Birthday boy Martyn makes Australia’s day

Jaipur, October 21:

Damien Martyn celebrated his birthday with a fluent half-century under pressure to script Australia’s crucial six-wicket win over England in the Champions Trophy here on Saturday.

Martyn, who turned 35 on Saturday, scored a solid 78 as Australia overcame a triple blow to surpass England’s modest total of 169 with 13.1 overs to spare to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals.

Australia were reeling at 34-3 before Martyn restored their fortunes with a quality knock to ensure the superb efforts of Shane Watson (3-16) and Mitchell Johnson (3-40) did not go waste.

England are virtually out of contention after suffering their second successive defeat in the four-team Group A. They will take on the West Indies in their last league game at Ahmedabad on October 28.

India and the West Indies have one win apiece from one match, and Australia one victory from two games. The top two sides advance to the semi-finals.

Australia lost Adam Gilchrist (10), skipper Ricky Ponting (one) and Watson (21) in the space of four runs. Sajid Mahmood grabbed two wickets and James Anderson one before their team ran into Martyn.

The Australian middle-order batsman added 118 for the fourth wicket with Michael Hussey, who played a supporting role with an unbeaten 32. Australia were indebted to Watson and left-arm fast bowler Johnson for restricting England.

England looked like setting a stiff target after being put in to bat when Andrew Strauss (56) and Ian Bell (43) added 83 for the opening wicket on a slow track. Ten wickets then fell for 86 runs, with Watson and Johnson each taking three and veteran fast bowler Glenn McGrath two. Wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist brilliantly supported his pacemen with five catches, including his 350th in one-day internationals.

Paul Collingwood (22 not out) and last-man Anderson (15) were the other batsmen to reach double-figures in a dismal England batting performance.

Watson provided the breakthrough with his second ball when he had make-shift opener Bell caught by Hussey in the cover. His dismissal was the beginning of the end of England’s innings. England suffered a twin setback when free-stroking batsmen Kevin Pietersen (one) and Andrew Flintoff (four) fell in quick succession to leave their team wobbling at 110-3.



A Strauss c Gilchrist b Symonds 56

I Bell c Hussey b Watson 43

K Pietersen c Gilchrist b Johnson 1

A Flintoff c Hussey b Watson 4

M Yardy c Gilchrist b Watson 4

P Collingwood not out 22

J Dalrymple c Ponting b Johnson 3

C Read c Gilchrist b McGrath 0

S Mahmood c & b Bracken 8

S Harmison c Gilchrist b Johnson 1

J Anderson b McGrath 15

Extras: 12 (3lb, 3w, 6nb)

Total: 169 (45 overs)

FoW: 1-83, 2-84, 3-110, 4-115, 5-125, 6-135, 7-136, 8-150, 9-151

Australia bowling: Lee 9-3-25-0, Bracken 8-0-38-1, McGrath 9-1-36-2, Johnson 10-0-40-3, Watson 7-0-16-3, Symonds 2-0-11-1


A Gilchrist b Mahmood 10

S Watson b Anderson 21

R Ponting c Strauss b Mahmood 1

D Martyn c Read b Harmison 78

M Hussey not out 32

A Symonds not out 8

Extras: 20 (b 4, lb 5, w 6, nb 5)

Total: 170/4 (36.5 overs)

FoW: 1-30, 2-34, 3-34, 4-152

England bowling: Anderson 9-2-31-1, Mahmood 10-0-57-2, Harmison 4.5-0-45-1, Yardy 10-1-18- 0, Dalrymple 3-0-10-0