Till lunch the match seemed evenly poised. The introduction of the captain, AJ Ball, into the attack eased the pressure on the Australian batsmen. The pull shot by Head off Ball had resounding effect. Twice, Australia tried to mount a counter-attack and both the times the batsman trying to do it was dismissed. Jamie Overton, exchanged a few words with Patterson after being swatted for a boundary and delivered the perfect riposte- an away swinger pitching just outside the off stump. That was the last wicket that England got. Australia got away on account of a tactical blunder by England. England did not bowl Jamie Overton immediately after lunch, thus allowing Bosisto to secure up one end.
In the morning session, both Paris and Steketee got their first wickets with deceptive inswingers. While Paris foxed Drummond with a fuller delivery, Steketee disturbed the woodwork as Foakes left it alone thinking it would swing away. Sandhu offered no respite with his height. He bowled short pitched deliveries that troubled Kapil a lot. As impressive as his bowling was the fielding at fine-leg. He pulled off a couple of brilliant saves. England never had a partnership going. They made an attempt at it twice, only to be set back by wickets.
Turner’s spell was crucial as England seemed comfortable with the leg spinners of Cassell. His arm-ball was a treat to watch today. His dismissal of Wood would have made the best practitioners of the art nod in approval. This was the basic difference today between the teams- the approach. Once Australia got the wicket of Kapil, they wanted to finish the innings off. Bosisto didn’t hold back his best bowlers. He might have given a thought to the fact there were seven overs of Casell left but he wanted to dismiss the remaining batsmen.
Craig Overton was the only batsman who offered some resistance. His innings was marked by his stubborn refusal to get onto the backfoot. Almost all of the 81 deliveries were faced with frontfoot plonked hard. He played an innings similar to Bosisto in terms of strike rate but not in terms of the effect it had on the opposition. Where Overton concentrated on keeping his wicket from falling, Bosisto concentrated on rotating the strike. The fact that Bosisto didn’t get his first boundary till he reached 26 is a pointer to his ability to rotate the strike.
Bowlers from both the sides looked very good, good enough to knock on the selector’s doors in the coming years. Topley, Jamie Overton, Paris, Steketee, and Sandhu all impressed in their own way. Topley’s dismissal of Peirson is something that will be remembered for a long time to come. It was a Yorker that Peirson played all over and had the middle stump broken into two. Australian bowlers, in particular seem confident about displaying their wares. The confidence would’ve stemmed from the fact that Cummins was selected to represent the national team. McDermott is making his presence felt in the junior team too. The opening bowlers bowled the fuller length, the length that Pattinson, Siddle, and Hilfenhaus perfected last summer.
With their next match scheduled against Nepal, Australia would want to improve their batting. England, on the backfoot would want everything to come together for them, including winning the toss.