Tait puts foot down as England crash

Fast and furious paceman clocks 100mph to allow Australia to pull away

Nothing in cricket, nothing at all, stirs the emotions like a fast bowler in his pomp. It was true when Frederick Spofforth, the Demon himself, was terrorising English batsmen at the start of international cricket more than 130 years ago and it was true again yesterday at Lord's.

Shaun Tait, from the Adelaide Hills, delivered the quickest recorded spell in the history of the game. It derailed England's innings in the fifth and final match of the NatWest Series and tingled the spines of everyone who watched. One ball was clocked at 100mph, most of the rest were above 95mph.

It went a considerable way (at considerable speed) towards ensuring Australia won by 42 runs despite a valiant England fightback led by their senior player, Paul Collingwood. The series thus finished at 3-2 after the tourists had been 3-0 down. On the balance of play it was just about the most appropriate outcome. Australia were out of the series until Tait entered it for the third match.

For four ferocious initial overs in the sunshine from the Pavilion End, his slinging action, which makes the ball seem as if it is coming from a catapult, was brutally incisive. He took the wickets of England's captain, Andrew Strauss, and their stand-in No 3, Michael Yardy, bowling both of them with frightening pace – officially 95.4 and 96.7mph.

Strauss was trying to play a regulation forward prop but the ball burst through his defences and sent the off stump on a 15-yard cartwheel. Yardy, oddly promoted because of an injury to Kevin Pietersen who was later out for a duck, made the mistake of shouldering arms two balls later to one which moved, rapped him on the pads and went on to the stumps.

If that fatally undermined England's pursuit of 278, Tait was to return later when it seemed Collingwood might be about to conjure an improbable win. Collingwood alone had stood up to Tait and taken him on, pulling him for one six and top-edging him over long-on for another. Drawing on all his bloody-minded experience, England's leading one-day run-scorer dragged his team back into the match. With Tim Bresnan he was stewarding them towards their target. But Tait, thrilling still, was brought back.

Bresnan, until then as poised as a debutante with a book on her head, pushed into the covers and set off for a single. England needed the runs; maybe he was happy to allow Collingwood to see off Tait. If so, it failed to work as Ponting made a direct hit.

With his sixth one-day hundred in view and, who knows, perhaps an England victory after that, Collingwood essayed a drive at another Tait thunderbolt. It was a mere 93.7mph but it took the inside edge of the bat and ricocheted into leg stump.

That really was that. Graeme Swann pirouetted awhile as the match concluded, striking 26 off two overs, making typically merry. But Tait fittingly ended the affair by having him caught in the covers. He had taken 4 for 48.

Tait was called up as an unlikely replacement for off-spinner Nathan Hauritz, who went home to Australia with a foot injury. He happened to be in England playing Twenty20 for Glamorgan and the Australians recognised, belatedly, he might provide the cutting edge they had been missing.

Watching his compelling bursts yesterday, it was obvious that he could have a part to play in the Ashes this winter. But Tait has withdrawn from Test cricket, citing a rickety body. The game at the top level has also played havoc with his mind before now, but what his bowling can do to batsmen's minds was evident from the faces on the England balcony yesterday.

They would, and should, have been disappointed that it came to that. They continue to insist they are a work in progress and precisely reflected their own assessment. Australia were rather let off the hook. Constrained for most of their innings, the tourists were rampant in the closing overs. From 107 for 4 at the end of the 30th, they added another 170. Most of the damage was caused when the second ball was compulsorily introduced after 34 overs.

If England muddled their bowling strategy and failed to bowl with sufficient skill or intelligence, Australia judged it perfectly. In veteran Mike Hussey and relative newcomer Shaun Marsh they found a pair who refused to panic and recognised that the closing overs can yield untold bounties.

The ball was one factor, the batting power play was another. Hussey and Marsh took it at the end of the 39th, giving them five overs to take advantage of the reimposed fielding restrictions. It was what making hay in the sun is about: Hussey made 79 from 60 balls having not struck a four until his 38th ball; Marsh made 59 off 50. It was the best batting of the day after England had bowled beautifully early on.

Neither Swann (eight overs for 32) nor Yardy (five for 19) were permitted their full allocation. Strauss's one-day captaincy is also a work in progress.

Lord's scoreboard

Australia won toss

Australia

Runs 6s 4s Bls

S R Watson c Anderson b Broad 14 0 3 26

T D Paine b Swann 54 0 4 90

*R T Ponting c Kieswetter b Broad 15 0 3 27

C L White c Yardy b Swann 20 0 2 31

S E Marsh c Morgan b Swann 59 3 4 50

M E K Hussey c Anderson b Broad 79 2 5 60

S P D Smith c Anderson b Broad 15 0 1 13

J R Hopes not out 12 1 1 3

R J Harris not out 0 0 0 0

Extras (lb 3, w 6) 9

Total (7 wkts, 50 overs) 277

Fall: 1-27, 2-55, 3-104, 4-106, 5-213, 6-263, 7-265.

Did not bat: D E Bollinger, S W Tait.

Bowling: J M Anderson 10-0-75-0, T T Bresnan 10-1-48-0, S C J Broad 10-0-64-4, L J Wright 6-0-32-0, M H Yardy 5-0-19-0, G P Swann 8-0-32-3, P D Collingwood 1-0-4-0.

England

Runs 6s 4s Bls

*A J Strauss b Tait 6 0 1 11

C Kieswetter c Hussey b Harris 11 0 1 23

M H Yardy b Tait 0 0 0 2

P D Collingwood b Tait 95 2 7 121

E J G Morgan c Marsh b Hopes 9 0 1 18

K P Pietersen b Smith 0 0 0 4

L J Wright c Marsh b Smith 21 0 1 37

T T Bresnan run out (Ponting) 34 0 5 30

G P Swann c Harris b Tait 33 0 5 21

S C J Broad c and b Bollinger 3 0 0 8

J M Anderson not out 5 0 1 4

Extras (b 4, lb 6, w 8) 18

Total (46.3 overs) 235

Fall: 1-14, 2-19, 3-44, 4-72, 5-73, 6-129, 7-194, 8-194, 9-229.

Bowling: S W Tait 8.3-0-48-4, D E Bollinger 8-0-26-1, R J Harris 8-1-38-1, J R Hopes 10-1-42-1, S P D Smith 10-0-49-2, M E K Hussey 2-0-22-0.

Umpires: Aleem Dar (Pak) and N J Llong (Eng).

T V Umpire: R A Kettleborough.

Match referee: J Srinath (Ind).

Australia win by 42 runs

England win series 3-2

Man of the Match: S W Tait (Aus).

Man of the Series: E J G Morgan (Eng).

Suggested Topics
Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Sport
world cup 2014
Sport
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Life and Style
fashionJ Crew introduces triple zero size to meet the Asia market demand
Sport
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
News
business
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice