Different venue, same result, as another England collapse saw them lose by 64 runs in the second ODI at Lord’s on Saturday.
Australia are now 2-0 up in the five-match series.
Sent in to bat, Australia posted a competitive 309-7, and despite an encouraging start from the English in response, another middle-order collapse saw them fall short. The dismissal of Ben Stokes, however, will go down as the defining moment of the game, as he was controversially given out for obstructing the field.
The decision will be sure to divide opinion. Stokes hit a Mitchell Starc delivery straight back to him, and Starc prompted to throw the ball back at the stumps with Stokes out of his crease. Stokes, however, fended the ball away with his glove. At first glance it looked like he was protecting himself. Slower replays suggest, however, that the ball was hitting the stumps, and it wasn’t going to hit Stokes. While the sporting decision might have been to withdraw the appeal, Steve Smith was having none of it, and Stokes, by law, was forced to walk back.
It probably overshadowed what was a fine batting display from Australia. They were dealt a blow early on as a short ball from Steven Finn jumped up at David Warner and hit him on the thumb. He retired hurt on 1 with a suspected fracture.
Joe Burns and Smith put on 42, before a brilliant full delivery from Finn removed Burns’ stumps on 22. It was a string of impressive partnerships from there that kept Australia in a strong position. George Bailey (54) and Smith (70) put on 99 with both notching up fifties, while Glenn Maxwell put on a brisk 49.
Just like the first ODI in Southampton, a strong finish at the death from the visitors saw them pass 300, as Shane Watson manufactured a run-a-ball 39, and Mitchell Marsh hammered 64 off just 31 balls for the side to post 309-7.
Jason Roy and Alex Hales went about their work in typically positive fashion, but it took a fantastic catch from Smith to remove Hales for 18. Another promising stand this time between Roy and James Taylor came to an abrupt end as the pace of Pat Cummins saw off Roy.
A productive stand between Taylor and Eoin Morgan followed as Taylor went to 43 before he edged one behind to Matthew Wade. Four overs later, the Stokes incident saw England’s fourth wicket fall, which evidently took the wind out of their sails. Jos Buttler continued a lean run to walk for a duck, while Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid all fell for single-figure scores.
Liam Plunkett and Morgan toyed with the English spectators’ hopes of an unlikely victory, as they smashed 55 in 21 balls. Those glimmers of hopes quickly faded as the apparent villain of the Lord’s faithful, Starc, bowled Plunkett for 24. Morgan would be the last wicket to fall for a valiant 85, for his side to fall 64 runs short.
For the full scorecard, click here