England lose amid Stokes controversy

By Ryan Moran

  • England won the toss and chose to field.
  • Australia 309-7, Smith 70, Marsh 64, Bailey 54 Stokes 3-60.
  • England 245ao, Morgan 85, Cummins 4-56.

London, UK – England face an uphill battle after another loss, this time overshadowed by a controversial umpiring decision.

Eoin Morgan led by example with the bat at Lords but his 85 could not stop England from falling 64 runs of their target. As England embarked on chasing what was already going to be a might feat, Ben Stokes’ controversial dismissal only hindered his side’s attempt to chase down Australia’s total.

Morgan won the toss and put Australia into bat although a delayed start meant the game was shortened by one over less for each side, rain halted play for an hour. David Warner faced an early retirement from the innings receiving an injury two balls into the game, after being struck on the thumb by a Steven Finn ball and England’s first over.

With Warner injured, a new batsman walked out to the crease. Steve Smith would have been seen as a key wicket for the Three Lions and he showed why by hitting 70 runs and building a crucial partnership with George Bailey. The pair were finally broken when Bailey was bowled by Moeen Ali with the Aussies 141-2. Smith finally fell for 70 with the visitors 171-3.

A middle order batting collapse would have helped Trevor Bayliss’ side however it never came with all the middle order scoring over 30 runs apiece. Glenn Maxwell contributed 49 before being given out LBW to Finn, Shane Watson hit 39 in less balls than runs before Liam Plunkett caught off of Stokes’s bowling. 31 balls saw Mitchell Marsh strike 64 runs past a battling home side before Stokes dismissed the batsman with help behind thanks to Jos Buttler with the catch.

Jason Roy could not produce another 67 to aid an England revival, instead scoring 31 before star bowler Pat Cummins took the wanted wicket as Matthew Wade caught behind with England 68-2. This was a blessing in disguise as in came skipper Morgan to pull the team through and add a bit of fight with his side up against it. James Taylor produced another near 50 score before Wade was called into action again to dismiss the batsman for Marsh’s wicket. Stokes was the next to enter the battle ground and that it nearly was 26 overs into England’s innings.

The all-rounder played a defensive shot back to Mitchell Starc, the bowler at the time, who threw the ball to try and run the batsman out. As the batsman dived into his crease, the ball struck his opposite hand, stopping the ball from hitting the stumps. The umpires were then faced with the decision as to whether this was a deliberate attempt at obstructing the ball or an accidental collision when regaining his ground. Stokes was given as out by the umpires who deemed it as an attempt to obstruct the ball.

England failed to recover from this with Ali, Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid all failing to score double figures. Plunkett scored a respectable to 24 to give England hope, only to fall seven overs short being bowled by Starc for England to finish on 245, 64 short of their rivals.

The ODI series continues at Emirates Old Trafford on Tuesday 8th September as England look to start their revival on this series.

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