Australia win ODI series
Superb centuries from Australian duo Alex Carey and Glenn Maxwell has led Australia to a thrilling series win over England, winning the deciding One Day International by three wickets with two balls to spare at Old Trafford.
Australia was in all sorts of trouble at 5-73 chasing 303, before Carey and Maxwell combined for a decisive 212 run stand for the sixth wicket, wicketkeeper batsman Carey recording his first century for Australia and Maxwell his second to guide Australia home.
England won the toss and chose to bat but made a disastrous start, Mitchell Starc on a hat-trick with the wickets of Jason Roy and Joe Root with the first two balls of the match.
Roy drove loosely to backward point before Root was trapped in front by a late inswinger, ending a horror home summer for England’s premier batsman that saw him record just one fifty across all three formats.
Jonny Bairstow and captain Eoin Morgan rebuilt the innings in quick time with a 67 run partnership in 10 overs, before the introduction of leg spinner Adam Zampa saw Morgan chip a catch to Starc at mid-off to be on his way for 27.
Jos Buttler fell cheaply for eight to become Zampa’s second scalp of the match and ninth of the series, but Sam Billings joined Bairstow to add 114 for the fifth wicket to bring the hosts back in to the contest.
Bairstow was particularly savage on anything leg side, smashing Pat Cummins for six over square leg to raise his 10th ODI century for England from 114 balls.
Again it was Zampa who came up with a breakthrough for Australia, Billings caught at backward point mistiming a reverse sweep having made 57.
Cummins then produced a stunning slower ball off cutter to dislodge set man Bairstow for a fine 112, the Aussies sensing a swift end to the innings with England 6-220.
The remainder of the innings belonged to all-rounder Chris Woakes, who produced some fine late hitting in making 53* from 39 balls to push the score beyond 300, England closing their 50 overs on 7-302.
Zampa claimed 3-51 from his 10 overs in a fine bowling effort, while Starc copped some late punishment after his early success to finish with 3-74.
Under pressure Aussie opener David Warner hit the first ball of the chase for four to signal his intentions as the visitors raced to 0-18 from two overs.
Having contributed with the bat Woakes then turned his attention to causing damage with the ball, trapping Aaron Finch in front for 14 and luring Marcus Stoinis (4) in to chipping a catch to Morgan at short midwicket.
Warner got his first start of the series in getting to 24 before being bowled by the part time off-spin of Root.
Mitch Marsh became his second victim in his next over, an inside edge popping up off the West Australian’s pad to be caught by keeper Jos Buttler.
The game seemed headed only one way when Marnus Labuschagne was run out for 20, bringing Australia’s last recognised batting pair together at the crease.
Carey was reprieved by Jofra Archer’s first no-ball in one day internationals, caught at third man having only made nine.
Maxwell was also afforded a life on 44 when dropped by Buttler behind the stumps off the bowling of Rashid, both players making England pay full price for the respective blunders.
Both players played positively and looked to capitalise on the short boundary to the legside from the James Anderson end, staying ahead of the run rate from the 25 over mark onwards.
Maxwell hit seven sixes in his 84 ball century, his second for Australia in ODI’s and first since the 2015 Cricket World Cup, while Carey raised his bat for his first century in green and gold as the partnership went beyond 200, England short of answers.
Rashid ended Maxwell’s knock at 108 and Carey fell within sight of victory for 106, but bowlers Cummins and Starc saw the Aussies home in the final over, Starc finishing the day as he started it with dominance over his opponents as he hit Adil Rashid for six over midwicket and then a boundary to complete proceedings.
Australia claimed the series 2-1, England’s first loss in a home ODI series since 2015. Making the win all the more impressive was Aaron Finch’s side were without star batsman Steve Smith, who didn’t play any of the 50 over matches due to a head knock sustained in the lead up to the opening match of the series.
Several players will now head to the UAE to participate in the Indian Premier League tournament, needing to undergo quarantine before they can participate in the competition.
IMAGE: Yahoo Sport.