England beat Australia again to lead ODI series 2-0
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — England cruised to a four-wicket victory over Australia in Friday’s second one-day cricket international at the Gabba to take a 2-0 lead in their five-match series.
Joe Root captured two vital wickets to help the tourists restrict Australia to a modest total of 270 for nine, then the England captain made an unbeaten 46 as his side reached their winning target with more than 5 overs to spare to seize control of the series after Sunday’s five-wicket win in Melbourne.
“Our bowlers were exceptional. It puts pressure on the Australia batsmen,” England captain Eoin Morgan said. “We did enough to win but it was far from a complete performance, which is exciting for us.”
After crushing England in the Ashes test series, world champions Australia now find themselves needing to win Sunday’s third match in Sydney just to keep the series alive.
“We’re not playing good enough one-day cricket at the moment,” Australia skipper Steve Smith said. “It’s a quality England batting line-up. We lost a couple of wickets in a row, we couldn’t get that power going at the back end to get that 320 we were after.”
Jonny Bairstow (60) and Alex Hayes (57) both made half-centuries while Root, Jos Buttler (46) and Chris Woakes (39 not out) all made valuable contributions after Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc took 4-59 to briefly give the home team hope of victory.
Aaron Finch scored his second century in as many matches for Australia but received little support from his team mates with no-one else making at least 40.
Finch followed up his 107 from the series-opener in Melbourne with a brisk 106 off 114 balls. He shared a 68-run partnership with fellow opener David Warner (35) then joined Mitchell Marsh (36) in an 85-run stand for the fourth wicket before England put the brakes on Australia’s scoring by taking 3-7 in two overs.
Wicketkeeper Alex Carey, one of two players making their ODI debuts for Australia, chipped in with 27 off just 24 deliveries before he was run out as the home side managed just 57 runs from the last 10 overs.
Root was the pick of the visiting team’s bowlers, taking 2-31, including the prized wicket of Smith for 18, while leg spinner Adil Rashid also bagged two wickets.
“The form Smith has been in this summer, (it was) very enjoyable to see the back of him,” said Root, who was named man of the match.
“Whenever you come off a series loss you want to prove a point, and leading into the World Cup we want to set a benchmark. We had to stay cool in the moment and get the job done.”
Jason Roy, who made a record 180 in Melbourne, managed only two this time before falling to Starc but his early dismissal had no impact on the result.
England stuck with the same lineup that successfully chased down Australia’s 304-8 to win in Melbourne while the home side made three changes.
Carey replaced Tim Paine, who was ruled out with illness, while Jhye Richardson (2-57) earned his first cap after taking over from Pat Cummins, who was rested after undertaking a heavy workload during the Ashes.
Leg-spinner Adam Zampa was dropped to make way for veteran middle-order batsman Cameron White, who finished unbeaten on 15.