Honours were even in the mini Twenty20 tournament between England and Australia. The Englishmen claimed the first Twenty20 International by one wicket with Chris Woakes scoring the final required run off the final ball of the game. No one England player did anything spectacular but it was enough to claim victory with the English bowlers restricting Australia to 157 – 4. The second Twenty20 International went to Australia who had a solid innings to post a total 147 – 7; Aaron Finch was the backbone of the innings scoring an unbeaten 53. England didn’t have enough time to match the Aussies this time with Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood going for a combined seven runs. Woakes was there again at the end finishing on 11 not out but didn’t have enough remaining overs to score the final run again, unless he clobbered it for six of course! The Aussies beat the Englishmen by four runs in another thrilling game! The first ODI didn’t go so well for England; losing the game by six wickets, Shane Watson was the difference maker for Australia finishing his innings on 161 not out to help surpass England’s 294 all out. England lost the game because of too many single figure scores registered, notably Trott, Morgan and Yardy, never mind still five more one day internationals to go; plenty of time remaining in the series!
Despite Bradley Wright-Phillips being back in Plymouth after failing a medical at Reading, Peter Reid elected to not playing the leagues top scorer in the return match with Oldham at Home Park and the result; another loss. This time the scoreline was 0 – 2 to Athletic to complete the league double over Argyle, again Argyle lacking in ideas in front of goal. Oldham on the other hand looked creative and put away their chances; you’d think that Athletic were the home side. This loss means that the Pilgrims slip back to 17th place ever closer to a relegation berth! Next up is MK Dons away at Stadium MK; can Plymouth claim a win after three losses on the bounce; as much as I love my home town team, it’s hard to think positively about the Pilgrims at this time!
Liverpool could only manage a 2 – 2 draw with Everton in the Merseyside derby at Anfield. Liverpool went in at half time with a 1 – 0 lead courtesy of Raul Meireles but found themselves behind seven minutes after the half time interval. Sylvain Distin scored immediately after half time to level the scores and Jermaine Beckford put the visitors into the lead on 52 minutes. Dirk Kuyt levelled the scores again from the penalty spot on the 68th minute and that’s the way it stayed, a point a piece leaves both clubs just four points away from the drop zone!
Update [18/01/2011 12:23]: While on the subject of Liverpool; two stories about Ryan Babel. Firstly the Dutchman got into hot water with the Football Association for a post he made on Twitter linking to a mocked up photo of referee Howard Webb wearing a Manchester United shirt after Liverpool were knocked out of the FA cup from the penalty spot. Babel was fined £10,000 for the post he made on the popular social networking site. Personally I believe that the FA have overstepped it’s ground, a person, regardless of who they are have the right to express an opinion, it’s scary that we live in a world where you can’t express an opinion without fear of recriminations. Secondly, a day after the Dutchman was fined £10,000 for the offending Twitter post; Liverpool announce that they have agreed a deal with German side Hoffenheim for Ryan Babel. I question the wisdom of that decision as Babel is a proven goal scorer, often coming on late in the game to score the winning goal, Liverpool need all the goalscorers they can get at this time; the Reds are currently only four points away from a place in the bottom three berths.