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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 July, 2005, 17:18 GMT 18:18 UK
England in easy win over Aussies
NatWest Challenge, Headingley: England 221-1 beat Australia 219-7 by nine wickets

Marcus Trescothick
Marcus Trescothick struck a commanding 104 as England won the opening match of the NatWest Challenge against Australia by nine wickets at Headingley.

Trescothick, caught off a no-ball on five, was still there when England won with four overs remaining.

Skipper Michael Vaughan began to regain form with an unbeaten 59.

Australia had made what seemed a useful 219-7 on a difficult pitch, Mike Hussey smashing four fours and a six as 30 came off the final two overs.

Vaughan had struck a timely early blow when he won the toss on an overcast morning.

The use of 'powerplays' - easier scoring opportunities for the batsmen - failed to have a great deal of significance in their first appearance in an international match.

Both captains simply opted to use both additional five-over segments with the fielding restrictions immediately after the first 10.

However, the toss soon proved to be telling as the pitch proved problematic, batsmen finding it extremely difficult to judge the variable pace and bounce.

England failed to capture a breakthrough until the scoreboard read 62.

Geraint Jones provided the inspiration for England, diving full length to his right to cling onto an inside edge from Gilchrist, who had hit a bright 42.

In the next over Matthew Hayden, who had struggled for 47 balls for his 17, mis-timed a short one from Flintoff to mid-wicket.

The slower pace of Paul Collingwood then paid dividends as he accounted for Ricky Ponting, Andrew Symonds and Michael Clarke cheaply.

When Simon Jones completed a respectable 10-over spell that saw considerable seam movement, he was the first player to be replaced by a substitute, as England opted to bolster their batting for later in the game, Vikram Solanki coming into the match.

Damien Martyn had made a watchful 43 with four fours when he cut a short one and the ball brushed the glove, Jones taking another excellent catch standing up to the stumps, to give Collingwood 4-34 from his 10 overs.

But Hussey cut loose in a stand of 51 with Brett Lee that came in the closing five overs.

He smashed three consecutive fours in the penultimate over of the innings from Flintoff.

Then in the last one bowled by Gough he launched a massive swipe that went deep into the stands at mid-wicket, Lee adding a brutal four through the covers.

Most significantly, conditions changed as England came out to bat, the skies lifting to bright sunshine, and the ball did not seam around in the same fashion for the Australians.

They could, however, have accounted for both England openers with less than 20 on the board.

Andrew Strauss had made only one when he edged to Gilchrist, but the keeper could not hold a low catch diving to his left.

England looked determined in the field on Thursday
England looked determined in the field on Thursday

Trescothick then cut Lee to third man where Glenn McGrath took a neat low catch, only for the celebrations to be cut short as a result of Lee over-stepping for the fourth time.

Strauss brought up the fifty in the 14th over with a pull for four, but with his confidence increasing he attempted a reverse sweep off super sub Brad Hogg and was expertly caught by Gilchrist.

Hogg had been introduced as Australia's sub when Shane Watson suffered a thigh injury, the tourists opting to technically replace Hayden but allowing the opener to stay on as a fielder for Watson, to enable Hogg to bowl 10 full overs if necessary.

Vaughan's return to form came at the expense of the out-of-sorts Gillespie, hit for successive boundaries by the England captain, who advanced down the wicket to loft one over mid-off.

Vaughan won the match in fine style with a dismissive pull to the boundary off Lee, who sent down a total of seven no-balls, some almost a foot over the crease.

Australia thought they had dislodged Trescothick on 82 when Gilchrist confidently claimed a catch at the stumps as the Somerset left-hander tried to cut, but umpire Koetzen was unmoved.

Trescothick also hit the unfortunate Gillespie for consecutive boundaries, and combined delicate strokeplay with brute force in one Hogg over, with a late cut for four followed by a towering six over mid-wicket.

Interview: England captain Michael Vaughan

Interview: Man-of-the-match England's Marcus Trescothick

Interview: Australia captain Ricky Ponting



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