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Mike Riley Match Report Australia vs. England, 30 January, 2023

Updated: Feb 24, 2023

The first match for Australia in the BMC Caribbean Cup 2023 was against the old foe, England.  Australia won the toss and elected to bat on a mildly damp West Indian wicket of rolled clay with grass clippings, with long boundaries and grass long enough to slow the ball quickly (only 6 fours in the entire game.)  Eric Higgins and Peter O’Reilly got us off to a good start with 27 runs in just over 5 overs when Higgins was caught behind.  The scoring rate slowed down with the introduction of spin, but measured knocks by O’Reilly (43 off 83) and Greg Hoystead (38 off 61) helped to get us to a defendable total of 142 in the allotted 45 overs.  England’s Rupert Staple was the pick of the bowlers with 3/27 off 8 overs.

In reply England started a little more slowly, reaching 20 in 8 overs before Merriman  was caught behind off Stuart Ridge.  Shortly after that spin was brought into the Australian attack, and this brought about a significant collapse of England’s batting stocks, with Riley taking 4/27 off 9 overs, and Peter Dudderidge with 2/23 off 9.  England managed to fight back with number three, Neil Braithwaite scoring a patient and strategic 49 off 98.  However England’s run rate kept climbing as the overs wound down, with very accurate bowling from O’Reilly (1/17 off 8 overs), and nerveless bowling in the last over by Dale Thornton to leave England short by 15 runs.  All four catch opportunities were taken by Australia to highlight a strong fielding effort.

England chose Mike Riley as their pick for man-of-the-match, and in return Australia nominated Neil Braithwaite for his unflustered knock, just an agonizing 1 run short of a 50.


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