Chester-le-Street - Jason Roy scored his second hundred of the series as England
beat Australia by six wickets at Chester-le-Street on Thursday to move within
one win of their first-ever 5-0 one-day international clean sweep of their
England, fresh from their 481 for six - the highest men's
ODI total of all time - in a crushing 242-run win at Trent Bridge on Tuesday,
'only' needed 311 at the Riverside.
But what was still England's second highest total batting
second to win a match at this level, behind their 350 for three against New
Zealand at Trent Bridge three years ago, was made to look insignificant as
in-form openers Roy (101) and Jonny Bairstow (79) put on 174.
"I'm trying to control my innings, pace it so I can set
some good foundations for the end," Roy told Sky Sports.
"Unfortunately I couldn't kick on today."
England finished on 314 for four, with Jos Buttler 54 not
out, as they won with 32 balls to spare.
"We played pretty solid cricket," said England
captain Eoin Morgan.
England, the world's top-ranked side in this format, will
now look to surpass their previous best ODI series result against world
champions Australia - 4-0, including a washout, in a five-match home campaign
in 2012 - at Old Trafford on Sunday.
This was Australia's 15th defeat in 17 completed ODIs as
once again a side missing six first-choice players in banned star batsmen Steve
Smith and David Warner, as well as injured quicks Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins
and Josh Hazlewood and sidelined all-rounder Mitchell Marsh, failed to truly
extend 2019 World Cup hosts England.
"We were 30 or 40 short in the end," said Tim
Paine, the Australia captain.
"We came here with an inexperienced side. It's not an
excuse but they (England) are the best side in the world and they are really
hard to beat."
Roy, who ran himself out for 82 on Tuesday, was quickly into
his stride with two fours off successive Billy Stanlake deliveries.
Roy, following a 120 in the first ODI at The Oval, his
Surrey home ground, completed another hundred when he hoisted recalled
off-spinner Nathan Lyon for a huge six that saw him to the landmark in 83
But two balls later his sliced drive off Lyon found Shaun
Marsh at backward point.
And 174 for one became 183 for two when Bairstow, trying to
run Stanlake to third man, guided a catch to wicket-keeper Paine.
But Australia's series was summed up when Alex Hales, on 17,
edged medium-pacer Michael Neser only for Paine to drop a regulation two-handed
"I'm trying to enjoy it but when it rains, it
pours," said Paine. "You have to catch those but it just popped
Earlier, Aaron Finch (100) and Marsh (101) both hit hundreds
in Australia's 310 for eight, with Marsh's following his 131 against England in
Cardiff last weekend.
But their failure to press on cost Australia a truly
Their score was still a Riverside ODI record, surpassing
England's 307 for five against New Zealand in 2008.
Fast bowler Mark Wood took two wickets in an over on his
Durham home ground before left-arm paceman David Willey grabbed three in five
balls on his way to figures of four for 43.
Finch and Travis Head (63) got Australia off to a sound
start and they were 225 for one come the start of the 40th over.
Yet they were three wickets down when it ended.
Wood broke a partnership of 124 when Finch was lbw to a ball
that cut back, before he bowled Marcus Stoinis in similar fashion.
A ball after Alex Carey holed out off Willey, Marsh fell
when he found Roy at long-on who, before he stepped over the boundary,
reverse-flicked the ball back several yards to debutant paceman Craig Overton,
who completed an extraordinary catch.
"I was lucky to have someone to throw that catch to, so
well done to the big lad Craig Overton for getting the yards in to get
there," said Roy.
Paine survived the hat-trick, but two balls later Neser was
caught behind off Willey.