By Ryan Moran
- England won the toss and batted first.
- England 138 all out: Stokes 42, Marsh 4-27, Hasting 3-21
- Australia 140-2: Finch 70*, Willey 1-13
Manchester, UK – After a spirited comeback in this ODI series, the decider was one game too many as Australia were a class above in both bowling and batting.
Having won the toss, Eoin Morgan chose to bat first. A usually resilient top four set the tone for the game as James Taylor made 12, the highest score from the top four batsmen. The skipper was brought into the frame with the score 13-2, only to leave the field for one run after a Mitchell Starc bouncer struck the batsman on the back of the head. After assistance from George Bailey, he was sat on the ground to receive treatment, this in the end was Morgan’s last action of the game with concussion the injury sustained.
With the home side’s usual suspects not scoring, it was down to the middle order and in particular Ben Stokes to restore his side’s hopes of posting a respectable total. The all-rounder saw the wickets of Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali fall as he posted 42, taking the home side to 85-7.
Trevor Bayliss’ side posted another 53, Adil Rashid capitalizing on the rare bad ball for an unbeaten 35 as England fell 17 overs short. Mark Wood and Reece Topley the final two to fall to tight Aussie bowling for little to no runs. John Hastings and Mitchell Marsh were the stand out bowlers and a constant threat to the batsmen, taking 3-21 and 4-27 respectively.
With a target of 139 to win off of 50 overs, three runs an over would have seen the Aussies win not only the game but also the series. Aaron Finch has been in impressive form in the last few games and his form was indifferent on Sunday providing a hard wicket to take. Joe Burns however found himself caught in the behind by Bairstow for a duck as David Willey looked to have the same threat the away side had with the new ball.
However with Finch still at the other end, the game was still in the Aussie’s hands. Steve Smith was the next to fall for 12 with Australia 31-2. Taylor took the captaincy in the place of Morgan and had to use all of his options in the hope one could see Australia’s opening batsman back to the pavilion. His changes came to no prevail Taylor’s bowling choices were seen off one after the other, England’s opening bowler Willey the only one seeming to cause the opposition problems. Topley, Rashid and Ali all saw their economy rates at six or over as Bailey built a solid partnership with Finch to bring the ODI series to an end in Australia’s favour with Bailey top edging to the boundary as four runs took his side to 140 with 25.4 overs left to play.
England have had a mixed summer of cricket epitomized by regaining the Ashes and with a change of coach, a change of players was expected. In this ODI series, Topley made his debut in the fifth game, fast bowlers Willey and Wood were given the chance ahead of experienced fast bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad. Rashid has also proved his worth as a thorn in Australia’s side and competition with Ali shown by his 35 not out today. In the batting department, Alastair Cook was omitted before the World Cup and Ian Bell has not featured in the one day series along with Joe Root. Alex Hales has been given a chance, not taken; Roy produced a few big knocks in crucial England victories along with the impressive Taylor providing much needed support to Morgan in the batting department.
The England players have a few weeks rest before their tour of Pakistan commencing against the National side’s A team in Sharjah on 5th October.