Australia v England – Fifth ODI Ratings

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at 2018.01.29
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The final match of the ODI series between Australia and England was held at Perth’s exciting new Optus Stadium, with England winning by a dozen runs to take the series 4-1.

Here are the ratings for the fifth ODI between Australia and England.

New Stadia
Grade: A-

Most of Channel Nine’s pre-match show was spent informing everybody about the new stadium and why it was better than the WACA in every way. Mitchell Johnson and Zoe Goss presented the balls to the umpires. Official team photos were taken for posterity. Anthems were sung with much gusto.

Almost as an afterthought, Mark Nicholas was forced to mention that an ODI would be taking place as part of Channel Nine’s stadium-opening coverage.

Astonishingly, however, the stadium managed to live up to the extraordinary hype. The very first ball bowled was smashed almost to the long boundary allowing England to complete an all-run four.

Later, the very first wicket taken was overturned thanks to a Mitchell Starc no ball.

Any stadium that can have its first ever runs be a boundary that wasn’t and its first ever wicket be a dismissal that wasn’t is doing something right.

Glenn Maxwell
Grade: C-

One of the other highlights of the new stadium was that it heralded the return of Glenn Maxwell to the Australian team. Interestingly, Maxwell has, through a combination of injury and time travel, played in the first ever ODI at every ground in Australia. So, in a way, we should have expected this.

With England exploding out of the blocks at nine runs per over, the match also looked perfectly poised for Maxwell to make the first ever ODI triple century in a chase that agonisingly fell seventy runs short.

Indeed, knowing Maxwell, he’d achieve this, then defy the foundations of mathematics itself to somehow concoct a last-gasp series win for Australia.

Andrew (AJ) Tye
Grade: A-

Maxwell’s opportunities for a triple century were severely curtailed (although not invalidated) by the England innings decelerating to a spluttering 259 all out. The main culprit for this was Andrew (aka AJ) Tye, who took a five-wicket haul.

It wasn’t all Tye, of course. Alex Hales, who’d been dismissed by Pat Cummins four times in sixteen balls over their respective careers, spotted the resting quick wandering around the boundary edge. He immediately panicked, stumbled and fell onto his stumps.

And while this, technically, wasn’t out, he was dismissed a short while later to Mitchell Marsh. Maxwell took the catch, as last year’s player contract negotiations require.

But apart from that, and a few other dismissals to Mitchell Starc and Adam Zampa, it was Tye doing the damage. More specifically, it was Tye’s ‘knuckleball’, which the commentators mentioned incessantly.

Despite the best efforts of Michael Slater – nicknamed ‘Slats’ after his unusual hobby of providing foundational support in beds – the knuckleball remained a mysterious beast. Fortunately, if you’d like to know more about knuckleballs, a quick web search will locate an excellent instructional CCTV video featuring one of the best cricketers in the world – Mr Ben Stokes from England.

Streakers
Grade: C+

England’s score of 259 was about par, based on history at the ground. And it looked even better for England when Tom Curran yorked David Warner for just 15. The best part of the dismissal was Warner staring at the end of his bat as he left the field, as if the bottom third had been sawn off by a ne’er-do-well sporting a nefarious moustache.

Stadium-improving streaking during the Fifth Australia v England ODI 2017-18

Stadium-improving streaking during the Fifth Australia v England ODI 2017-18

Marcus Stoinis strode to the crease as Australia’s new number three batsman. He went on to make 87 from 99, despite the distracting twin efforts of Travis Head failing to make his ground taking a quick single and a streaker emerging onto the field.

It was, in fact, difficult to tell which Head was run out better – Travis or the streaker’s penis.

But it didn’t matter. One hundred percent of games at this new stadium have now had a streaker.

Best. Stadium. Ever.

Tom Curran
Grade: B+

Steve Smith was stumped soon after, solidifying his spot as the worst ODI batsman since Bradman. Moeen Ali caught and bowled Marsh, prompting palindromic exclamations of ‘OMG, Mo!’.

This brought Maxwell to the crease and, despite the lack of a cartoon goose to calibrate his sixes, he and Stoinis put on a 56 run partnership before both were dismissed within three runs. Tom Curran caught Stoinis in the outfield before trapping Maxwell LBW.

Curran, bowling with fire, reverse-swing and a haircut that’s difficult to endorse, then had Mitchell Starc caught behind for a duck. Moeen got rid of Tye for eight and Australia suddenly needed 57 from their last two wickets. A Zampa-Paine partnership – proposed cute portmanteau ‘Zampaine’ – got Australia within 24 of victory. But the Paine-Hazlewood partnership – cute portmanteau to be advised – couldn’t knock off the remaining runs.

Curran finished with five wickets and got England home, giving them the series 4-1.

Still, easily the best game I’ve ever seen at Optus Stadium.

(Originally published at http://www.theroar.com.au/2018/01/29/liebke-ratings-australia-vs-england-fifth-odi/)

Australia v England - Fourth ODI Ratings

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