."

43rd over: Aus 219-3
The zinc-lipped Symonds plays and misses at two from Fred before battering a four through the covers. One for 35 off 10 for Freddie - admirable stuff. Almost makes up for his batting.

42nd over: Aus 215-3
Massive controversy. Symonds smashes Colly to the midwicket boundary, where Pietersen takes a brilliant catch - and then five paces before tumbling over the boundary ropes. He throws the ball back inside the ropes - but after three minutes of heated conflab, umpires Rudi and Billy give it not out - it's two run runs instead.

Off the top of my head, here's what they were thinking - Law 32, part of section three: "The act of making the catch shall start from the time when a fielder first handles the ball and shall end when a fielder obtains complete control both over the ball and over his own movement."

Symonds celebrates his survival by clouting the next delivery for a proper six. Salty wounds.

41st over: WICKET - Ponting run out 86, Aus 201-3
Wicket falls

That's stopped them - for a minute or two at least. Skipper calls Clarke through for a crazy run, gets sent back and watches helplessly as Colly destroys the stumps with a brilliant throw from point.

40th over: Aus 201-2
Two singles off Colly. In the stands, two leering Aussie males are attempting to smear icing on the cake by chatting up a mournful-faced English girl.

39th over: Aus 199-2
A final Fred fling, and a nice bouncer which Ponts leans out of the way of before squinting back at Fred like Brendan Gleeson's Mad-Eye Moody character in the last Harry Potter film.

38th over: Aus 196-2
Up comes the field as Monty toils away, so Ponto strolls down the track and boffs him over the infield for two fours so easy he could have had his helmet on back to front and still middled them.

37th over: Aus 185-2
Interesting tactics from Colly - he tries a medium-paced bouncer. Clarke's certainly interested - he leans back with enough time to write a postcard home before slapping the ball to the midwicket fence for four.

36th over: Aus 177-2
Excellent running from Ponto and Clarke steals two bonus singles and turns a one into a two. England need wickets rapidly, but where are they going to come from?

35th over: Aus 171-2
Colly on for an over, and Ponto is in lip-licking mood again as he hoists him over mid-on for four. Ponting's twitching and jumping like a happy sparrow.

34th over: Aus 164-2
Ponto moves to 67 with a casual chip over midwicket off Monty for four. Some Australian fans are so confident of victory they're asleep.

33rd over: Aus 159-2
Fred back on in place of the man-whose-name-I-can-barely-type-I'm-so-angry, but he's looking weary now, and Clarke pops him away for an easy two and two singles.

From Wim Jansen, Amsterdam, TMS inbox: "Come on, give the boy Mahmood some credit. He did take four wickets last match."
Wim - are you the same Wim Jansen who took Celtic to the Scottish title a few years back?

32nd over: Aus 152-2
Easy again - three singles and a two off Monty. Not his fault - after that shocker from Mahmood there was zero pressure on this pair.

31st over: Aus 147-2
That's 50

I've tried to be restrained with the chat on Mahmood so far, but I'm close to breaking. That was an over so rubbish I've just sworn four times - on Easter Sunday. 13 off it, including a four from a wide slow one, a four the other way to one down leg and the easiest two in the word. Ponto gets his half-century; Saj has 0-44 off seven. Grrrr.

From Simone in Milton Keynes, TMS inbox: "Should I switch off the computer, turn off the TV and wait to watch the highlights later with the hope that England have pulled off a miracle?"
I fear the clue could be in the question there, Simone - the way you used the word "miracle"...

30th over: Aus 134-2
Nice from Monty - just two singles. Clarke and Ponto are probably saving their energy for Saj's over, in the way that you'd leave some mashed potato to save room for an extra sausage.

29th over: Aus 132-2
Back comes Mahmood, and there's an instant jump in the run-rate - eight off the over, including a driven four off the inevitable wide one. Ponting was actually licking his lips as he hit that one.

28th over: Aus 124-2
Easy as you like from Punter as he turns a leg-stump delivery from Colly down to deep fine for four. Ponto's flinty little eyes have starting blinking at rapid pace - I sense an acceleration coming on.

27th over: Aus 116-2
Ponting plays one of those dismissive pull shots which are his trademark, but it only brings him one to deep mid-wicket. Badger holds up the next delivery by airing his opinion about a possible field change. Clarke ends the over with an easy two through backward point.

26th over: Aus 111-2
Flintoff gifts Australia three runs by failing to stop a fairly tame cover drive from Clarke which is directed straight at him - Monty has to chase the ball down to save the boundary.

25th over: Aus 103-2
That's the halfway point, with 141 needed. With all those wickets in hands, you've got to favour the Aussies at the mo. We'll see.

24th over: Aus 103-2
Edgy running again, and Strauss hits from mid-on only for Ponts to be home this time. Clarke then calls for a new thigh guard and drops his trousers out in the middle to put it on. He's wearing long-johns, ladies. In white.

23rd over: Aus 98-2
Jimmy A back on, and there's a huge chance for England as Ponto sets off for a death-wish single - only for Vaughan's throw to miss the stumps by a bat's width. Ponts was gone by a mile if that had hit, and Vaughan is almost floored with disappointment.

22nd over: Aus 96-2
Just two singles as Colly's dibbly-dobblies do the jobbly.

21st over: Aus 94-2
Three scampered singles from Fred's over. 154 needed to win from 29 overs, at a rate of 5.31 runs per over. another couple of wickets here could make it interesting.

20th over: WICKET - Hayden b Collingwood 41, Aus 89-2
Wicket falls

Crazy scenes - Vaughan turns to Colly in desperation, and first ball he nips one away from Hayden and clips the outside of off stump. He then stands there appealing, until a puzzled Rudi K points out that he's bowled him. Cue full-on ginger delight.

19th over: Aus 89-1
Great stuff from Fred - tighter than Kylie's hot-pants. There's a massive appeal for lbw against Ponto, but Umpire Billy B shakes his head. Fred looks at the pitch and swears loudly.

18th over: Aus 88-1
Ponto charges Monty and puts him over mid-on for four. In the swimming pool, a pirate with double Captain Hook-style hooks for hands guffaws as he pushes his mate into the depths. His mate emerges at the far side, creeps round the back and returns the favour with added gusto, just as Hook opens his mouth to sing a bawdy pirate song.

17th over: Aus 83-1
Nice from Fred again - he beats Ponto outside off twice, and then induces an inside edge which zips past the open-mouthed Badger for four to fine leg.

16th over: Aus 77-1
Hmmm. Bit too easy, that - Monty concedes four singles and a two, and there's runs wherever they want them. On a brighter note, England had exactly the same number of runs at this stage of their innings. Although they had lost another wicket.

15th over: Aus 71-1
Better from Fred - although he gets away with a full toss on leg which Ponto can only clip straight to Monty at long leg. Time for a drinks break at the King Vivi Multiplex.

14th over: Aus 68-1
Monty again, and Ponto takes him on from the word go - lofting him over Flintoff at mid-on for four. Didn't get all the way to the pitch, though, and Monty scratches his chin-mat in interested fashion.

13th over: Aus 62-1
New tactics from Fred - he packs the leg-side and square on off and tries to induce Hayden's patented enormo-heave. It works extremely well - Hayden batters him high over mid-off for four.

12th over: Aus 58-1
Monty on, all skips and leaps, and just one off the over. Tremendous enthusiasm. Tremendous drunkeness in the swimming pool too, which must surely break any number of health and safety regulations. No sign of heavy petting, but it's surely just a matter of time.

11th over: WICKET - Gilchrist c Collingwood b Flintoff 27, Aus 57-1
Wicket falls

Freddie into the attack - and he does the bizzo straight away. I say straight away - after Hayden clouts him to leg for a brutal four, that is, and then strolls a single. Anyway - with three squarish covers in place, he fools Gillie with a slower one and Colly takes a catch so easy he could have caught it between his teeth.

10th over: Aus 52-0
Zut alors - Saj opens up with a slow, wide long-hop. Gilchrist's eyes almost pop out of his head as he steps back and slaps it square for four. Saj looks confused and walks back to his mark waving his bowling hand vaguely through the air.

9th over: Aus 45-0
Anderson strays, Gilchrist flays. The fielding's poor, it goes for four.

8th over: Aus 38-0
More headaches for Vaughan, or at least a worsening of his existing headache - Mahmood is given an official warning for running on the wicket by Umpire Rudi K. Give him a chance, Rudi - that's the straightest he's been all day.

7th over: Aus 34-0
Relax, Gillie - Jimmy A's on the scene. Hayden tips a leg-stump ball fine for four and then belts an over-corrected wide one from outside off through cover for another thumper.

6th over: Aus 24-0
Hold on to your keyboards/mobiles - Saj has just bowled a maiden. Honestly. Gilchrist looks embarassed.

5th over: Aus 24-0
Hayden's tucking into Anderson like a student at an all-you-can-eat promotion at his local Taj Mahal. He batters a short one over midwicket for four and watches beady-eyed as Anderson over-corrects and gives away two leg-side wides.

4th over: Aus 18-0
Two slower ones from Mahmood, both of them spotted a mile off by Gillie. He waits for the inevitable leg-stump help-yourselfer and pops it down to fine leg for four. While yawning.

3rd over: Aus 14-0
Jimmy A steams in, with Vaughan standing at a close-in mid-off. Hayden chomps on his gum and boffs a wide one straight through extra cover for four. Easy.

2nd over: Aus 9-0
Hmm - classic Mahmood - a half-volley outside off-stump which Gilchrist slaps for four, a fine in-dipper which should have seen the stumper off lbw and then a long hop down leg which goes for four through square leg. Shake of head.

1st over: Aus 1-0
England need early wickets here - no question. A garish beach ball blows onto the outfield as Anderson begins the over with two full-length deliveries well wide of off stump. An inswinger beats the inside edge as Gilchrist attempts a wild swish and a bye is the result as Nixon dives to his right but is unable to gather.


50th over: WICKET - Anderson lbw McGrath 0, Eng 247 all out
Wicket falls

Golden quacker for Jimmy A, bang in front to McGrath's yorker. Big let-down for England, that last 15 overs. Ponto will fancy this...

50th over: WICKET - Nixon c Hodge b McGrath 8, Eng 246-9
Wicket falls

Nixon smashes McGrath's first ball for six and then spoons a full toss straight down Hodge's throat at long-on. 250 surely the minimum ask here...

49th over: WICKET - Mahmood c Hodge b Bracken 0, Eng 240-8
Wicket falls

Saj doesn't hang around, missing his first one and boffing his second, a full toss, straight to gully. Sigh.

49th over: WICKET - Pietersen c Clarke b Bracken 104, Eng 240-7
Wicket falls

Brakes on full lock - KP goes, slashing Bracken straight to long-off.

48th over: Eng 236-6
He's reached 100

KP gets his ton alright - his first in one-dayers since that series in South Africa 26 months ago. But it's his slowest ever - and England could be throwing this match away here with this late-doors stodginess.

47th over: Eng 233-6
KP moves to 99 with a two to deep extra cover and a single to nick the strike off The Badger.

47th over: WICKET - Bopara c Hussey b Bracken 21, Eng 230-6
Wicket falls

That doesn't help things - Rav flips Nate B straight down Hussey's pouch at deep midwicket. Up to the Badger now...

46th over: Eng 229-5
McGrath's enjoying himself again - just singles off him, and England are heading for 250 - probably shy of what they could really do with on this track. 50 partnership, off 62 balls.

45th over: Eng 223-5
Rav flips Taituci away behind square for singles while KP signals for a drink - some sort of obscene milkshake, judging by his hand-signals to the dressing-room. Three for 41 for Tait off his 10 - useful.

44th over: Eng 215-5
That's more like it - KP steps away to leg and thrashes McGrath through gully for his first four in, er, absolutely ages. He and Rav then take turns to pinch singles. Time to step on the gas.

43rd over: Eng 207-5
Tait in to finish his spell, and he's bang on it - a diet of fast, inswinging yorkers that neither Rav nor Kay Pee can do anything with.

42nd over: Eng 204-5
Two to KP down to long on, and more good scampering from Ravi take three singles. In the stands, a man dressed as Richard the Lionheart - complete with chain-mail and sword - is gently punching an inflatable kangaroo while holding a full pint with his other hand.

41st over: Eng 199-5
McGrath on, and England can only squirt three singles. The run-rate's dropped below five an over, which is below par on this belter. Or over par, in the sense that it's surely better to be under par than over par, no?

40th over: Eng 196-5
Finally Ravi flips Symonds away for a two, but it's all gone strangely quiet for England - and even for KP. A penguin in the swimming pool stares down his soggy beak at a floozy frolicking nearby.

39th over: Eng 192-5
The brakes are on, and the ball's coming off Ravi's blade like a baked potato. He's trying to give KP the strike, but the waspish Bracken's keeping him tucked up tight.

38th over: Eng 190-5
Last over of the day from Brad Hogg, and it's a tight one against Ravi. One for 36 off 10 for The Hoggler, and high in the stands a large man in a yellow shirt and pronounced mullet applauds thunderously.

37th over: Eng 188-5
In comes Ravi Bopara, and we'll see if Mark Hull's prediction (see third over) comes true. He gets jumping with a cheeky outside edge for four, which leaves Bracken clutching his lank mane in disgust.

36th over: WICKET - Flintoff st Gilchrist b Hogg 4, 179-5
Wicket falls

Rubbish from Fred - Hogg does him all ends up two balls in a row. He misses the first by a mile but has his back foot anchored, but the second he misses from halfway down the pitch. Easiest of bail removal operations for Gilchrist.

35th over: 178-4
Tight from Bracken against Fredduci. A troupe of men dressed as penguins dance happily in the swimming pool.

34th over: 175-4
Pietersen is beaten all ends up as he tries to sweep a wrong 'un from Hoggy and the two leg byes are undeserved. KP tries the sweep again next ball, misses again but survives a confident lbw shout.

33rd over: Eng 171-4
Tait looks mighty impressive with a mixture of inswinging yorkers and slower balls, but drops the last one short and Big Fred paddles it away to long leg for one to end a quiet over.

32nd over: Eng 169-4
Flintoff's in so Punter brings back Hogg - no surprise there as Freddie often gropes around like a short-sighted man searching for his slippers in the dark when facing the spinners, but he's quickly under way with a nudge to square leg for one.

31st over: WICKET - Collingwood c Gilchrist b Tait 2, Eng 167-4
Wicket falls

That's changed things - Tait almost yorks Colly with his first ball and then gets one to leave him outside off to give Gilly an easy snag.

30th over: WICKET - Bell c Hussey b McGrath 77, Eng 164-3
Wicket falls

Finally some joy for Ponto and the boys - Bell drives McGrath straight to cover, and his best innings of the tournament is over. The partnership was worth 140, and a threesome of England fans in the swimming pool rise soggily from the depths to applaud the effort.

29th over: Eng 163-2
Lord alive - KP slaps Tait straight to Hayden at mid-on, but the massive-shouldered cookbook author somehow spills a catch so simple Pietersen was already tucking his blade under his arm for the long walk home. No conviction at all from the Aussies in the field today - and the England fans are loving every second.

28th over: Eng 161-2
McGrath back on, and the England pair continue to go after him with gay abandon - Bell leaning back and creaming the sweetest of back-foot drives high over cover for four. He goes to 77, Pietersen to 63.

From BBC Sport's Paresh Soni, Antigua: "They've been chanting 'Easy, easy, easy,' in the Party Stand. Just met a nice group of pirates there from, er, Notting Hill."

27th over: Eng 154-2
Ponto takes a gamble and goes for his final powerplay, with Tait back for a sling too. Fireworks from the off too - an inside edge off Bell races past the timbers for two, and then a fearsome bouncer takes the face of the bat , flies high over the vacant slip area, bounces once in an arid patch by the rope and goes away for four in a puff of dust.

26th over: Eng 146-2
Gulp - KP misses a dipper from Hogg, and the ball sizzles past the off stump - and Gilchrist's gloves - for four byes. Hogg yells in anguish.

25th over: Eng 138-2
Symonds is having a nightmare - Bell flicks him to fine leg for a lovely four and then pops him high to the same part of the fence for a repeat effort. Three singles later and KP signals for a drink. Symonds trudges off, dreds hanging mournfully around his chops. 31 off his four overs so far. Ouch.

24th over: Eng 126-2
Two more twos to KP, and that's the 100 partnership. Excitement grows...

23rd over: Eng 120-2
That's 50

It's half-centuries all round - KP first, with five fours and a six off 49 balls, before Bell completes his 10th ODI 50 with a tuck away to leg. 69 balls it's taken him. Delirium in the large swimming pool behind the point boundary, where basking England fans celebrate by thrashing the water like mental dolphins.

22nd over: Eng 115-2
Nice from Bell again - he waits for a slightly wider one from Hogg and dabs him down to third man for three. Singles all over the place too, and Ponting's struggling to tighten this up.

21st over: Eng 107-2
Bell chases the labouring Symonds, pulling him to deep square leg for two and then popping a full toss over midwicket for two more. Scrappy in the field from the Aussies at the mo - whisper it quietly, but England are in control. Remarkable.

20th over: Eng 101-2
Hogg tries a wrong 'un against Pietersen, but the big biffer's front foot is half a mile down the pitch. Huge applause as England's 100 comes up.

19th over: Eng 99-2
Andrew Symonds on - and he's going for medium-pacers, despite that recent shoulder woe. KP waits for a full one and creams it past Bracken at mid-off for a delightful four. Genuine optimism on the faces of England fans...

18th over: Eng 91-2
More KP sweepage, this time against Hogg. Five an over at the moment - good batting track, this.

17th over: Eng 86-2
KP goes sweep-crazy against Clarke, battering him behind square for four and then taking a two a touch finer. He then sweeps again for a single. It's like Goochie vs India in the '87 semi all over again...

16th over: Eng 77-2
McGrath's taking a blow after that pummeling, and Brad Hogg's on for a tweak. Early respect from Bell, who moves to 35. KP's catching up with 25.

15th over: Eng 74-2
KP, never happy being upstaged, takes the bait and launches into Clarke - first with a driven four back past the stumps and then with a long, casual lofter high over long-on. Ponting chews on his thumb.

14th over: Eng 61-2
Wallop - Bell goes after McGrath and spanks him for three of the juiciest fours - one over cover, one cracked through point and another sweetly placed past extra cover. McGrath looks sick.

13th over: Eng 49-2
More Clarkie, and a big gulp from KP as a turner strikes him halfway up his front pad. Clarke screams at Umpire Rudi K but the emotionless official keeps his fingers holstered.

12th over: Eng 48-2
McGrath lines up KP for the first time since breaking his rib back in January, and KP strolls down the track to belt a leg-stump full toss through midwicket for four. Next up: a bouncer. Quelle surprise. Ponting strolls past for a little hello.

11th over: Eng 43-2
Michael Clarke on for an early-doors twirl, and KP looks to get after him. He has to settle for a couple of singles as Bell does likewise. Chelsy's wandered off back into the hospitality area, but Harry's hanging tough. Respect.

10th over: Eng 39-2
Old Man McGrath comes on for a trundle, and Bell hoists him over midwicket for two and then over mid-off for a lofted four. Not a flicker from Chelsy - clearly more of a KP fan.

9th over: Eng 31-2
Two singles off Bracken, whose hair has now reached Hanson length. Prince Harry, who to be fair is looking a touch bored, has his young ladyfriend Chelsy with him. Sure his facial expression is no reflection of the quality of her chat.

The vote's finished - a mere 10,141 of you voted, and by a narrow margin, 42% said England will score 200-250 in this innings. Following the loss of the two wickets there was a late surge to 40% for the "under 200" option, while 14% opted for 251-300 and just 4% think England will exceed 300.

8th over: Eng 29-2
Great news for England - Prince Harry's in the stands. If the boys can't get fired up for this one now, they should be ashamed of themselves. KP tucks into a no ball from Tait and drives him straight back down the ground for four, looks up at Harry and mouths the words: "That's for you." NB The second part of that sentence was obviously pure fabrication.

7th over: Eng 24-2
Here's the good news: England didn't lose a wicket in that over. Sure, it was a maiden - but that's consolidation, yeah?

6th over: WICKET - Strauss b Tait 7, Eng 24-2
Wicket falls

It's deja-vu at the King Vivi Arena - big lifter outside off, Strauss chops it straight onto his castle. So that's England's big personnel change gone out of the window - it's KP or bust once again...

5th over: Eng 18-1
In strolls Strauss, blinking slightly in the sunshine. Bracken roars in and gets an outside edge which skids past second slip for a twoey down to Tait at third man. Nervous times, my friends, nervous times.

4th over: WICKET - Vaughan b Tait 5, Eng 10-1
Wicket falls

Here we go already.... Tait gets one to climb on the England skipper outside off and Vaughan jabs it down onto his timbers. He can't believe it - although everyone else can.

3rd over: Eng 9-0
Vaughan thrashes the first boundary of the day - off the outside edge, straight between first and second slip.

From Mark Hull in London, TMS inbox: "It's all about Ravi B today..."

2nd over: Eng 4-0
The Taitmeister General opens the attack from the other end, gets some big lift from the first delivery and then gets squirted away for a single apiece to the openers. The pitch looks bizarrely shiny - almost mirroresque.

1st over: Eng 2-0
Bell and Vaughan opening, which makes it interesting - Strauss to come in at three? Bell pushes Nathan Bracken square for a dooblay to get off the mark.

1420 GMT: While we're waiting for things to get going in Antigua, why not have a little joust at the big green vote to the right of this text on the website? There's a sweepstake going on in the BBC Sport Interactive office on a similar topic - I'm eyeing a tidy pot of at least 15...

1400 GMT: Big chat from the middle - Michael Vaughan has won the toss and decided to bat.

"The weather is roasting - even the bus driver said it was hot, the first time he's said anything since I've been here.! There is some cloud about but I don't think we're going to get any rain.
BBC Sport's Paresh Soni, let's hope his meteorological skills are up to the mark

"Strauss has more experience to be able to handle McGrath. Also England need to improve their run rate as Australia have the ability to hit the ball into space every ball they face!!"
Amon, Essex

1330 BST: Hello everyone - so England have decided to shake things up at the top by bringing back Andrew Strauss in place of Ed Joyce. It's Straussy's first one-dayer since 11 February so let's hope he's got a lot of pent-up frustration to take out on the Aussies.


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