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Trophy ends in blazer of glory

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Alison Mitchell | 09:58 UK time, Tuesday, 6 October 2009

As soon as news filtered through that Daniel Vettori wasn't fit to the play in the Champions Trophy final, hearts began to sink at the prospect of Australia marching to victory in a one-sided contest.

The Aussies were already overwhelming favourites and New Zealand, without their captain, simply couldn't match them with bat or ball.

A total of 200-9 was always too few on a decent batting pitch and despite the fine efforts of Kyle Mills and Shane Bond with the new ball, Shane Watson showed that his match-winning, unbeaten century against England was no fluke.

Following consecutive ducks at the start of the tournament, Watson demonstrated his worth as a versatile and powerful batsman with a hard earned 105 not out, hitting consecutive sixes to bring up his hundred and win the match.

Australia have now won the last two Champions Trophies, as well as the last three World Cups and the only consolation for New Zealand was that they didn't have to wear the cream and gold blazers dished out to the champions by the ICC.

It was as if Roger Federer had infiltrated the corridors of power in Dubai. Still, a number of the Aussies seemed to like them, insisting on wearing them out over their casuals later in the evening to celebrate.

Australia receive presentation blazersICC president David Morgan helps Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting into his blazer at the end of the match

As for England, they were dealt a ruthless lesson by Australia in the semi-finals, which served to remind them that they're still a long way off where they need to be in the one-day game.

During the recent home series against the Aussies, it was the middle order which caused the most worry. Here, Owais Shah, Paul Collingwood and Eoin Morgan played the important innings in England's inspiring victories against Sri Lanka and South Africa, but again, couldn't fire in the semi-final.

When Kevin Pietersen returns, England will have a batsman who can change a game, but arguably you need two to be world-beaters.

Morgan's performances in the first two games were a huge encouragement, and I like his audacity in strokeplay, but even he struggled to hit the ball off the square in the last two matches. Shah showed again that he has the talent to play match-winning knocks; they just come around too infrequently.

Collingwood, meanwhile, equalled Alec Stewart's record of 170 one-day appearances for England, serving as a reminder of his all-round abilities as middle-order anchor, canny medium-pacer and the side's best fielder.

The biggest concern in the semi-final defeat though, was how bland the bowling attack looked. The injured Stuart Broad would have added a bit of extra height and bounce, but there was no penetration, and no bowling change gave the feeling that something was about to happen.

James Anderson had bowled exceptionally well in the first two games, becoming skipper Andrew Strauss's go-to bowler, but against Australia, even he couldn't conjure any magic.

The attitude and game plan of Strauss and coach Andy Flower is certainly to start out boldly, to attack with the bat and risk collapse, rather than nudge and nurdle conservatively, which has dogged so many of England's one-day performances in the past.

It's not going to work every time, but with the right players and the right mindsets, it might work more than it fails.


  • Comment number 1.

    I still cannot believe that we beat them to win the Ashes. We got lucky and no mistake.

  • Comment number 2.

    Wafty jacket. Just as well no-one was watching hey Punters?

  • Comment number 3.

    England were dealt a lucky break with Brett Lee missing the Ashes. He showed during the ODIs in England and in this tournament what a destructive bowler he still is. A fit Lee during the Ashes probably would have made the difference.

    As soon as New Zealand won their semi Australia's name was on the cup. It's a shame Pakistan never made it to the final. Pakistan at their best would have given the Aussies a run for their money.

    Re: the above photo, for some reason the programme 'What Not to Wear' comes to mind....

  • Comment number 4.

    Ponting - 'Wake me up when this fashion nightmare ends mate'

    Green, Gold and Cream - Lillee & Thomson must've been laughing their heads off - Camp Australia!

  • Comment number 5.

    1. At 10:56am on 06 Oct 2009, gingerboy99 wrote:
    I still cannot believe that we beat them to win the Ashes. We got lucky and no mistake.

    Got to disagree - totally different game and how can you "get lucky" in a 5 match series?

    Australia had their chances and England had theirs and the team who made the most of their chances deservedly won.

  • Comment number 6.

    Looking at those Jackets reminds me off Liverpool in the 1995 FA Cup final.

    Both sets of the players look ridiculous.

  • Comment number 7.

    Aussie performed well, but kiwis also showed great effort.

  • Comment number 8.

    "I still cannot believe that we beat them to win the Ashes. We got lucky and no mistake."

    Yes and we were incredibly lucky that our best batsman was injured for most of the series....

    Now, in 2005, we were increidbly lucky that McGrath trod on a ball, but that's a different story!

  • Comment number 9.

    I think there's an element of luck in many sporting victories. The Ashes was closely fought and incredibly entertaining. England need to work on the ODI team for sure but just because they've had a poor end to the summer doesn't mean the Test side was suddenly rubbish in the Ashes.

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    Wouldn't "Trophy ends in a blazer glory" be a better title?

  • Comment number 12.

    I'm hopeless! I ended the semi-final feeling sorry for Pakistan & the final feeling sorry for NZ - especially minus Vettori.

    As for the jackets, maybe the V&A will be interested in a few years. I'd keep them "sale-white."

  • Comment number 13.

    Comments like "England were dealt a lucky break with Brett Lee missing the Ashes" are frankly ridiculous.

    Lee was struggling so much for form at the time that it was far from certain he'd have got in the Aussie XI even if fully fit.

    In any sport you can only beat the opposition that's put in front on you so give England some credit for once. I wonder if Aussie bloggers are today saying how lucky they are that Fred and KP didn't make this tournament for England and that Vettori missed the final? Doubt it.

  • Comment number 14.

    It is always tedious putting up with cheap anti-Australian jibes and anti-Oz bias in the commentary, so it was a relief to hear the Sky studio team yesterday give due credit to the outstanding performance by Ponting and his team. It was a pity that the TMS 3rd team yesterday could not match this. And, Alison, it was disappointing you showed your less than objective feelings in this post:-

    "As soon as news filtered through that Daniel Vettori wasn't fit to the play in the Champions Trophy final, hearts began to sink at the prospect of Australia marching to victory in a one-sided contest."

    Whose hearts began to sink? Yours, obviously, NZ supporters obviously, but not many others - except those with an implacable anti-Oz bias.

    Given the history of ODIs no-one seriously thought the final would be a walk-over like the semi against England: even that - although feared - was not actually expected, given England's most recent form. The NZ opening bowlers kept the result in doubt way into the heart of the Australian innings: well done New Zealand, but above all congratulations to Australia.

    Perhaps England will learn that you need class batsmen for success at the highest level in ODIs. You do not need whiff-bang mediocrities plucked from the counties just because they can play some unorthodox shots and, with the help of today's bats, get to or over the boundary with much less skill than they used to require.

  • Comment number 15.

    There was no way England were going to beat the Aussies after the ODIs in England. It's nothing to do with ability, just confidence. They did better than I thought they would do in SA, and fourth is a creditable performance. Those arguing that Australia would have won the Ashes if Lee had been fit are ignoring England's injuries. If Lee, Pietersen, and Flintoff had all been fit, we would have beaten them much more easily. Personally, I'm just happy England seem to have ditched Bopara at last. Please don't bring him back for the Tests!

  • Comment number 16.

    It serves Pakistan right for prefering Australia to India as their semi-final counterparts.

  • Comment number 17.

    "As soon as news filtered through that Daniel Vettori wasn't fit to the play in the Champions Trophy final, hearts began to sink at the prospect of Australia marching to victory in a one-sided contest."

    That is a curious tone for a column...I read it expecting a nice objective analysis and find the usual green eyed monster in the forefront.

    As an Aussie, I was saddened that Vettori missed the final. He is a fantastic bowler and I believe an excellent captain. It's not as satisfying to beat an opposition not at full strength.

    But congratulations to the Kiwis. Given their losses to injury through the tournament they achieved a lot reaching the final. Their opening bowlers were superb. If the change bowlers were able to maintain the same pressure then I believe it would have been a much closer match in the final overs.

    Watson is showing a maturity as a player I hadn't expected before. He deserves his moment in the sun.

    As to England? Well some above posters have said it already regarding their batting style in ODI. Too many reverse sweeps and manufactured shots and not enough concentration and focus.

    I believed they profitted through the Ashes due to some curious errors on Pontings part. That said, they deserved to reclaim the urn at the end of the day. They made the most of the opportunities presented and well done.

    I look forward to the Eng v SA series.

    And congratulations Aus on winning the Champion Trophy again!

    Alison, I hope you found something to lift your heart out of the doldrums, given that Australian sporting excellence (even when England is not the rival team) and a deserved victory for them seems to be such a downer for you. lol.

  • Comment number 18.

    With interlopers like Bopara, the future of English cricket is bleak! Good riddance!

  • Comment number 19.

    I do feel that some people are perhaps misunderstanding the tone of the comments here.

    I also was very disappointed that Dan Vettori was missing and feared a Aussie walkover. Not because I wanted Australia to lose, simply because as a netural a one sided final was not an exciting prospect, nor did this decent tournament deserve one.

    No anti Aussie bias, just desire to see an exciting game.

  • Comment number 20.

    CNB....well okay, if you insist, she wasn't really being that biased. ;)

  • Comment number 21.

    At least England's 6-1 thumping by the Aussies back in Blighty was by the best ODI team in the world. And at least England showed in South Africa that they can beat the best in the land when inspired. BUT, we cannot rely on the middle order of Shah or Bopara while Morgan shows promise and Collingwood, once more, has just about redeemed himself.

    The good news is (!), we play the Aussies again, next year in England, in a 5 match ODI. Hopefully, we will have Pietersen back along with a fit Freddie and perhaps, Trott at No.3 with Cook as an opener.

    We have a year to show that England can improve and therefore offer Australia a far better challenge during 2010.

    Meanwhile, one has to pinch oneself to realise England won the Ashes. But what a fantastic, exciting and wonderful pinch it is!

  • Comment number 22.

    Agree with CNB (#20). I've got every respect for the Aussies and think their achievements in ODI competitions are remarkable. I had no bias as to who I wanted to win the final (if anything, I'd have supported the Aussies because I was watching with my Kiwi mate) but was disappointed that DV was out because - as Alison said - it increased the chances of a one sided final.

    Its not bias lads. Surprised that Aussie men are so sensitive though - thought you were meant to be made of tougher stuff than that ;-).

  • Comment number 23.

    "As soon as news filtered through that Daniel Vettori wasn't fit to the play in the Champions Trophy final, hearts began to sink at the prospect of Australia marching to victory in a one-sided contest."


    Lighten up Aussie fans, most of us were downheartened by the news because we wanted to see the best possible match, only the Aussies were actually happy about him being out.

  • Comment number 24.

    Who wouldn't want such a draw? You get into a tournament with a bunch of untested characters and your first match is against a hapless West Indies with all key players absent.After scrapping through,you face India also without their key batsmen and to save your day,rain washes out the match ,forcing you to share points.Then there is the small matter of getting one run off the last ball against Pakistan ,otherwise meeting the erratic but all foo familiar England in the semi finals and injury hit Kiwis in the final makes for an ideal scenario to finish it off.There you are!not only have you successfully defended your trophy but you have also become number one in the world again.It is now a small matter of proving your status in seven one day matches against India that you have to worry, but that is in the future ,otherwise done deal.

  • Comment number 25.

    The Aussies were outstanding in the tournament. England weren't bad, but when the pressure was on ie it really mattered, they faltered badly. I thought thy were lucky in Ashes, lucky with weather in first test, and got some fortunate decisions from umpires throughout (as they did in 2005). Yes they missed England's best south african in KP, but had the second best south african in J Trott.
    England are too reliant on they're big players eg KP, Flintoff (career averages not exactly top of the tree) and until they are more consistent as a team they will always struggle.

  • Comment number 26.

    Hello - thanks for reading my blog - and for all your comments...

    No anti-Oz bias intended whatsoever. All neutrals at the ground just wanted to see the best contest possible, befitting of a tournament final, and, as several of you have stated, that was always going to be Australia against a New Zealand side which included Daniel Vettori.

    Congratulations to the Aussies though!

  • Comment number 27.

    Congratulations to the winners. Though defeated in the finals NZ played attractive cricket throughout the CT.

    Dr. Cajetan Coelho

  • Comment number 28.

    Who won?

  • Comment number 29.

    Australia. Who'd have guessed it?

  • Comment number 30.

    Congratulations to the Aussies; they've proved that they're the best one-day side in the world, and within a couple of years, I expect them to be number one in the test stakes again as well.
    England WERE lucky to regain the Ashes: lucky that the Australians were in a state of re-building (the likes of Hilfenhaus, North and Hughes will be much-improved, and wiser, players the next time we meet them); lucky that three England players (Strauss, Broad and Swann) were able to make consistent batting contributions, masking the inconsistencies and inadequacies of the rest of the order; lucky that the vast majority of poor umpiring decisions went in their favour; lucky with the toss when it mattered most eg, Lord's; and lucky with the conditions at times.
    In one-day cricket, England, it seems, can still only pull off the odd victory 'on their day' - and here, their lack of class batsmen is highlighted.

  • Comment number 31.

    Heh the lady is just earning a crust- she can't help being somewhat jaded as her storyline fades into predictability. "Aussies trounce Poms"- it happens with regularity, England fail so many times in sporting events due to the fact they believe in their intransigent right to succeed over their former colonies- their indefatigable belief in their public school system to produce world class sportsmen and their class system entrenched governing body's abilities to define the rules and regulations of a bygone age in their favor. Get yourself a sports academy, an independent governing system, and a press that actually believes you can win and your on the path world dominance. A little bit of self belief and obstinate determination leads to great things. In the meantime, it was a honour to see an under strength kiwi side step up to the plate and take it to the wire with the same grit we seem to see in sides from south of the equator year after year. England would do well to employ another 9 South Africans to bring their squad up to standard- not arrogance - fact.

  • Comment number 32.

    Off Topic:

    Why is the BBC not featuring new blogs. The same old, stale articles have been hanging here monotonously for weeks. ???????????


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