Smith, Starc, Zampa help Australia seal series with big win

by 24britishtvNov. 19, 2022, 1 p.m. 15
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Vince and Billings put up a fight for England but a total of 280 felt very competitive on a surface that was not easy for scoring

Smith's 94 from 114 balls was the major contribution in Australia's innings alongside a fluent half-century from Marnus Labuschagne and a more hard-working effort from Mitchell Marsh . England never completely lost control with the ball, largely thanks to Adil Rashid 's three wickets, but a total of 280 felt very competitive on a surface that was not entirely easy for scoring.

The target looked much more daunting after just five balls of England's chase by which time Starc had two wickets to his name. Jason Roy's struggles did not abate as he gloved down the leg side second ball then Starc produced rapid outswing to firstly beat Dawid Malan twice then take out the off stump with an unplayable delivery.

Malan was looking to play to the leg side with an open face but having come off a fine century two days he had the right to feel positive and the ball shaped late and at pace to beat the edge. After Starc's wicked delivery to remove Roy in Adelaide it was another strong response to his omission late in the T20 World Cup.

When Phil Salt was cleaned up by Hazlewood for a counterpunching 23, England were 34 for 3 in the sixth over and in danger of falling away. However, in the latest example of their batting depth James Vince and Sam Billings , who took Ashton Agar for consecutive sixes, constructed excellent fifties in a fourth-wicket stand of 122 in 22 overs which put England back in a position where the target was attainable.

But Vince swung across the line at Hazlewood for an umpire's call lbw then the ever-consistent Zampa made the decisive breakthroughs in the middle order, including Billings for 71, as he claimed 3 for 0 in nine balls and England lost 7 for 52. This time, the batting depth was not enough.

There had been a surprise before the game when Hazlewood appeared for the toss when Pat Cummins was rested one match into his captaincy tenure. It was a case of change all-round with Moeen Ali also leading England for the first time in ODIs as Jos Buttler took a well-deserved break.

Smith and Labuschagne added 101 in 19 overs for the third wicket then Smith and Marsh put on 90 for the fifth after Rashid had knocked Australia back with two wickets in two balls.

Smith was not as fluent as two days ago in Adelaide, after which he said it was the best he felt at the crease in six years , but moved into the 90s with a flick for six over backward square leg against Sam Curran. However, attempting to reach his century with another six he picked out long-off against Rashid in the 44th over.

Australia's openers had made a brisk start before Moeen struck with his second ball when David Warner swept to square leg. Travis Head followed three overs later when he fluffed a pull shot to midwicket against Chris Woakes to leave Australia 43 for 2.

Labuschagne started positively when he skipped down the pitch to Moeen and lofted him over wide mid-on and generally scored more freely than Smith who struck his first boundary off his 14th ball but did not add another until his 65th when he clubbed David Willey over the leg side.

Labuschagne went to a neat 47-ball fifty, which proved the most fluent batting of the innings, and was furious with himself when he toe-ended a sweep against Rashid which looped to mid-off. Rashid struck again next ball when Alex Carey played over the top of a sweep and Billings was very swift to remove the bails with Carey's foot on the line.

Marcus Stoinis couldn't get going in a 14-ball 13 before missing a swing at Woakes and though Marsh, back in the side in place of the rested Cameron Green who had returned to Perth ahead of the Test summer, brought up a 58-ball half-century he couldn't quite move through the gears. In the end, however, they had more than enough as Australia's latest ODI captains claimed their first series.

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