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 arch-rivals.
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.”
´Solid cricket´ ngland 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 balls. 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.—AFP