Running Scared

Ausfailure Nil

Unlike serious sports websites like which offer expert analysis of Ausfailure’s sporting bed-sh!ts it’s just fuggen wrong to see other websites making fun of the craparse form of the former penile colony.

Ausfailure’s dire sh!theap sports teams are a serious problem and it’s not
a good look to see people poking fun at the loser nation as a result.

England look irresistible with Ponting’s men running scared

By Stephen Brenkley, Cricket Correspondent

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Australia will recognise the species if not the position. There are
millions of gum trees around their country and right now they are up

They have arrived in this uncomfortable location partly because of
their own inadequacies so far, partly because they have a depleted
team, partly because of misguided selection and partly, perhaps
mostly, because England have shoved them there.

It was always possible that England would push Australia hard this
summer but nobody would have expected two such emphatic victories in
three days. England have won both matches by four wickets, the first,
upholstered with one of the most glorious of one-day hundreds by Eoin
Morgan, with 24 balls to spare, the second with 28 left.

These are hammerings in limited-overs cricket and, although they may
be, in some respects, just more one-day matches in another series,
they are also being played less than a year before the World Cup. And
there are already dark mutterings that, if this is the best the
Aussies have to offer, what really is the point of the Ashes?

It would be characteristic of the Australians’ spirit for them now to
come back and win the NatWest Series 3-2, starting tomorrow in
Manchester. But they have shown scant sign so far of being equipped to
do so in any department and, if the bowling has been especially
insipid, the batting has lacked its usual assertion.

England, by contrast, have looked like a team who know what they are
doing, which has not been a familiar state of affairs for around 20
years. They have had their moments in that time but these have tended
to slip away quickly, wills o’ the wisp. Now it is different, as Paul
Collingwood averred yesterday.

Collingwood is now not only England’s most capped one-day cricketer
but also their leading runs scorer in this form of the game. Nobody
anywhere could or would have predicted those two milestones for the
boy from Shotley Bridge when he started out nine years ago.

But at Sophia Gardens on Thursday night, in his 179th match, nine more
than Alec Stewart, Collingwood, when he scored his 33rd run in his
innings of 48, also overhauled Stewart’s one-day runs record and now
has a total of 4,693.

“It was a huge surprise to me when they announced it and I think there
were quite a few Australians out there who were even more surprised
than me,” said Collingwood. “It put a smile on my face. I think
milestones and records are things you look back on at the end of your
career, but to know you have scored more runs in one-day cricket than
any other Englishman is a lovely feeling.

“It’s not only the amount of runs but it means you’ve played a lot of
games for England. Alec Stewart was a great player and sometimes you
have to pinch yourself to believe that you’re playing for England, let
alone overtaking someone like him. It’s all a bit surreal at times. I
was thinking ‘surely not me?’ I knew I had overtaken Stewie’s number
of appearances but his runs? Are you kidding me?”

Collingwood has been around long enough to have seen plenty of false
dawns and that is why, even now, with the calibre of robust cricket
England are playing so regularly, it is important to be cautious. It
seems too much to conclude that this really could be their time. But
as Collingwood said: “This is the most exciting one-day side I’ve
played in, without a doubt. In the past we’ve gelled at certain times
but never maintained that consistently and I’ve never thought that
we’d be a great one-day side for a prolonged period. But now this team
is covering all the bases and the most exciting thing is that I
believe we can get better and better.”

England will be delighted their captain, Andrew Strauss, made a
pugnacious half-century at Cardiff, but Australia will begin to be
concerned soon that their captain, Ricky Ponting, looks to be a shade
off the pace.

The Australians’ bowling has looked short of ideas and nous so far –
they need their injured stars, such as Mitchell Johnson and Brett Lee,
back. To their woes has been added the fact that the off-spinner
Nathan Hauritz has flown home with a foot injury and been replaced by
speed merchant Shaun Tait. England have been smarter. Much smarter.

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