Senior Sports Editor
IT’S being called the “Suffocation in Salford,” or the “Meltdown in Manchester.”
Australia, somehow, crashed from a position of absolute strength to a stunning and painful defeat.
The second ODI showdown between old rivals, Australia and England, on Sunday provided just about everything a cricket match can be expected to deliver.
And, at the end of the contest, the World Champions were triumphant.
How the hosts won it, or how the visitors lost it, is something that will be debated for a long time.
Of course, there is still the unfinished business of the series decider, set for tomorrow.
And, for a long time on Sunday, that match appeared set for just academic interest, with the men from Down Under, firmly in charge of the game on Sunday.
First, they reduced England to 149-8 before they, somehow, allowed the hosts to find a way to get a par score, they could defend, by posting 231-9.
Then, in reply, the Aussies appeared to be flying home, at 143-2 before a sensational collapse saw them bundled out for just 207 to lose by 24 runs.
Fast bowler Jofra Archer, the man who was born in the Barbados and has transformed himself into an English cricket star, was named man-of-the-match for his 3-34 from 10 overs.
But, he wasn’t the only pick, from the old empire, to star for the English in their sensational comeback victory.
Two former Zimbabwean schoolboys, whose late father is one of the domestic game’s legends, Tom and Sam Curran, played a big part in the win over England’s biggest rivals.
First, Tom’s quick-fire innings of 37, off just 39 balls, helped England rally from 149-8 and, working in tandem with Adil Rashid, they dragged their team to past the 200-run mark.
Tom hit five boundaries as they took the attack to the visitors.
Then, with the ball, his brother Sam, took 3-35 in his nine overs as Australia collapsed to 213/9.
Chris Woakes was the other star, with the ball, with his 3/32.
At one stage of the Aussie reply, Tom and Sam were bowling from either end.
Two years ago, the duo became the first brothers to play in the same England side, in about 20 years, during the fifth and ODI against Sri Lanka.
Adam and Ben Hollioake had been the last brothers to play for England, again against Sri Lanka, in February 1999.
The Hollioakes played seven ODIs together, and one Test, during the 1997 Ashes.
Ben was killed in a car accident in Australia at the relatively young age of 24.
Before the Hollioakes arrived on the scene, the two brothers to play in the same England side had been Peter and Dick Richardson in 1957.
During the 1892 Test match between England and South Africa in Cape Town, three Hearne brothers, two featuring for the English and one for the hosts, featured in the game.
Alec and George Hearn were in the English side while their brother Frank represented the South Africans in that Test.
At 25, Tom, is the older of the two brothers.
Although he was born in Cape Town, he went to school at Springvale House in Marondera and St George’s College in Harare.
During his Test debut, he appeared to have ended the hopes of Aussie opener, David Warner, to power to a century only for television replays to show that he had sent down a no-ball.
If he was disappointed, he was in good company, with the magical Ben Stokes and Mark Wood, also being denied a maiden Test wicket by a no-ball.
And, his maiden Test wicket was a big one, Aussie great, Steve Smith.
His younger brother, Sam, was born in Northampton and also went to Springvale and St George’s College.
He represented the Zimbabwe Under-13 cricket team at the 2011-12 CSA Under-13 Week tournament.
Their father, Kevin, was a genuine all-rounder and played for the national team at the ’83 and ’87 World Cup.
He died in 2012, after collapsing while jogging, in Mutare.
His sons are carrying his legacy in English collours.
“At the end of the day England were just too good. England scored 81 runs in the last 10 overs, which wasn’t ideal,” Australia captain, Aaron Finch, told Sky Sports.
“It was getting more difficult as the match went on but that’s no excuse for the collapse. It probably wasn’t the greatest viewer match but it was good to see an equal match between bat and ball.”
England bowler Woakes said having an express bowler like Archer was a bonus for the team given he can strike, anytime, to change the game.
“It’s great to have someone like Jofra Archer in your team because when you’re up against it you can give him the ball and you get that little bit of X-factor from him, which is brilliant.”