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Ashes 1989 - The Worst Aussie Team Ever - Part Two

  • Ashes 1989 - The Worst Aussie Team Ever - Part Two

Texaco Trophy Series


After the initial skirmishes of the tour it was time for Border’s team to get a taste of the England team in the one-day international series. 

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These were days when English cricket still didn’t really take one-day internationals seriously, which is odd since they’d competed in two of four World Cup Finals contested thus far.  These were also the days before administrators had cottoned on to the profit to be derived from ODI series and so before every test series in England there was a three match ODI competition to the played out.  By 1989 Texaco had replaced Prudential as the sponsors.  The games were a series of three matches of 55 overs per side played over five days.   This was the first time these two had met in since the World Cup Final in 1987.

England v Australia, First One-Day International, Old Trafford, Manchester, 25th May 1989

The first match was at Old Trafford where England handed a debut to wicket-keeper Steven Rhodes.  David Gower captained the side for the first time since the West Indian tour in 1986.  He opened with Graham Gooch and scored a fluent 36 before Rackemann had him caught behind by Healy.  Gatting was then out cheaply for 3 as Waugh had him caught by Boon with the score at 70-2.  Allan Lamb joined Gooch and the two put on 55 before Gooch was out for 52 caught by Jones off Border who only bowled 4 overs yet picked up a vital wicket, as he had done in the World Cup Final.  Lamb and Robin Smith put on 36 before Lamb was bowled by Lawson for 35 and then Botham came and went for the addition of just 6 runs.  Lawson got him as well and when Alderman returned to take a caught and bowled chance off Smith (35) England were now 179-6.  Rhodes first innings in international cricket was ended by Lawson for just 8 and when Waugh had Pringle lbw for 9, England were struggling at 203-8.  Emburey managed to reach double figures before Rackemann bowled him and then De Freitas and Foster managed to push the total onto 231-9 at the end of the innings. 

Just shows you how different one-day cricket is these days with a score of 231 from 55 overs and England had scored just 13 boundaries and 1 six.  Lawson had picked up 3-48 with Alderman and Rackemann the most economical.

Australia had to score at little more than four-an-over but started badly as Boon’s purple patch in one-day matches ended.  He was bowled by De Freitas for 5 with just 8 on the board.  Foster then took the wickets of Jones and Border and the Aussies were stuttering at 17-3.  Marsh and Waugh put on 47 before Marsh (17) fell to Emburey and then Waugh became De Freitas’ second victim for 35.  Tom Moody and Mike Veletta took the score along to 115-5 but the innings fell away as the England bowlers squeezed the runs dry.  They were eventually all out for 136 off 47.1 overs when Botham bowled Rackemann.  Botham, who’d turned himself into a very tight one-day bowler, was one of five England bowlers who all went for less than 3-per-over with Foster and Emburey taking 3 wickets each and England had won the first match of the series by 95 runs.


England v Australian, Second One-Day International, Trent Bridge, Nottingham, 27th May 1989


Trent Bridge, Nottingham, was the venue for the second match two days later.  Australia made one change from Old Trafford and brought in Tim May for his first ODI, replacing Mike Veletta.  Veletta had played in all eight of the games to now, yet averaged just 12.15 with the bat and had only bowled two overs.  May certainly offered more with the ball, and possibly would match his form with the bat!

England were unchanged and elected to bat after Gower had won the toss again.  He opened with Gooch, making good progress before Alderman had Gooch caught by Dean Jones for 10.  It certainly wouldn’t be the last time Alderman took Gooch’s wicket that summer.  Gower was then bowled by Waugh for 28 which brought Gatting and Lamb together.  The two added 62 for the third wicket before Tim May took his first ODI wicket, bowling Gatting for 37.  He followed this with enticing Robin Smith down the pitch for Healy to whip the bails off, and when Botham was run out for 8, England were 138-5.  Pringle then came in and worked well with Lamb, who reached his fourth ODI century, off 105 balls.  The pair added an unbroken partnership of 88 to take England to 226-5 at the end.  May had been the best of the bowlers with 2-35 from his 11 overs.

Boon and Marsh put on their customary half-century opening partnership before Botham bowed Boon.  This was an innings where Australia stayed in touch throughout with regular partnerships.  Marsh (34) and Jones (29) both fell to the spin of Emburey, before Border and Waugh put on 37 for the fourth wicket to take the visitors past 150.  Border was caught behind off Pringle for 39 and when Moody was run out for 10 Australia still needed 52 with five wickets in hand.  It was a poor piece of judgement which did for Moody and suddenly England thought they had a way in.  Waugh and Healy then put on 31 for the sixth wicket before there was another run out, but one which would have repercussions for the game.  Healy slipped turning for a second run and left Waugh stranded.  Waugh’s innings of 43 off 61 balls was at an end but Healy had hurt his knee in the process and asked Gower for a runner.  Out came one of the fastest men in world cricket, Dean Jones.  Waugh and Healy looked to have put Australia in a winning position but the wicket lost them momentum and with Healy now hampered things seemed to swing England’s way again.  Unbelievably, Healy soon forgot he had a runner as he scampered 2 runs, almost outpacing his runner.  Gower was not amused and sent Jones back to the pavilion leaving Healy to deal with his injury on his own.  Lawson then went with eight runs still required and then they needed six off the final over.  This lead them down to 2 runs required off the last ball.  Rackemann, facing his first ball, failed to make contact but when Rhodes threw the ball at the stumps and missed, Healy saw his opportunity and scampered through for a bye to tie the game.  As Australia had lost more wickets, Healy’s actions were irrelevant as England were awarded the game to take an unassailable lead in the series.


England v Australia, Third One-Day International, Lord’s 29th May 1989


The third match at Lord’s was another close contest.  England were again unchanged but Australia were forced into a change with Healy’s injury, but rather than revert to the other keeper in the squad, Zoehrer, they brought back the resourceful Veletta who took the gloves.  For the third time in succession, Gower won the toss and chose to bat and again he and Gooch got them off to a good start.  They put on 123 for the first wicket before Gower was caught behind by Veletta off Moody for 61.  Gooch was playing one of his finest ODI knocks for England and Gatting helped him add 57 for the second wicket.  After Gatting was run out, Lamb was lbw to Alderman first ball and England appeared to stutter at 182-3.  But Smith added 57 with Gooch before being bowled by Rackemann for 21.  Gooch was eventually bowled by Alderman for a wonderful 136, which back then was a good score in an ODI.  He faced 162 balls hitting 11 fours and England were 266-5.  Botham played a thrilling cameo innings hitting 3 fours and a six off 11 balls for his 25.  They posted a challenging 278-7 in the end with Alderman returning figures of 3-36.

These days teams see five-an-over as a piece of cake but back then it needed concentration and someone in the chasing team to score big.  Boon began brightly but fell for 19 and when Jones went for 27 they were 84-2.  These were the days when one-day matches still had lunch and tea breaks and Emburey came on just before the tea interval and after hitting him down the ground, Jones chipped the next one to Gower at mid-off and he was gone.  Enter the captain, Border, with his team needing to score at 6.76 per over.  He was confident from the start, stroking his first ball to the cover boundary for four.  He and Geoff Marsh put on an entertaining 113 for the third wicket before Border was bowled by Pringle for 53 off 46 balls.  When Border went they still needed to score at more than 7 per over.  Waugh continued in the same vein with 35 off 32 balls during which time Marsh was dropped in the deep by Emburey whilst trying to push on.  With six overs to go they still needed 51 to win and 39 was still needed off the last four overs.  Marsh’s 100 came off 156 balls before Waugh then hit a couple of sixes off Foster to push the score on.  The target was down to 11 runs off 10 balls but then Waugh went for another big hit only to be caught by Gooch at cow corner off Foster.  Moody then hit the winning runs.  Marsh played exactly the type of innings which was required, 111 not out off 162 balls hitting 7 fours and a six.  They won with just three balls remaining for a consolation win but at least it might give them some momentum for the test series to come.




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