England keep series alive with Old Trafford win

2015-09-08 23:23
England’s Moeen Ali juggles the ball during day two of the first Ashes Test. (Rui Vieira, AP)

Manchester - James Taylor's maiden one-day international century and some tight spin bowling saw England to a 93-run win over Australia at Old Trafford on Tuesday as they kept the series alive.

Australia, set 301 to win, were dismissed for 207 with six overs of their innings left.

Victory in this day/night fixture would have given the world champions an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the five-match ODI series.

But instead England - who had lost 11 times in their previous 12 one-dayers against Australia - cut the tourists' lead to 2-1 with two to play.

Off-spinner Moeen Ali and leg-spinner Adil Rashid shared five wickets between them, with Ali's three for 32 in his full 10 overs the all-rounder's best ODI figures.

"I'm very impressed. We improved in the areas I asked the guys to from the first two games," said England captain Eoin Morgan.

"James Taylor and I got a good partnership going in the middle.

"The spinners were outstanding," he added after Rashid and Ali took a combined five for 73 in 20 overs.

Meanwhile man-of-the-match Taylor said: "I got 98 not out against Australia so to get a hundred against them in a winning cause is nice."

Australia captain Steven Smith added: "They got a few too many.

"We have to find ways to rotate the strike in the middle overs and then keep enough wickets in the shed so we can go berserk at the end."

Aaron Finch, brought into the side after fellow opener David Warner was ruled out of the rest of the series with a fractured thumb suffered during Australia's 64-run win in the second ODI at Lord's on Saturday, scored briskly on his way to 53.

Smith walked out to boos after upholding an appeal for obstructing the field that led to Ben Stokes's controversial dismissal at Lord's.

Having survived a chance because of the diminutive Taylor's lack of reach, Smith (25) was brilliantly caught when diving fast bowler Finn used his 6ft 7in frame to hold a stunning one-handed catch at short mid-wicket off Rashid.

Rashid, gaining sharp turn, then dismissed Finch when he holed out to long-on.

His exit was the start of a collapse that saw three wickets lost for 35 runs to leave Australia struggling at 141 for five.

Glenn Maxwell, after reverse-hitting Ali for two fours in as many balls, tried to make it three in a row only to be caught off a top edge by wicketkeeper Jonathan Bairstow.

George Bailey (25) obligingly drove an Ali full toss straight to Stokes at mid-wicket.

Jason Roy then held a remarkable catch, running round from long-on, after Ashton Agar launched Liam Plunkett high into the deep.

Roy 'lost' the ball in the floodlights and, arching backwards, dropped a one-handed chance only to grab the ball at the second attempt before hitting the turf.

Finn ended the match emphatically by bowling Matthew Wade (42).

Earlier, Taylor's century was the cornerstone of England's 300 for eight after Morgan won the toss.

Taylor, brought back for this series with Ashes-winner Joe Root rested, was out for 101.

The 25-year-old Nottinghamshire batsman, playing his 21st match at this level, faced 114 balls.

His first fifty included just one four and he managed just five in total but, significantly, he got England to a score their bowlers could defend.

Taylor and Morgan (62), who won the toss, put on 119 for the third wicket.

But the partnership would have been curtailed had not wicket-keeper Wade missed a stumping off ODI debutant spinner Agar when left-hander Morgan was on 15.

Roy (63) launched England's innings in style after Morgan won the toss with his second fifty in three innings this series.

But he was unable to go on to a really big score, chipping Agar to short extra-cover.

Taylor went to his hundred in nervous fashion when his drive off Pat Cummins hit non-striker Woakes's bat and rebounded into the stumps.

He sprinted down the pitch and dived for a definitive scrambled single.

The series continues at Headingley on Friday.

Read more on:    england  |  australia  |  moeen ali  |  cricket

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