Saturday, 5 September 2015, 03:22pm
Australia set testing target for England in second ODI at Lord's
Half-centuries from captain Steve Smith, George Bailey and a third in just 26 balls from Mitch Marsh helped to do the trick in a total of 309 for seven in this second one-day international, which has been shortened to 49 overs each after a delayed start because of morning drizzle.
England fell short in the chase at the Ageas Bowl two days ago and will need to bat better to level the series at 1-1 with three more to play.
The tourists, put in, had to contend with lateral movement off the pitch against the new ball and also lost David Warner retired hurt to just the second delivery of the match from Steven Finn, a short delivery which hit him on the left thumb.
Smith (70) was therefore in the equation early, and he and Joe Burns did not panic as Finn and Chris Woakes both ensured a testing passage of play.
The opener missed a drive at Finn and was bowled off and middle. But Smith, back at the scene of his Test double-century this summer, found a new ally in Bailey (54).
The second-wicket pair put on 99 in under 20 overs, but neither went on significantly after passing 50.
Bailey fell in the first over from Moeen Ali, making room to force into the off-side off the back foot but bowled leg-stump by an off-break which turned sharply.
Smith would also go to spin, Adil Rashid at the nursery end, when he miscued an attempted drive at a leg-break and was caught at backward-point.
Australia were nonetheless, as in Southampton, seeking to keep wickets in hand, and this time they managed it better.
Just as Glenn Maxwell was eyeing his opportunity to backload the innings, though - having hit two sixes and a four from the last three balls of a Moeen over which cost 19 - he aimed a full delivery from Finn to leg and had to go lbw one short of his 50.
Eoin Morgan kept Moeen on for two more overs and his last was again very costly, another 19 coming off it as Marsh (64) and Shane Watson climbed in with the maximums.
Marsh, promoted above Matthew Wade despite the latter's man-of-the-match batting last time out, had licence to attack and did so emphatically, as he and Watson muscled two sixes each in a stand of 63 from 44 balls.
Ben Stokes (three for 60) picked up late wickets but 96 runs still came in the last 10 overs.
Warner, meanwhile, is to have an X-ray on his thumb and was not fit to field.
Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2015, All Rights Reserved.
Steve Smith top-scored again at Lord's for Australia