Australia 299-7: Maxwell 85, Bailey 75,Wade 50; Willey 3-51
England 304-7: Morgan 92, Cummins 4-49
Leeds, UK – Eoin Morgan comes to England’s rescue again as his side chase down 299 with 10 balls to spare as the skipper scored 92.
Australia chose to bat and Morgan chose David Willey to bowl, a decision he wouldn’t regret. Willey reduced the travelling side to 30-3; Joe Burns, Steve Smith and Aaron Finch all succumbing to the fast bowler’s opening spell. Glenn Maxwell and George Bailey spared their blushes with a partnership of 137 before Moeen Ali found himself among the wickets, bowling the batsman for 85.
With the top order falling, it was down to the middle order to produce the runs to win the series a game early. Mitchell Marsh was the next to fall with Willie and Liam Plunkett combining to take the all-rounder’s wicket. As the cricket saying goes “One wicket brings two wickets” Plunkett then took the key wicket of Bailey, caught and bowled for 75.
With Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis at the crease, the series leaders were hoping to push on, Stoinis was part of three batsman to fall for five runs. He was caught by Adil Rashid for Ali’s second wicket. John Hastings and Wade put together a partnership, an unbroken partnership at that taking the visitors from 215-7 to 299-7 from 50 overs. Wade made 50 not out while Hastings made 34 not out.
England came into bat then hoping to capitalize where Australia had failed, the top four scoring runs. The side’s top four batsmen had been reliable in getting the team off to a good start, with Morgan, James Taylor and Jason Roy being among the runs. Note the fact Alex Hales name was not mentioned then, he was dismissed for a duck with England 1-1, Pat Cummins’ first of his four wickets for the day. Taylor came to the crease to join Roy in a partnership that scored 72 runs from 53 balls. However, one wicket brought two Roy fell first to Cummins followed 16 runs later by Taylor.
The England captain was the brought to the crease along with Ben Stokes. Another impressive partnership ensued as a partnership of 91 runs saw Trevor Bayliss’ side move from 89-3 to 180-4 before Stokes fell for 41. With Morgan scoring steadily, someone needed to stay at the other end. Jonny Bairstow made 58 runs with Morgan scoring one run a ball for 92 only for Australia’s bowling threat of Cummins to take a third. Bairstow fell shortly after to Maxwell, caught by Wade.
With overs to play with, the England lower order just had to stay at the crease. However Plunkett fell for 17, luckily for Morgan, this was the last wicket lost. Maxwell deserves a special mention for the way in which he dismissed the England batsman. Firstly catching the ball, realizing he was close to the boundary, threw the ball up in the air; steadied himself before running and taking the catch, unbelievable. Ali and star bowler Willey saw the home side to victory and draw the series level at 2-2 with one game to go.
The ODI series continues at Old Trafford on Sunday 13th September as England look to make the scores even.
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