Better late than never for England
England finally notched their first win over Australia in a disastrous Ashes tour yesterday when they took the fourth one-day international at the WACA Ground.
Perth: After eight successive losses in both Tests and one-dayers, the tourists had something to celebrate with a 57-run win over the home side. Australia held an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the five-match ODI series going into the penultimate match and fielded an understrength side.
All-rounder Ben Stokes (centre) excelled for England, hitting 70 and taking 4-38 in their win over Australia in the fourth ODI yesterday. Pic/AFP.
George Bailey replaced Michael Clarke, who was rested along with Brad Haddin and David Warner, as England made 316 for eight after being sent in to bat on a great batting wicket. In reply, Australia made 259 from 47.4 overs. “It feels pretty good to be honest,” underfire England captain Alastair Cook said. “It’s been a long time coming. We’d lost the series, but the thought of losing 10-nil (Tests and one-dayers) was a prospect, but we played a pretty good game today.”
Man-of-the-match Ben Stokes made 70 with the bat and claimed four wickets for 38, while wicketkeeper Jos Buttler smashed 71 runs and then claimed five catches. And despite a century by Australian opener Aaron Finch the home side were always struggling in the run chase. Any hope of an Australian win evaporated when Finch holed out to Stuart Broad at third man from the bowling of Tim Bresnan (3-45) for 108, from 111 balls.
That left Australia at 189 for five in the 36th over and for one of the first times this tour England enjoyed all the luck, aided by some uncharacteristically poor fielding by the home side. They even got a crucial decision review in their favour when Bailey was removed.
Stokes’s 70 came off 84 balls while opener Ian Bell chimed in with 55 from 52 deliveries. Both were dropped during their innings, while Cook made a crisp 44 from 43 balls at the top order, only to fall when a much-needed big score seemed likely for the embattled skipper. Buttler produced some scintillating batting at the end of the innings, hitting four sixes as he made 71 from just 43 balls.
Brief scores: Australia 259 (Finch 108, Stokes 4-38) lost to England 316-8 (Buttler 71, Stokes 70, Bell 55, Faulkner 4-67).