Australia resign England to ODI series defeat

Australia

A fine performance from the seamers and commanding half-centuries from opener David Warner and fellow left-hander Shaun Marsh steered Australia to a convincing seven-wicket victory – and unassailable three-nil series lead – over England.

A fine performance from the seamers and commanding half-centuries from opener David Warner and fellow left-hander Shaun Marsh steered Australia to a convincing seven-wicket victory – and unassailable three-nil series lead – over England in Sunday's third ODI at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Outgunned during the Ashes series, outdone during the first ODI, outlasted during the second and demoralised through the third, England remain without an international victory on this tour.

Captain Alastair Cook's decision to bat first on a pitch primed for plenty of runs was understandable, but the batsmen again failed to justify the choice. The left-handed Eoin Morgan's 54 was the top score, as each and every specialist – bar the hard-hitting Jos Buttler's mere four – promised much but ultimately failed to deliver.

A slew of flourishing starts suggested a 300-plus total, only for several examples of a collective inability to capitalise to undo ambition. Cook's 35, opener Ian Bell's 29, all-rounder Ben Stokes' 15, the left-handed Gary Ballance's 26 and aspiring all-rounder Ravi Bopara's 21 were not enough.

The visitors' total, in fact, would have considerably lower – had the inventive Tim Bresnan not orchestrated a defiant 41 not out, momentarily combating an opposition attack sporting the success of fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile, the recalled Dan Christian and Brisbane hero James Faulkner.

Coulter-Nile was the pick of the bunch en route to career-best figures of three for 47, while Christian and Faulkner collected two for 52 and two for 35 respectively. The livewire David Warner, meanwhile, was remarkable in his superb run-out of Bell.

Warner, too, was at the fore of Australia's pursuit. The aggressive batsman struck seven boundaries and twin sixes during a characteristically entertaining 71, before Bell enjoyed some consolatory karma by holding the catch that removed the half-centurion.

While captain Michael Clarke and opener Aaron Finch fell prey to the seam of Bopara and pace of new-ball bowler Chris Jordan respectively, Marsh – during an authoritative alliance alongside wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin – was at hand to complete the result.

Marsh's unbeaten 71 and Haddin's 37 not out ensured triumph with all of 60 deliveries to spare, leaving an England XI unable to accrue a turnaround despite the recall of the experienced Stuart Broad in desperate need of success come the penultimate ODI in Perth on Friday.

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