Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Buttler century sees England to thrilling ODI series sweep of Australia

LONDON: Jos Buttler’s superb 110 not out saw England to a dramatic one-wicket win over Australia in the fifth and final one-day international at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Victory saw England complete their first 5-0 series sweep of Australia in any format in more than 140 years of international men’s matches between the arch-rivals.

Set just 206 to win, England slumped to 50 for five and 114 for eight.

They were still 11 runs shy of victory at 195 for nine when Adil Rashid (20), who had helped Buttler add 81, was dismissed to leave England 195 for nine.

But Buttler responded by hitting part-time seamer Marcus Stoinis for six to complete a hundred off 117 balls – the first time the usually rapid-scoring wicketkeeper-batsman had faced more than 100 balls at this level.

Last man Jake Ball held his nerve and Buttler won the match with nine balls to spare when he hit Stoinis for four.

It was a win celebrated by raucous cheers from 23,500 capacity sun-drenched crowd, some of whom had previously enjoyed the goals the England football team scored in a 6-1 World Cup rout of Panama.

Fast bowler Billy Stanlake’s opening spell of three wickets for 18 runs had given Australia a shot of a first international win under coach Justin Langer, appointed after Darren Lehmann resigned in the fall-out from the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal in March.

It took England just four balls to lose their first wicket when the in-form Jason Roy, fresh from his 101 in the fourth ODI at Chester-le-Street on Thursday, was bowled attempting a big hit off left-arm spinner Ashton Agar.

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