Games in cricket don’t come much bigger than when England play Australia, the rivalry is immense, in a sporting sense of course. England have taken their fair share of white washes from the antipodean’s over the years much to the delight of the men from down under but now the boot was on the other foot.
England had the chance to inflict their first whitewash over Australia ever, leading the 5 ODI series 4 – nil, so it was an important game for both sides, more important for England obviously but would you want to be in the first Australian side to be whitewashed by England, err, NO!! Australia simply don’t lie down and wait to be beaten no matter how depleated their side is of it’s play makers.
At a packed Old Trafford in Manchester, the sun beat down from clear blue skies meaning lots of contrast to deal with which is where shooting raw always helps. Armed with my 2 EOS 1DX cameras and my L series lenses I sat myself down in front of the media centre ready for play to start. Australia started well but the spin of England’s Moeen Ali proved to be the start of a collapse that saw Australia lose all 10 wickets in 28.2 overs with a total of 205 for England to chase.
England started poorly, Australia were in the driving seat and had England on 27 for 4 and the game looked like heading for an anti-climax, not what anybody wanted including the photographers. What was needed now was a local hero to come in and win the game for England on his home turf and make a wonderful story for the journalist’s to write about and we photographers to record a moment of pure drama, this test match would have everything in the end. Jos Buttler, Lancashire wicket keeper playing on his home ground started to play an innings of such maturity and began to steer his side towards the possibility of winning the game but the wickets still kept tumbling which left England needing 92 runs with only 2 wickets left. Adil Rashid played a fantastic innings along side Jos, but just when you thought this pair would steer England to glory, Rashid lost his wicket which left England staring down the barrel of defeat again.
Jake Ball came to the crease and immediately played to keep his wicket and give Buttler the strike to win the game. Buttler hits a massive 6 which eased the pressure immesurably and brought Buttler his more than deserved century, brilliant!! Buttler then hits the winning runs with a boundary and the gathered barmy army in Old Trafford cheered with delight as England and the brilliant Jos Buttler win their first white wash against Australia. The celebrations were great, the story marvellous, simply marvellous, you win sometimes in this job. It was both a privelidge and a delight to be there to witness this great sporting spectacle. Bring on the cricket world cup next year, England I feel have a good chance on home turf to make yet more fantastic memories.
On the gear front, I used my 2 Canon EOS 1DX cameras along with the marvelous and favourite long telephoto lens, the EF500mm f4L mkII & EF1.4 mkIII converter, the equally marvelous EF 70-200 f2.8L IS mkII and the 24-70 f2.8L IS mkII lens. All proved to be more than up to the task of recording this wonderful moment in English cricketing history.