Australia v Pakistan – First ODI Ratings

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at 2017.01.15
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The First One Day International between Australia and Pakistan took place at the Gabba, with Steve Smith’s men claiming victory by 92 runs.

After conferring with the third umpire, the claim was upheld and Australia therefore lead the series 1-0.

Here are the ratings for the First ODI between Australia and Pakistan.

The Toss
Grade: C+

Steve Smith won the toss and had no hesitation in batting and forcing Pakistan to field in the Brisbane heat. This is not to be mistaken, of course, for being forced to field in the Brisbane Heat.

It was widely agreed to be ‘a good toss to win’. Which is a concept that makes sense. Unlike those occasions where people nonsensically try to claim a toss would be ‘a good one to lose’.

Come on, people. There’s no such thing as a good toss to lose. Even if you’re completely indifferent to whether you bat or bowl first, then you still don’t want to lose the toss and let the opposition captain choose whatever they might prefer. No, at worst, if you win the toss and genuinely don’t care, then exploit the fact that there’s a coin right there and toss it again. Heads, you bat. Tails, you field.

Just don’t give me this ‘good toss to lose’ nonsense.

Chris Lynn
Grade: C

But I’ve become distracted from my point. Which was that Australia batted first and rapidly lost both David Warner and Steve Smith off consecutive deliveries from Mohammad Amir to have them at 2/13 in the fifth over.

This brought Chris Lynn to the crease, and he and Travis Head consolidated. Or ‘consoLynndated’ if you prefer. Of course, Lynn still clobbered a massive six, bringing about perhaps the most superfluous commentary on Nine all summer when Mark Taylor pronounced that ‘Lynn’s hit that hard’.

Yep, Tub. That’s kinda his thing.

Lynn was dismissed shortly after that shot for 16 off 12 and Australia were 3/53 in the tenth over. Still, you can’t blame Lynn for hitting out when he did. With only a little more than ten overs left, he needed to accelerate.

Glenn Maxwell and Matthew Wade
Grade: B+

But no, this wasn’t a BBL game. And when Head and Mitchell Marsh also fell to leave Australia at 5/78, Australia still had the better part of 34 overs to bat out. Luckily, they had Glenn Maxwell and Matthew Wade together at the crease, in the cricketing version of a buddy cop film.

So the partnership was sure to be a fun one.

The first test of the pairing came when Wade was given out LBW and reviewed it immediately. Disappointing for fans that he didn’t confer with Maxwell before doing so. Especially if Maxwell had told him to save the review for, say, Pat Cummins.

Still, the pair went on to add 82 for the sixth wicket, with Michael Clarke opining in commentary that the partnership would mend fences between the pair. And, hey, if anybody knows what’s needed to bring an end to a feud between players it’s Michael Clarke, who famously ended his career on perfect terms with everybody.

Maxwell’s eventual dismissal for 60 took his average for Australia since he returned from being dropped against the West Indies back in June to 135.5 at a strike rate of 167.

That’s not a joke, by the way. They’re his genuine stats.

Pickle Juice
Grade: A-

Matthew Wade downs pickle juice during the Australia v Pakistan First ODI 2016-17

Matthew Wade downs pickle juice during the Australia v Pakistan First ODI 2016-17

But even after he left the crease, Maxwell’s influence was still felt, as his score of 60 left Wade with enough incentive to go on and surpass his nemesis. He did so, making a century with the tail as Australia scrambled to 9/289.

So determined was Wade to surpass Maxwell that he even willingly drank pickle juice when the heat threatened to overwhelm him late in the innings.

You know, just like in the famous tongue twister: A prickly keeper pocketed a pack of juicy pickle potion.

And as the Pakistan innings got under way, it seemed more players needed to be contemplating the pickle juice. Like the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan, players from both sides struggled to handle the conditions, with Pakistan captain Azhar Ali retiring hurt with an injured hamstring and Australian debutant Billy Stanlake being forced to leave the field, apparently with heat stroke.

Sill, to be fair, the professionally tall Stanlake had been far closer to the sun than everybody else.

Tedious Chases
Grade: D-

After the carnage of the opening overs, the game slowly meandered its way to a predictable finish as Pakistan trudged their way to a final total of 176.

I’ll be honest. I found it much funnier when Australia played those ODIs in South Africa with bowlers who had only the vaguest inkling of what they were doing. Maybe it’s just me, but ruthlessly defending 270 in a tedious fashion is much less entertaining than comically failing to defend 370.

Still, congratulations to Australia on their win, and, in particular, to the man of the match, that jar of pickle juice.

(Originally published at http://www.theroar.com.au/2017/01/14/the-liebke-ratings-australia-v-pakistan-first-odi/)

Australia v Pakistan - Third Test Ratings
Australia v Pakistan - Second ODI Ratings

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