Millennium Post

Gritty England beat mighty Aussies, level series 2-2

Eoin Morgan leads from the front as England have beaten Australia by three wickets and have leveled the five-match series at 2-2. England were given a target of 300 and they achieved the target with 10 balls to spare. 

This is England’s third highest run-chase in ODIs. Earlier Australia had scored 299 for 7 courtesy of fifties from Glenn Maxwell, George Bailey and Matthew Wade Earlier, Glenn Maxwell, George Bailey and wicket-keeper Matthew Wade all hit half-centuries as Australia made 299-7 in the fourth one-day international against England at Headingley on Friday.

The World Cup holders were indebted to Maxwell and Bailey for their fourth-wicket partnership of 137 and then a late onslaught from Wade as they looked for the win that would give them victory in the five-match series.

After winning the toss, Australia, 2-1 up after losing by 93 runs at Old Trafford on Tuesday, were in trouble at 30-3 as David Willey took early wickets for England.

But Maxwell and Bailey laid the foundations for a testing total in good batting conditions before Wade and John Hastings made up for a middle order-collapse with an unbeaten stand of 81 off just 54 balls as England were set 300 to win. New Yorkshire signing Willey, playing his first match of the series, produced an impressive opening spell, which at one point included figures of 3-6.

The left-arm seamer removed <g data-gr-id="30">opener</g> Joe Burns, bowled off an inside edge as he attempted to leave, before trapping Australia captain Steven Smith leg before wicket with a full-pitch <g data-gr-id="29">inswinger</g>.
Aaron Finch was next to go as he edged behind to county team-mate Jonny Bairstow before Maxwell and Bailey repaired the damage.

Maxwell survived two dropped catches on six and 35 but counter-attacked superbly as he made a 12th one-day international 50 off 42 balls with seven fours and a six.

The Victorian, 26, reached his half-century with a six off Yorkshire colleague Adil Rashid and looked set for only a second ODI century when he was bowled by Moeen Ali when attempting to reverse sweep. Bailey went on to make his 18th one-day fifty off 64 balls with five fours and guided the tourists past 200 before becoming one of two players to fall with the score on 210 off the bowling of Liam Plunkett in the 41st over as England applied the brakes.

Debutant Marcus Stoinis followed shortly after but some late hitting from Wade and Hastings restored Australia’s momentum. The pair added 65 from the final five overs with Wade reaching his 50 in the last over off just 26 balls as he hit three fours and three sixes.

Hastings, called up from county cricket at Durham to supplement Australia’s injury-hit squad in his first ODI appearance since 2011, contributed 34 off 26 balls with three fours and two sixes. 

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