Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

DEFEAT NOT END OF WORLD FOR ENGLAND; the Super Series Has Been Canned after Australia's Crushing Win over a World XI but the Form of Flintoff and Harmison Bodes Well for This Winter

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

DEFEAT NOT END OF WORLD FOR ENGLAND; the Super Series Has Been Canned after Australia's Crushing Win over a World XI but the Form of Flintoff and Harmison Bodes Well for This Winter

Article excerpt

Byline: WAYNE VEYSEY

STUART MacGILL and Shane Warne ripped out the cream of the world's batting talent to fire Australia to a cathartic 210-run victory in the one-off Super Test in Sydney today.

The two leg-spinners bowled beautifully on a pitch almost hand made for their talents.

But the World XI showed once again that a group of players cobbled together for a fortnight were never going to match the desire and team spirit of Michael Vaughan's Asheswinning team.

And so disappointing was their performance that ICC officials have i m m e d i a t e l y shelved plans to stage another series in 2009.

Chief executive Malcolm Speed said: "When we set this series up the question we asked was can a team of champions beat a champion team and I think we saw the answer comprehensively.

" There were many things about this that were under our control and we very happy about those things but the performance of the team was not under our control and we share the players' disappointment at their performance."

Two Englishmen, Andrew Flintoff and Steve Harmison, and Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan, emerged with most credit among the visitors from this spurious fixture. Flintoff grabbed seven cheap wickets to show that he still has the upper hand over the Aussies and smacked 50 entertaining runs in his two innings.

Harmison bowled perhaps even better than he did for most of the Ashes series, taking two of his four wickets in the match with superbly disguised slower balls.

Their continued good form bodes well for England's three Tests in Pakistan next month when the heat, pitches and off-field entertainment are sure to be unfavourable, although they will be licking their lips at facing a considerably weaker batting line-up.

Looking further ahead, the next Ashes series should provide a more even contest than we have seen over the last few weeks as the motivated Baggy Greens have convincingly brushed aside their all-star opponents in three one- dayers and this Test. …

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