Captain Morgan leads England to victory

2015-09-11 23:14
Eoin Morgan (Gallo Images)

Leeds - England captain Eoin Morgan led his side to a history-making three-wicket win over Australia in the fourth one-day international at Headingley on Friday to tie the five-match series 2-2.

Morgan made 92 as England successfully chased a total of 300 for only the fourth time in one-day cricket to set up a series decider at Manchester's Old Trafford on Sunday.

Overhauling the World Cup holders' 50-over total of 299/7 also surpassed the 270/4 England made in their previous highest one-day run chase in beating Australia in 1997.

Morgan made his third successive half-century as he shared a 91-run partnership with Ben Stokes and 58 with Yorkshire's Jonny Bairstow as England held their nerve to get home with ten balls to spare in an exciting finish.

Glenn Maxwell's superb catch at backward point denied Morgan a ninth ODI century as he fell after facing 92 balls and hitting eight fours and two sixes.

Maxwell then took an even better catch, taking the ball in mid-air behind the boundary before throwing it up and completing the catch to remove the hard-hitting Liam Plunkett for 17 when England still needed 18 to win.

But Moeen Ali and David Willey saw England over the line, with Willey hitting John Hastings for England's sixth six of the innings to complete victory in the penultimate over.

England had earlier overcome the early loss of opener Alex Hales, whose position on the tour to the United Arab Emirates to face Pakistan later this month must be in doubt due to his poor run of form, to make a positive start to their run chase through Jason Roy and James Taylor.

The pair put on 72 before both fell in the space of 16 runs to bring together Morgan and Stokes for the decisive partnership.

At the halfway stage of their innings, England had reached 144/3, exactly the same as Australia had, and despite the loss of four further wickets, the home side paced their chase to perfection.

After winning the toss, Australia reached 299/7 thanks to half-centuries from top scorer Glenn Maxwell, who made 85, George Bailey and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade, whose late onslaught at least gave his side something to try to defend.

The tourists were in trouble at 30/3 as Willey, who will be playing his county cricket on this ground next season after signing for champions Yorkshire from Northamptonshire, struck early in his first game of the series to remove Joe Burns, captain Steven Smith and Aaron Finch.

Maxwell and Bailey rebuilt the innings as they shared a fourth-wicket partnership of 137 before Maxwell was bowled by spinner Ali for 85 off 64 balls, including 10 fours and two sixes.

When Bailey then went for 75 at 210/6, Australia were in the midst of a mid-order collapse.

But Wade and Hastings, called up from county cricket with Durham for his first ODI since 2011, counter-attacked as Australia added 89 off the last 10 overs and 65 off the last five.

Wade reached 50 off 26 balls with three fours and three sixes but it was not enough to put Australia out of reach of a resurgent England.

Read more on:    england  |  australia  |  cricket


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