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2nd ODI at Gabba: Faulkner blinder stuns England

Related Links: Carlton Mid ODI Series 2014 – Schedule | Australia Vs England, 2nd ODI at Brisbane

Eoin MorganJames Faulkner repeated what he did in Mohali a few days back at the Gabba by clinching an unbelievable victory for the Aussies against all the odds. Chasing a target of 301 on a perfect batting strip, the Aussies lost too many wickets to slip out of the game. A defeat seemed to be inevitable when the 9th wicket fell down with 57 more runs to win from just the 6 overs! Faulkner exploded right away after the fall of the 9th wicket and cleverly farmed the strike to stun England. Australia got home by 1 wicket with three balls to spare to take a 2-0 lead in the 5-match Carlton Mid ODI Series 2014.

An unchanged English side won the toss and elected to bat first in this Second ODI at Brisbane. Australia made two changes with Shaun Marsh and Mitchell Johnson coming in for Shane Watson and Xavier Doherty. England got off to a fine start of 57 in 11.2 overs before Skipper Alastair Cook was caught and bowled by part-time off-spinner Glenn Maxwell. England found itself in a soup after that losing two wickets in succession with Joe Root lbw to a late inswinger from Mitchell Johnson and Gary Ballance leaving the crease to Maxwell for a big hit but only to be stumped out.

A 60-run stand between opener Ian Bell and Eoin Morgan steadied the ship for the tourists. Although at the end of the 30th over, England was still shaky at 139 for 4 with a well set Ian Bell (68 from 84 balls with 5 fours) getting run out by Michael Clarke. Eoin Morgan changed the complexion of the English innings with a superb 6th wicket stand of 116 with Wicket Keeper Jos Buttler (49 from 36 balls with 3 fours and a six). Morgan, who was caught in the outfield early on off Michael Clarke’s left-arm spin got a second chance as the Aussies had an extra fielder outside the 30-yards-ring. The 27-year-old Eoin Morgan went onto crack his 6th ODI century, finishing with a brilliant knock of 106 from 99 balls with 4 fours and 6 sixes. England with a total of 300 for 8 were having a great chance of posting their first victory against the hosts in this tour.

A couple of stunning catches from Gary Ballance and Chris Jordan put the Aussies on the backfoot early in the run chase. Joe Root with his smart off-breaks chipped in with a couple of important strikes to set the game in favour of England. Australia lost the plot after a well set Shaun Marsh got bowled by a Root arm ball on 55 (from 69 balls with 7 fours). The hosts lost half their side with just 120 on the board in 23 overs. An 80-run stand between Glenn Maxwell and Wicket Keeper Brad Haddin revived hopes for the Aussies again.

Tim Bresnan ensured that England were on top by taking the key wickets of Brad Haddin (26 from 35 balls) and the dangerous Glenn Maxwell (54 from 39 balls with 8 fours). The hosts slipped to 206 for 7 in the 35th over and later on to 244 for 9 when Mitchell Johnson was caught behind off Ravi Bopara.

James Faulkner, who walked in at no.9 kept his wicket intact and was determined to take the Aussies home. With last  man, Clint McKay, Faulkner swung his arms to smack five sixes to change things around. The last over was brought down to 12 runs and Faulkner eased through with three boundaries to wrap up a sensational victory. The 23-year-old James Faulkner remained unbeaten with a match-winning knock of 69 from 47 balls with 3 fours and 5 sixes.

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