I love the Prime Minister’s XI at any time but when it sets up a game against the old enemy it’s the best.
I had the great pleasure of ground announcing duties yesterday. Good fun.
The Prime Minister was very low key. As ground announcer I’m supposed to create some fanfare when our esteemed leader enters the playing arena prior to the game. In previous years I’ve seen Prime Minister’s stride with purpose onto the ground like they were late for a train and just arrived at the station.
Yesterday Mr Abbott snuck onto the ground without me noticing. He was intent on talking to as many of the players and officials as he could. When he was out in the middle, the Prime Minister chose to not take to the microphone and talk to the crowd…it was all about the cricket.
Morgan won a very important coin toss and chose to bat…and bat they did.
Moeen Ali put on a batting masterclass at the top of the order. He left Ian Bell in his wake racing to a quickfire 50 before falling at 71. Beherndorf and Cummins opened the bowling without success. Ian Bell stuck around for most of the innings assisted by the likes of James Taylor and Jos Butler. His score of 187 was the highest ever for an individual in Prime Minister’s XI history. When he was finally dismissed with just one ball remaining, it seemed the game was over.
England finished on 391. How could this young PM’s XI side get within a bulls roar of that total ? When Chris Rogers went relatively early, we all began preparing for a humiliation. It wasn’t to be.
Glenn Maxwell stood tall. He entered the fray after the dismissal of Chris Rogers and he mounted a spirited but measured assault on what had appeared to be an insurmountable target of 392. For most of the time that Maxwell was at the crease, a home win was possible. He was unorthodox but thoughtful. He raced to 130 odd in much better than even time before taking just one too many chances.
With his departure the dream was over. The youngbloods fought hard, but they couldn’t climb the mountain.
Stuart Broad got 4 wickets and the PM’s XI was bowled out in the 49th over some 60 runs short.
Bring on the World Cup games in Feb and March in Canberra.