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The Ocean’s XI Series: The Final Test

on 12/09/2011

 

Umpires: M. Freeman, C. Eastwood

The George Clooney XI: G. Clooney, A. Banderas, R. Crowe, B. Pitt, R. Pattinson, J. Depp, A. Kutcher, H. Grant, P. Brosnan, C. Farrell, D. Craig.

The Matt Damon XI: M. Damon, B. Affleck, D. Day-Lewis, R. Downey Jr, J. Foxx, W. Smith, T. Cruise, B. Kingsley, E. Norton, D. Washington, M. Clarke-Duncan.

 

The George Clooney XI and the Matt Damon XI arrived this week at the Los Angeles Cricket Ground for the final match in this two-test series. The series winner takes home £10million, donated by Daniel Radcliffe. In his pre-match interview, Clooney expressed almost an over-confidence being already 1 nil up, including his usual mind games,

“Failure is not an option for us. We came here knowing that we’d be taking home that money. Matt’s an old friend of mine and his team have come very close a few times but our depth and talent has just proven to be too much for them. Our lower-order batting has been firing recently. The boys have been nagging to move up the order!”

Matt Damon however, chose not to retaliate to Clooney’s boasts,

“We’re one nil down but we’re going to play this match as if it’s still nil-nil. The £10 million might be out of our grasp but the £5 million split isn’t!!

The LACG was packed to the rafters within 30 minutes of the gates opening with all 80,000 tickets being sold. The tension throughout the ground was immense. They were silent for the coin toss, which Damon won to rapturous applause from the 15,000-strong Good Will Hunting fans. He chose to bat this time, stating he would not make the same mistake again like when he put Clooney in to bat first during their previous match.

************************

Damon and Affleck started the innings with gusto, sending a message to Clooney that they were not going out without a fight. Brosnan and Farrell proved expensive resulting in the reaction from Clooney of introducing the spin of Hugh Grant pretty early. This proved to pay off as opener Affleck was caught by Banderas for 35 off the bowling of Grant.

Captain Damon was next to go for 65 off 111, dismissed by Craig who’s wayward bowling was lucky to get him a wicket. Robert Downey Jr. failed to make an impact, also falling to Craig for 3, Craig shouting to him as he walked off,

“Can’t believe you got out to my pies, mate!”

Umpire Morgan Freeman was not impressed with this outburst and Craig was later fined 25% of his match fee.

At 146-3, Daniel Day-Lewis stepped up for the first time this series. He hit 9 fours in his 58 runs, prompting Clooney to try something different and giving Russell Crowe 6 overs. Crowe eventually had him caught by Keeper Kutcher.

Jamie Foxx was unlucky to fall 5 runs short of his half century after being removed by Brosnan. All-rounder Smith however pushed on to score 102 from 132 balls eventually succumbing to a Daniel Craig LBW, with the score at a respectable 418-6.

Wicket-keeper Tom Cruise provided excellent support to Smith scoring 85 himself before getting caught and bowled by Farrell. Hugh Grant was brought back on by Clooney and removed the last wickets for just 27 runs, leaving Michael Clarke-Duncan not out on 15. Damon’s team had posted the competitive total of 477 on a very two-paced wicket.

The Matt Damon XI 1st Innings

Batsman

M Damon   b D Craig 65 111
B Affleck c A Banderas b P Brosnan 35 64
D Day-Lewis c A Kutcher b R Crowe 58 99
R Downey Jr. c A Kutcher b D Craig 3 5
J Foxx c A Kutcher b P Brosnan 45 108
W Smith lbw b D Craig 102 132
T Cruise c and b b C Farrell 85 149
B Kingsley lbw b H Grant 15 35
E Norton c A Kutcher b H Grant 10 28
D Washington st A Kutcher b H Grant 2 6
M Clarke-Duncan not out   15 27
Extras   25nb  1w 1b 15lb 42  
Total   all out 477  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bowler

 

O

M

R

W

P Brosnan

32.0

2

131

1

C Farrell

32.0

3

122

1

D Craig

24.0

4

97

3

H Grant

29.0

4

102

4

R Crowe

6.0

2

9

1

 

Clooney admitted before their first innings that they would not get complacent as they were already one-nil up in the series. A two-nil whitewash was what they would be aiming for.

Edward Norton however had different plans of how this innings was going to pan out. Banderas could not deal with his swing and was out LBW for a 27-ball 7 runs. Crowe too had no reply to the reverse swing of Clarke-Duncan and was LBW for 1. Pitt was next out for 1 also to an in-swinging yorker off Norton.

Clooney’s team were ‘up the creek’ in the words of David Lloyd on commentary on 22-3, still 455 runs behind. Clooney himself could not stick around much longer and was caught by Downey Jr. for 27 off another Norton in-swinging yorker.

Robert Pattinson and Johnny Depp provided a little more resistance but were dismissed on 36 and 45, respectively, leaving them faltering on 157-6.

Questions of a follow-on were being thrown around with Clooney’s men still needed another 121 runs to avoid it, with only 4 wickets remaining.

Despite his excellent bowling in the first innings, Grant failed to add to the total, falling to Clarke-Duncan for a first-ball duck. 6 runs later, Kutcher was bowled by Smith for 27. Farrell lasted 5 runs but Brosnan was the one who fought to the end and showed the batsmen how to successfully face swing on that wicket, top-scoring with 47 from 44 balls, which included 3 massive sixes.

The George Clooney XI were all out for 218 and this the follow-on was enforced by Damon.

The George Clooney XI 1st Innings

Batsman

G Clooney c R Downey Jr. b E Norton 27 59
A Banderas lbw b E Norton 7 27
R Crowe lbw b M Clarke Duncan 1 6
B Pitt lbw b E Norton 1 3
R Pattinson lbw b D Washington 36 53
J Depp c B Affleck b M Clarke Duncan 45 66
A Kutcher c B Affleck b W Smith 27 36
H Grant c R Downey Jr. b M Clarke Duncan 0 1
P Brosnan c R Downey Jr. b M Clarke Duncan   47 44
C Farrell   b M Clarke Duncan   5 7
D Craig not out   3 9
Extras   16nb  1w  2lb 19  
Total   all out 218  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bowler

 

O

M

R

W

D Washington

9.0

1

48

1

E Norton

15.0

3

70

3

M Clarke-Duncan

14.1

4

44

5

W Smith

11.0

1

54

1

 

The win for Clooney and his team was looking unlikely at this point and you could see from the batting that they were happy playing for the draw. Clooney himself dug in hard allowing Banderas to play a little more flamboyantly. This plan failed however when Banderas holed one out off the bowling of Will Smith for 26 off 41 balls.

Crowe came in and batted positively also in support of his captain. Unfortunately for Clooney, the spin of Kingsley was just too great and he was caught at silly point for 61 off 112 balls.

To add salt to the wound, Crowe who was cruising along nicely was run out on 48 by substitute fielder Joaquin Phoenix, who was on for an injured Michael Clarke-Duncan. Crowe, who had had a ‘run-in’ with Phoenix earlier in the year in Rome, yelled up to Damon balcony on his way back to the dressing room, shouting about Clooney’s constant, ‘unnecessary’ use of specialist substitute fielders. This single act of petulance would later see him docked 75% of his match fee.

Brad Pitt could only add 13 to the score but Pattinson and Depp proved harder to shift for Damon. Pattinson eventually succumb to Norton’s swing for 56 off 170 – probably the slowest innings he had ever played in his life. Kutcher added on 11 before a stunning LBW from Norton. Depp also dug in with a 59 off 183 balls.

The George Clooney XI tail-enders were determined not to make the run-chase easy, and scored some valuable lower order runs. Grant’s was probably the most significant. He fell to his counterpart, spinner Kingsley for 45 of 42 balls. Washington soon removed Farrell and Craig, leaving Brosnan stranded on 26 not out. Any other day 387 would be a competitive score but given the follow-on circumstances, it meant that the Matt Damon XI needed only 129 runs to win the Test.

The George Clooney XI 2nd Innings

Batsman

G Clooney c R Downey Jr. b B Kingsley 61 112
A Banderas c B Kingsley b W Smith 26 41
R Crowe c run out   48 89
B Pitt c T Cruise b W Smith 13 30
R Pattinson c T Cruise b E Norton 56 170
J Depp lbw b D Washington 59 183
A Kutcher lbw b E Norton 11 11
H Grant st T Cruise b B Kingsley 45 42
P Brosnan not out   26 39
C Farrell c T Cruise b D Washington 19 26
D Craig   b D Washington 4 16
Extras   14nb 1nb 4lb 19  
Total   all out 387  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bowler

 

O

M

R

W

E Norton

27.0

7

72

2

M Clarke-Duncan

4.0

0

15

0

D Washington

30.0

5

93

3

W Smith

29.0

4

83

2

B Kingsley

28.0

3

107

2

R Downey Jr.

6.0

2

12

0

Clooney set a very attacking field right from the start of the run-chase. It wasn’t so much about slowing the rate, as 129 is not a lot to play with. It was about taking wickets. This resulted in all the top 3 batsmen which included Damon, Affleck and Day-Lewis being bowled cheaply by Hugh Grant. At 57-3, the pressure seemed to be getting to them.

Brosnan was next in the wickets column removing the next 3 batsmen in order, Downey Jr., Foxx and Smith. Grant then claimed Cruise as his fourth and Damon’s team were faltering on 116-7. They were only chasing 129 but Clooney’s bowlers were proving a potent force under pressure.

The pressure however was not too great for tail-enders Kingsley and Norton who managed to hit the remaining 13 runs, winning the match for the Matt Damon XI. Damon and his team, who had been sitting on the edge of their seats on the balcony watching their teammates, rushed the field in excitement. The Ocean’s XI Test Series was drawn.

 

The Matt Damon XI 2nd Innings

Batsman

M Damon c R Crowe b H Grant 27 22
B Affleck c R Pattinson b H Grant 23 37
D Day-Lewis c A Banderas b H Grant 0 6
R Downey Jr. c C Farrell b P Brosnan 3 20
J Foxx c A Kutcher b P Brosnan 23 34
W Smith   b P Brosnan 26 34
T Cruise c C Farrell b H Grant 3 13
B Kingsley not out   7 17
E Norton not out   8 13
Extras   5nb 4lb 9  
Total   all out 129  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bowler

 

O

M

R

W

P Brosnan

12.0

0

51

3

C Farrell

2.0

0

19

0

H Grant

13.5

2

31

4

D Craig

4.0

0

24

0

 

During the match presentation, it was explained that the £10 million prize money would be split 50/50. Both Captains Clooney and Damon agreed that they would be donating the entire £10 million to charity.

The match was played with a phenomenal amount of both passion and aggression, as most of the matches are between these two rivals, but all the players were in good spirits after the match and looking forward to their next encounter. This heated series saw both teams tasting blood, and there is no doubt that the next instalment between these two will be even more tantalising…

The George Clooney XI             1

The Matt Damon XI                  1

SERIES DRAWN


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