Australia’s searing left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc seems adamant on proving his credentials in white-ball cricket as the speedster got rid of England’s hero of the last game Dawid Malan with an unplayable nut in the second ODI at the SCG. The 32-year-old provided a dream start to the Aussies, scalping two English batters in the first over of the chase.
The Men in Yellow set a competitive total on the board, thanks to Steve Smith’s enterprising 94. Marnus Labuschagne and the incoming Mitchell Marsh also chipped in with valiant fifties to propel Australia to 280 on a sticky surface. A Jos Buttler-less England were chasing a series-leveling win, however, they were rocked early by a menacing Mitchell Starc.
Australia’s veteran left-arm pacer was under scrutiny after an underwhelming T20 WC that saw him left out of the squad for their final Super 12 game. But the seasoned cricketer showcased his abilities by getting rid of the in-form Dawid Malan with a jaffa in his very first over. England’s opening batter Jason Roy, who fell to a similar corker in the series opener, fell prey to the left-arm pacer in the same over as England lost two batters for naught.
The Men in Yellow, marshaled by stand-in skipper Josh Hazlewood in the absence of Pat Cummins, dented the visitor’s hope further by reducing them to 34/3 inside the powerplay. England’s top order failed to impress for a second game running, missing their inspirational skipper Jos Buttler, who was rested for the game. Moeen Ali led the side in the absence of the explosive wicketkeeper-batter.
With the hosts in the ascendency, Sam Billings and James Vince formed a solid alliance in the middle, stitching an invaluable stand of 122 runs stand for the fourth wicket, dragging their side out of deep waters.