Brisbane: 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, including that of Steve Smith, 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 five overs to spare to seize control of the series after Sunday’s five-wicket win in Melbourne.
“It was enjoyable today,” said Root. “I didn’t think I’d bowl seven overs at the start of the day. The form Smith has been in this summer, it was very enjoyable to see the back of him.”
“Leading into the World Cup we want to set a benchmark. We had to stay cool in the moment and get the job done.”
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 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 teammates 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 Dave 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 the Australian skipper Steve Smith for 18, while leg spinner Adil Rashid also bagged two wickets.
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 line-up 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 earned his first cap after taking over from Pat Cummins, who was rested after undertaking a heavy workload during the Ashes test series.
Leg-spinner Adam Zampa was dropped to make way for veteran middle-order batsman Cameron White, who finished unbeaten on 15.
Australia 1st innings
- D Warner c Joe Root b Moeen Ali 35
- A Finch c Jason Roy b Liam Plunkett 106
- S Smith lbw Joe Root 18
- T Head c&b Joe Root 7
- M Marsh st Jos Buttler b Adil Rashid 36
- M Stoinis c Jos Buttler b Adil Rashid 4
- C White Not Out 15
- A Carey Run Out Chris Woakes 27
- M Starc c Jason Roy b Chris Woakes 3
- A Tye Run Out Chris Woakes 8
- Extras 0b 2lb 1nb 8w 11
- Total (50.0 overs) 270-9
- Fall of Wickets: 1-68, 2-110, 3-124, 4-209, 5-213, 6-216, 7-255, 8-261, 9-270
- Bowling: Wood 9-0-55-0, Woakes 9-0-37-1, Plunkett 8-0-43-1, Ali 7-0-31-1, Rashid 10-0-71-2, Root 7-0-31-2
England 1st innings
- J Roy c Aaron Finch b Mitchell Starc 2
- J Bairstow c David Warner b Jhye Richardson 60
- A Hales b Jhye Richardson 57
- J Root Not Out 46
- E Morgan b Mitchell Starc 21
- J Buttler c Alex Carey b Mitchell Starc 42
- M Ali b Mitchell Starc 1
- C Woakes Not Out 39
- Extras 0b 1lb 0nb 5w 6
- Total (44.2 overs) 274-6
- Fall of Wickets: 1-2, 2-119, 3-129, 4-157, 5-225, 6-227
- Bowling: Starc 10-0-59-4, Richardson 10-1-57-2, Head 7-0-55-0, Tye 9-0-47-0, Finch 3-0-17-0, Stoinis 4.2-0-34-0, Marsh 1-0-4-0