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Gilcrist shines in historic super-sub One-Day match

Gilcrist shines in historic super-sub One-Day match

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Adam Gilchrist struck a sublime century as Australia claimed the third and deciding NatWest Challenge match with a mammoth eight-wicket win at The Oval, United Kingdom, Tuesday. ##M[more]##

Chasing England’s 228-7, the visitors won with 15.1 overs to spare on the back of Gilchrist’s 101-ball 121, a knock including two sixes and 17 fours.

England’s total would have been worse if not for the 93-run stand between Kevin Pietersen and Vikram Solanki.

Solanki, subbed on for Simon Jones, made 53 and Pietersen an 84-ball 74.

It was a fine advert for Pietersen’s Ashes hopes, but worryingly for England he left the field in the third over of Australia’s run-chase with a groin problem.

Australia, with batsman Simon Katich as their substitute, were quick to put England in after winning the toss.

The early loss of Marcus Trescothick, caught for a duck to become Brett Lee’s 200th one-day victim, and remarkably tight bowling from Glenn McGrath had England on the defensive from the outset.

Scoreless off McGrath’s first 27 balls, England should have been two down on his 28th only for Jason Gillespie to drop skipper Michael Vaughan in the deep.

And England were given another boost next over when Gilchrist dropped Andrew Strauss’s top-edged pull.

It was Jones’ dismissal, with the score 93-6, which prompted England to weaken their attack and substitute Simon Jones for Solanki.

The move worked to the extent that Solanki’s seventh-wicket union with Pietersen – an England record against Australia – spared home blushes.

Pietersen, faced with such adversity, played a fine innings that started with requisite caution and grew in authority.

Included in eight boundaries was an audacious front-foot hook off Gillespie, while the first of two sixes saw Kasprowicz end up over the rope having pouched a stunning one-handed catch.

Gillespie, capping a definite return to form, soon got his revenge when stopping Pietersen in his tracks with a deft slower ball which rattled middle-and-leg.

Solanki, second fiddle to that point, tried to carry on where Pietersen left off, driving Gillespie to the long-on fence next over.

He received good support from Ashley Giles (25 not out), but both were made to work hard with McGrath and Lee excellent at the death.

The suspicion that 228 for 7 would be insufficient was quickly reaffirmed in electrifying fashion by Australia’s openers, who raced to 45-0 after five overs.

Matthew Hayden, returning from a shoulder complaint, took Darren Gough for three fours in an over, and Adam Gilchrist bettered that by one in Steve Harmison’s next over.

Gilchrist sauntered past his previous best score against England this summer (42) with an array of attacking shots, highlighted by a two huge sixes off Ashley Giles. Only Flintoff (0-34) was able to restrict the freewheeling Aussie.

The breakthrough came when Gough, back in the attack, had Hayden caught behind for 31.

But that only brought Ponting to the crease, and on the back of his century at Lord’s he confirmed With the score on 222-2, David Shepherd, umpiring in his final international match, performed his signature ‘Double Nelson’ one last time.

SCOREBOARD

England Innings

M E Trescothick c M S Kasprowicz b B Lee 0

A J Strauss c A C Gilchrist b M S Kasprowicz 36

M P Vaughan run out 15

K P Pietersen b J N Gillespie 74

A Flintoff c A C Gilchrist b M S Kasprowicz 5

P D Collingwood c A Symonds b J N Gillespie 9

G O Jones c M S Kasprowicz b J N Gillespie 1

V S Solanki not out 53

A F Giles not out 25

Extras: 2nb 7w 1lb 10

Total: for 7 wickets 228

Bowler: B Lee 10-0-46-1; G D McGrath 10-4-40-0; M S Kasprowicz 10-1-46-2; J N Gillespie 10-1-44-3; A Symonds 6-1-26-0; M J Clarke 4-0-25-0.

V S Solanki replaced S P Jones after 27.5 overs

Australia Innings

A C Gilchrist not out 121

M L Hayden c G O Jones b D Gough 31

R T Ponting st G O Jones b A F Giles 43

D R Martyn not out 24

Extras: 4nb 4w 2lb 10

Total: for 2 wickets 229

Bowler: S J Harmison 9.5-0-81-0; D Gough 4-0 -37-1; A Flintoff 9-0-34-0; A F Giles 10-0-64-1; P D Collingwood 2-0-11-0.

S M Katich replaced G D McGrath at the start of Australia’s Innings

Umpires: R E Koertzen, D R Shepherd

England: M E Trescothick, A J Strauss, M P Vaughan, K P Pietersen, A Flintoff, P D Collingwood, G O Jones, A F Giles, S P Jones, D Gough, S J Harmison, V S Solanki (sub)

Australia: A C Gilchrist, M L Hayden, R T Ponting, D R Martyn, A Symonds, M J Clarke, M E K Hussey, B Lee, J N Gillespie, M S Kasprowicz, G D McGrath, S M Katich (sub)

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