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Australia vs. England, O60 Big Man Cricket Caribbean Cup final 10 February 2023

Updated: Feb 24, 2023

The scorecard can be found at [](, under Cricket West Indies Masters Association (CWIMA)

The venue was the historic Barbados test ground at Kensington Oval. The privilege of playing on such a storied ground was icing on the cake in this competition to players on both teams. The outfield was, understandably, huge, the grass uniform and tightly mowed, and the pitch was flat and firm. A perfect venue for the top two teams of the tournament. Australia had played strongly and consistently through the five games of the minor round, beating all teams, including England, and looking to repeat their first round result. England had the one loss – and were intent on avenging that loss to Australia.

England won the toss, and had no hesitation in batting. The English openers saw the Australian opening bowlers off, only for Merriman to fall to Dudderidge’s off-spin, with a comfortable catch in deepish gully with the score at 34 off ten overs. The large outfield was quite quick, with the boundaries either sloping down from the square or at least level, so good shots were rewarded. Grant and Braithwaite settled in and motored along at an average of almost five runs an over until Thornton had Grant caught behind on a well-earned 54, at 93 runs off 22 overs. Just three overs later Douglas was run out by a sharp piece of fielding by Thornton, with only 18 added to the score. That brought Gordon-Lennox to the crease with the score at 3 for 111, with some 20 overs left. Dudderidge continue to bowl tightly, and soon had Braithwaite LBW after a useful 34. Dearden (7 off 9) was caught behind off O’Reilly, and Butterworth (9 off 12) was caught by Thornton off Ridge. At that point, 36 overs and 175 runs on the board, Gordon-Lennox teed off on the attack, blasting 6 sixes and five fours, although he had luck go his way several times. He was eventually caught off Riley to a brilliant diving catch by Miller at cow corner, with the score at 224 off 43 overs. Caunt batted confidently to take the score to 236 before being run out by substitute fielder Bougoure. Riley took the last wicket on the last ball – after having bowled a contentious wide the previous ball. England put up a healthy 239, which was thought to be a reachable score.

Both teams were invited to the Presidential Suite at Kensington Oval for a wonderful lunch spread. On the way upstairs we passed Sir Gordon Greenidge, sitting like an unassuming spectator in the stands! He chatted amicably to a number of the players before we headed upstairs where we were greeted by Sir Wes Hall signing his book for players. Cricket royalty indeed!

Australia started solidly, with Higgins and O’Reilly going along at 4 runs an over until O’Reilly (21 off 36, with four superb 4s) was removed by a smart leg-side stumping, overbalancing and lifting his back foot slightly. Thornton, Officer and Hoysted fell rather quickly, so the score was now 4 for 70 after just over 20 overs. The required run rate at this stage had escalated to 7 runs an over – still doable, but with England having five fielders right on the long boundaries it was becoming more of a strangle. Higgins batted superbly, but some eight or nine of his powerful sweep shots went straight to the sweeper on the leg side boundary, and a similar number of signature cut shots went either to point on the sweeper at deep backward square. Fatigue had crept in, and he fell finally for a well-earned 53 off 84 balls, all with only four 4s, having pushed the score to 107 with 5 wickets down and only 17 overs to go. The asking rate had climbed to 8 runs per over. Richardson and Miller tried to push the score along, with Miller falling for 6 at the end of the 33rd over with the score on 129. Twelve overs and 111 need at over 9 runs an over. Dudderidge joined Richardson, and they pushed aggressively, scoring 37 in the next four overs at the elevated asking rate, and giving hope to the Australian supporters. But such aggressive batting against the English field meant taking risks, hopefully calculated, but both Richardson (40 off 44 with only two 4s) and Dudderidge (12 off 12) fell on the same score, followed by Ridge on the same score of 156. The asking rate had ballooned to 11 runs per over at that stage. The Australian wicketkeeper, Orlando, pushed aggressively but sensibly, ending up 11 not out off 8 balls, including one booming six over cow corner, until Riley was bowled attempting a pull shot to the vacant region behind square leg, ending the Australian chase on 168 in the 39th over. Three of the English bowlers took three wickets each.

Australia’s choice for England’s man-of-the-match was easy, with Ed Gordon-Lennox with a power-hitting display of 74 runs off 55 balls. England nominated Australian captain Eric Higgins for his fine 53.

So despite coming in second to England, all the Australian players enjoyed their time in Barbados, bonding as a group and performing solidly the entire tournament. Credit to England for coming back strongly after their first match defeat.

As something of a consolation, Australian players featured in several top-5 categories in the tournament:

Batting: #5 Glenn Richardson, 165 runs at an average of 82.5

Bowling: #1 Mike Riley, 12 wickets at 8.83 off 33.3 overs

Fielding: #2 Claude Orlando, 5 catches, 2 stumpings and 2 run-outs from fielder throws.

Player rankings: #2 Stuart Ridge, 880 points

#4 Archie Dudderidge, 675 points

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