The finale of the three-match ODI series between Australia and England at Old Trafford on Wednesday exceeded expectations of cricket enthusiasts.
Both teams provided spectators with a nail-biting encounter as the game swayed from one end to the other, throughout its entirety.
At first, it was the visitors who were at the driving seat after losing the toss. Australian bowlers reduced England to 96/4, with the loss of Jos Buttler‘s wicket.
Jonny Bairstow (112) and Sam Billings (57) resurrected the England innings with their pivotal partnership of 114 runs.
The Aussies managed to break the dangerous partnership and threatened to restrict the hosts below 270.
But Chris Woakes, Tom Curran and Adil Rashid provided the finishing blows to take England across the 300-run mark.
Woakes remained unbeaten with his 53, which came off just 39 deliveries. He smashed six boundaries during his quickfire knock.
Shot of the Day
In the final over, while facing Josh Hazlewood, Woakes amazed one and all with an audacious shot.
In the first ball of the over, Woakes anticipated a full-length delivery and shuffled across in order to play the ramp in the fine-leg area.
Moreover, Hazlewood tried to outsmart Woakes by pitching the ball way outside the off-stump. As it turned out, Woakes double-bluffed Hazlewood and cheekily nudged the ball in between short-third man and wicket-keeper. Thereby, completing a ridiculous stroke, especially for a batsman often criticized for not being suitable for the shorter format.
The shot even left master-improviser, Buttler bemused, who appeared delighted in the dressing room.
Sky Sports analyst Mike Atherton, on the mic, reckoned that Woakes planned to execute the ‘dummy’ shot all along. But his colleague contradicted Atherton’s statement by claiming that ‘Woakes’ at the last millisecond, changed his mind‘.
Here’s the video:
Genius from Woaksey 👀
We set Australia 303 to win.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) September 16, 2020
Coming back to the game, defending 303 and reducing Australia to 73/5, England still had to face a three-wicket defeat.
Glenn Maxwell (108) and Alex Carey (106) put on a brilliant show to bring back their team into the game and helped Australia seal the series by 2-1.