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Joyce makes hundred as England hit form against Aussies
February 02, 2007 13:41 IST
Ed Joyce completed his maiden one-day international hundred on Friday to help England post 292 for seven against Australia, their highest score of the tri-series.
Irish-born Joyce made 107 and Ian Bell 51 as England kept alive their slim hopes of making the playoffs with the imposing score from their 50 overs at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
The tourists need to beat Australia and win their last match against New Zealand to make the finals and gave themselves a real chance of completing the first leg with their best batting performance of the series.
They were helped by an unusually sloppy performance by the Australians, who dropped several catches and bowled 19 wides, with debutant Shaun Tait the worst offender with nine.
Joyce, who was called into the squad when Kevin Pietersen broke a rib earlier in the series, was dropped by Tait on six then again by Andrew Symonds on 59 but survived to record his first hundred.
The 28-year-old struck 10 boundaries in his 142-ball innings to easily surpass his previous high score of 66 and lay the foundations for England to rack up their best score of the series after making just 110 in their last match against Australia.
Joyce shared a 111-run partnership with Bell for the second wicket after the pair came together when opener Mal Loye was dismissed following a nasty head knock.
Loye needed three stitches to close a gash in his chin after being hit in the face by paceman Glenn McGrath but X-rays cleared him of any broken bones.
The 34-year-old opener called for medical treatment after ducking into a bouncer and although he decided to continue batting, he was out for 29 from the next delivery he faced.
Bell was also dismissed by McGrath after reaching his fifty off 58 balls, triggering a minor collapse that saw six wickets tumble for 105.
Andrew Flintoff promoted himself up the order but made only three while Andrew Strauss threw his wicket away for 26, Paul Nixon went cheaply for four and Jamie Dalrymple was run out for 30 after a mix-up with Ravi Bopara.
Australia, unbeaten in the series and already assured of a place in the finals, suffered a setback just before the start of play when captain Ricky Ponting failed a last-minute fitness test and was replaced by Brad Hodge.