12/04/2022
Australia Legends provided wholesome entertainment to the decent crowd present here at the Shaheed Veer Narayan International Cricket Stadium as the Shane Watson-led side defeated England Legends by 6 wickets in the last league match of the Road Safety World Series 2022.

Chasing a decent target of 161, Australia Legends reached home in 13.4 overs with 38 balls to spare as Brad Hodge finished the match in style for his team. This win will give huge confidence to the Aussies ahead of their semi-final match against India Legends within 24 hours.

Imperious batting efforts from (43 off just 13 balls), Hodge (33* off 16 balls) and Shane Watson (47 off 26) made the run chase look like a walk in the park for the Aussies.

In the run chase, Watson exploded from the word go and the Aussies posted 57 in five overs for no loss. Jade Dernbach, however, drew the first blood for England when he got Alex Doolan caught by James Tindall for 11 on the first ball of the sixth over. However, Dunk – who was promoted at number three – cleared his intentions by smashing the right-arm medium pacer for two maximums and as many fours on the next five deliveries.

Aussies were motoring along in the run chase but leg-spinner Stephen Parry (3/30) struck three times to keep his team’s chances alive. He first dismissed Watson (47) and Callum Ferguson (0) off successive deliveries in the eighth over and then clean bowled Dunk to end his dangerous knock for 42. But the Aussies had a lot of batting left and Parry found no support from the other end.

The duo of Reardon (17* off 16) along with Brad Hodge (33* off 16 balls) shared an unbeaten stand of 52 runs off 28 balls and took their team home. With 17 required off 42 deliveries, Hodge finished the game by scoring the remaining runs in just four balls in the 14th over bowled by Schofield.

Earlier in the day, having won the toss, England captain Ian Bell elected to bat first. The opening pair of Phil Mustard and Dimitri Mascarenhas was off to a decent start as they shared a stand of 58 runs for the first wicket.

In the eighth over, Jason Krejza struck twice in a space of two balls and sent England openers Mustard (34 off 24) and Mascarenhas (19) in the dugout. With the openers dismissed, Aussie bowlers pulled things back and staged a comeback.

Captain Bell was clean bowled by Nathan Reardon for 13 and English were three down in 11 overs with 81 runs on the board. Darren Maddy (34 off 23) and Rikky Clarke (18 off 11) shared a partnership of 42 runs for the fourth wicket in quick succession before Reardon castled their stumps in the same over.

Later, cameos from Chris Tremlett (16 off 12), James Tindall (10* off 5), and Chris Schofield (9* off 10) helped the Men in Red post 160 for six in 20 overs. Krejza (2/28) and Reardon (2/24) were the pick of the bowlers for Australia.