London: England cruised to a 24-run victory over arch rivals Australia at Emirates Old Trafford on Sunday after the Australian batting collapsed spectacularly before some hostile and accurate English bowling.
England had set Australia a target of 232 for victory and at one time the Australians were cruising smoothly at 144-2, with Marnus Labuschagne and Aaron Finch sharing a 107-run stand for the third wicket. But then Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer were brought back into the attack and they struck like thunderclaps, reducing Australia to 147/6 in 34.1 overs.
The first to go was Australian captain Finch, who was leading the way with a well made 73 before he was clean bowled by Woakes, he was followed to the pavilion by Glen Maxwell.
That started the Australian collapse as Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc fell in consecutive balls in left-arm Sam Curran's over.
While Australia's first two wickets added 144 runs, its last eight wickets could add only 63 runs, as Australia were bowled out for 207 runs, despite a valiant last-wicket partnership of 31 between Alex Carey and Josh Hazlewood.
Earlier, even England struggled. At one point, they were at 149-8, with leg-spinner Adam Zampa taking 3-36 before Adil Rashid and Tom Curran took them to a respectable total of 231-9.
In the post match press conference England Captain Eoin Morgan said he was very happy that with this win, his side showed that they are learning the art of winning matches and winning them 'ugly'. He said he was particularly pleased with the way his team pulled themselves after being on the brink and winning the match.
This is the second time in the series that Australia had let the match slip away when it was in a position to easily win the match, as the Aussie batsman demonstrated poor shot selection, lack of footwork and a general lack of application.
With this win, England can now look forward to keeping their five-year unbeaten record of home wins in ODIs intact as they go into the final match of the series on the same ground on Wednesday. (UNI)