England crash to record ODI defeat as Australia seal 3-0 series whitewash
England’s time in Australia ended with a whimper as Pat Cummins’ side won by a thumping 221-run margin at a sparsely-populated Melbourne Cricket Ground to seal a 3-0 ODI series triumph over the double world champions.
There was an end-of-term feeling to England’s display nine days on from their T20 World Cup success and the fixture’s relevance or lack thereof was amplified by a 10,406-crowd at the 100,000-capacity ground.
But they witnessed Travis Head (152 off 130 balls) and David Warner (106 off 102 deliveries) put on a 269-run stand in 38.1 overs for the opening wicket, Australia’s second highest ever which underpinned a record 355 for five at this venue.
The match was reduced to 48 overs per side due to rain and England were never in the hunt to chase an adjusted 364 target, capitulating to their heaviest loss in terms of runs, all out for 142 in 31.4 overs.
It is the first time England have been clean swept in a multi-match ODI series since October 2011 while there are injury concerns over Phil Salt, who banged his head after an awkward landing when fielding.
Moeen Ali came in as a concussion substitute but it was Dawid Malan who opened the batting in England’s reply. He lasted just four balls before under-edging Josh Hazlewood through to Alex Carey.
Jason Roy did not have to contend with Mitchell Starc but Hazlewood and the returning Cummins got appreciable movement. The out-of-form opener’s outside edge was frequently beaten although he was able to dispatch the bad deliveries, with Cummins’ radar off as he bowled a nine-ball over at one stage.
Roy was out for 33 off 48 balls after falling lbw to Cummins, having shuffled across his stumps and missed a straighter one.
Sam Billings’ attempted pull took the splice with Cummins settling underneath a return catch while James Vince struggled to adjust to conditions. He hit his first four from his 44th ball but fell to his 45th, departing for a laboured 22 after top-edging Sean Abbott to fine leg.
Moeen was twice dropped with Zampa spilling a simple chance but the leg-spinner atoned in his second over as Jos Buttler looked to go big only to slice in the air to the point fielder.
Chris Woakes was trapped in front next ball after misreading Zampa’s googly and he had his third scalp in 13 deliveries when Moeen clubbed to long-off as England lurched from 57 for one to 95 for seven.
The lower order added some runs but Zampa put England out of their misery to finish with four for 31 when he castled number 11 batter Olly Stone, who missed a sweep across the line.
Buttler elected to field first after winning the toss but it was just about the only thing that went right for the returning England captain as Head overcame a streaky start.
Liam Dawson shelled a sharp chance above him when David Willey located Head’s edge and the opener was still in single figures when he overturned an lbw decision off Woakes, the ball pitching outside leg.
A couple of edges helped Head off to a flyer but he settled after lofting Willey straight for six while Warner was becalmed until Stone was introduced, driving then pulling for successive fours while a third in the over followed through the covers, with Salt injuring himself in the process.
Salt landed heavily on his shoulder, bumping his head too, and a few overs later was officially replaced by Moeen, who was unable to bowl. Buttler may have wished that was not the case as England continued to err in length with Head, in particular, and Warner finding boundaries easy to come by.
Dawson’s left-arm spin came in for punishment, twice dumped over the straight boundary by Head, who was first to three figures off 91 balls as he thrashed Woakes past point for his 12th four.
Head kept motoring along before Warner went to a 97-ball hundred, his first in any format since January 2020, with a trademark punch through the covers off Stone, whose first seven overs yielded 65 runs.
Stone, though, made a heartening comeback in his next over as Warner’s cross-batted pull was well pouched in the deep by Willey before four balls later Head, on the move, had his leg stump pegged back.
Steve Smith gloved to Buttler off Stone, who also ended Mitch Marsh’s enterprising 16-ball cameo of 30 to finish with curious figures of four for 85.
But Australia finished in the ascendancy and their bowlers proved too good in England’s reply.
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