The English cricket team today completed an unimpressive victory in the World Cup final against Australia.
Having set a modest total of 6-291, England's bowlers somehow managed to conjure up a victory by dismissing Australia for 203 in the 43rd over.
The scene for England's embarrassing effort was set by opener Ian Bell, whose 34 off 22 balls was the height of irresponsible batting. Having hit Australian seam bowler Nathan Bracken for 3 consecutive fours, Bell advanced down the wicket and was easily caught by a diving Glenn McGrath at long-on.
Bell's opening partner, the newly promoted Kevin Pietersen, managed a painful 85 off 100 deliveries. Andy Flintoff, batting at no. 6, could have added more to England's total had he not holed out after hitting 52 off 41 deliveries.
Australia's bowling was tight and many bowlers were unlucky to have so many runs taken off them. Shaun Tait was especially unlucky with his 10-0-89-0, evidence (if it was needed) that figures do not always tell the full story.
Australia's batting response was professional while England's bowlers were woeful.
After compiling a neat 22 off 44 deliveries, batsman of the tournament Matthew Hayden was unlucky to be adjudged LBW to Monty Panesar. Ponting was bowled by an unusually slow delivery from Flintoff for 3, while Michael Hussey's innings of 64 off 62 deliveries was an example of calculated risk.
Panesar, with figures of 10-5-22-3, was lucky to be allowed the chance to bowl through his spell, such was the damage the Australian batsmen were wreaking.
Yet Australia conspired to lose the match through some surprising English fielding choices, bad luck and the loss of the toss.
As England Captain Michael Vaughan held the trophy in his hands - the first time England had ever won the Cricket world cup - he apologised for the team's lack of resolve and mistake ridden play. England fans booed the team as it walked off the ground carrying the cup.
From the Department of Attempted Humour
© 2007 Neil McKenzie Cameron, http://one-salient-oversight.blogspot.com/
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