England v Australia, 4th NatWest ODI, Cardiff September 14, 2013

Buttler leads England home to level series


England 231 for 7 (Buttler 65*, Carberry 63, Morgan 53, McKay 4-39) beat Australia 227 (Bailey 87, Tredwell 3-53) by three wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Jos Buttler added to his burgeoning reputation as the man to close out an innings by ensuring that the NatWest series went to the deciding match, as he guided England to a tense three-wicket victory with three balls to spare in Cardiff. On a surface where free-scoring was a rarity England struggled in their chase of 228, dented early on by Clint McKay's hat-trick, but just when the requirement was getting out of hand Buttler and Ben Stokes produced a strong argument as to why they have packed the batting order.

Buttler had earlier been given out lbw on 8 but was saved by the DRS when it showed the ball sliding down the leg side. When the seventh-wicket pair joined forces England still needed 84 off 68 balls but overs 39 to 43 brought 40 runs as the equation started to favour the home side. Buttler eased the tension further by drilling James Faulkner into the River Taff and then brought up his half-century from 41 balls.

However, when Stokes was bowled by McKay the job was not quite done for England, especially as James Tredwell struggled to get the ball away. Buttler scrambled a single to take the strike for the final over (a direct hit would have found him short) then settled the contest in a grand manner with a huge six over midwicket off Mitchell Johnson, followed, two balls later, by a fierce straight drive.

Although Buttler has shown his class on the international stage before, this is the first time he has completed a run chase for England in his brief career, so it was an important tick for the coach, Ashley Giles.

Stokes, while not as convincing, more than played his role in supporting Buttler as he continued in the No. 8 role earmarked for him since the match against Ireland. However, there were a couple of crucial moments Australia will look back on. When Stokes had 2, Aaron Finch could not hold into a tough chance at third man when he upper cut Johnson then, on 9, he was given not out to a huge appeal for a gloved hook which Hot Spot showed had made contact. Australia had burned their review much earlier against Eoin Morgan, when he was nowhere near edging it. Next ball, Stokes clipped Johnson for a boundary.

After less than three overs of the chase, England had an uphill task to level the series, despite Australia being held to 227. McKay, a key member of Australia's one-day bowling unit but someone who doesn't always get the acclaim, took the fifth hat-trick by an Australian in ODIs and the 33rd overall.

He began by trapping Kevin Pietersen lbw as he aimed to flick through the leg side then Jonathan Trott, who has struggled in the latter half of this season, edged a drive at a wide delivery to collect his second first-ball duck of the series. A similar stroke by Joe Root, although to a delivery closer to off stump, took a thinner edge low to Shane Watson at first slip.

Michael Carberry, whose ODI career has not had an easy start, watched it all from the non-striker's end but was soon in the firing line of Johnson as the left-armer crashed a searing short delivery into his gloves at 93.6mph - the ball looped in the air via the Carberry's shoulder but fell between three fielders. It was hard work for Carberry, as Australia's pacemen all maintained their accuracy but he did not allow the pressure to get to him; the presence of Eoin Morgan at the other end no doubt had a calming influence.

The pair added 104 in 28 overs to haul the innings back on track. Morgan was the more convincing, but Carberry started to branch out as the balls got softer and a couple of rasping square cuts - such a feature in his batting for Hampshire - stood out. He was, in fact, quicker to his fifty than Morgan, 83 deliveries compared to 91, but both departed in the space of four overs to turn the tables again.

Morgan, the ball after reaching his half-century, chopped on against Watson and then Carberry tried to pull a delivery that was too straight, handing Nathan Coulter-Nile his first ODI wicket. When Ravi Bopara, who was dropped on 0, a horrendous fluff by Matthew Wade, was lbw for a scratchy 7 it left Australia favourites but England's batting depth proved decisive.

It made Australia's late collapse even more costly. Their last five wickets fell for 18 after George Bailey had rescued the innings from 57 for 4, following impressive new-ball spells by Steven Finn and Boyd Rankin. Finn struck with the first legitimate ball of the match and Rankin produced his most impressive spell in an England as he worked over Michael Clarke. The Australia captain was rarely convincing although could consider himself unfortunate to be given lbw to Finn, the delivery shown by DRS to be just grazing the bails.

Bailey took advantage of short straight boundaries to attack Tredwell, as had been Australia's game plan at Old Trafford, and 35 runs out of his first 50 came against the offspinner. While he and Wade were adding 85 in 12 overs a total in excess of 250 was in sight but Tredwell recovered from his earlier treatment to take 3 for 5, while Rankin capped a testing 10 overs by finding Bailey's outside edge.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Scott on September 18, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    @Shaggy076, Bailey cops a lot of flack for last season's average of 20 odd in shield. Fair enough too as we're hoping that our test players can muster up at least an average of 40 in domestic stuff. But, we can't be too reliant on stats alone to judge a players worth - and quite frankly, too many Aussies are purely concerned with whomever's stats last season were best & thus should be in the side - which is a ridiculous notion! In Bailey's case I think switching between capt of Aus in T20 and some ODI matches made for a stuttered shield season which obviously didn't help, but you'd still expect better. Nonetheless, he was a pefectly suited choice for this last Ashes. He mightn't be our most talented batsman, but what he's already proved (at int'l level) is that he's resilient, level headed and mature and seems to know his game. Plus being a righty and a middle order bat, I think he'd have brought a solidity to our middle order, even if by only grafting and valuing his wicket.

  • Graham on September 17, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    H_Z_O; Yes I agree Bailey has hardness but in the end you should always be made to perform at the lower level to get in the team. Shield cricket should be the form guide for test cricket, however you have a point Bailey vs Khawaja both with average records I would pick Bailey over Khawaja because you knowthat Bailey won't be rendered impotent because of the occasion.

  • Scott on September 17, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    @H_Z_O, I disagree. There's only 2 outcomes when a referral is made - and the on field umpire's decision should bear no relevance on any either of them. Once we utilise the techonology, the third umpire uses all evidence to make the correct decision - regarless of the umpire's call - and it's either out or not out. The issue with DRS is consistency, and where the umpire's call comes into play, the consistency of the decisions are lost. The referral system is not, as I'm almost sick to death of hearing, to elimiate 'the howler'. Its one and only purpose is to ensure that a decision is correct.

  • Scott on September 16, 2013, 22:03 GMT

    @H_Z_O, I'm happy to admit that you're completely right in your assessment of the two sides. I'd agree that in test match cricket, England are most definitely the better team, in ODI it's very even and in T20, well, T20 is a bit of a lottery, but I'd fancy that Aus have a few more range hitters at the top of the order and maybe a few bowlers better suited to ltd overs stuff. All that said, it's hard not to be upset as an Australian relating to the state of umpiring this summer and the p poor application of technology, which even the most ardent of English fan must agree, certainly went in their favour. The big problem is it's not worth complaining over a decision here and there, but it feels a lot more like a few decisions in each match up! And the timing of these 'mishaps' have also been crucial - which adds to the unrest. To rub salt into the wounds, the good old English weather hasn't assisted us much either! Aus didnt desere to win the test series (poor batting), but def the ODIs

  • H on September 16, 2013, 18:50 GMT

    @JG2704 "The one thing where I think DRS could be tweaked a little is that a bowling side should not be penalised a review for a ball which is clipping but remains umpires call."

    Same here. For me it comes down to a simple equation. When you review, there's 3 possible outcomes:

    1) The original decision is shown by technology to be conclusively correct. 2) The original decision is shown by technology to be conclusively incorrect. 3) The original decision cannot be shown to be 100% correct or incorrect.

    In case 1) the reviewing team is wrong and the umpire is correct, so the reviewing team is penalised by being docked a review. In case 2) the reviewing team is right, while the umpire is wrong, so we overturn the decision. The reviewing team should not be penalised, so they don't lose a review.

    In case 3) however, the reviewing team isn't wrong. The umpire isn't either, that's why we stay with the on-field decision, but why is the reviewing team penalised if they're not wrong either?

  • John on September 16, 2013, 10:52 GMT

    @BOLAmanBristol on (September 16, 2013, 9:29 GMT) You're right in that it was the correct decision and how is it a bad decision? I didn't think the rule book said that re LBW decisions the ball needed to hit the stmps full on. The one thing where I think DRS could be tweaked a little is that a bowling side should not be penalised a review for a ball which is clipping but remains umpires call. I'm not against it remaining umpire's call or against it being reversed but I am against the team losing a review for such instances. However there wasn't any of that. Clarke's LBW was hitting (albeit clipping) and Buttler's wasn't. Not sure if it's an inability to understand DRS or just sour grapes.

    BTW I'm sure Dicky - even if he would err on giving the benefit to the batsman - would have given lbw decisions where the ball would have been clipping or even missing.It's like the offside rule in football - if a player is inches or yards offside he's still offside

  • Aneirin on September 16, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    I've just registered so I can post this comment. There has been endless description of Clarke's dismissal on Saturday as 'unlucky to be given out' after the DRS review. He was given out by the umpire and also by the technology - doesn't seem to be that unlucky. The Sky commentators and match report here use the same phraseology. It seems that the umpires can't win even when they get it absolutely right. Dicky Bird wouldn't have given it but wouldn't have been on an elite panel either!

  • H on September 15, 2013, 23:08 GMT

    @Shaggy076 on (September 15, 2013, 10:17 GMT)

    I'm with Landl on this (Bailey, I mean). Yeah, his stats in Shield Cricket aren't great but then you've got someone like Phil Hughes averaging 56 in the Shield last year, or Khawaja averaging a shade under 40, and it's hard to argue that Bailey would've done a worse job.

    Bailey looks like a guy with the right temperament for Test cricket. He may only be a short-term stop-gap, but a bit more "toughness" is just what your batting order is crying out for. Sometimes you have to ignore the figures, look past them, and look at the man, the character. Is he the guy you want fighting it out at one end, giving one of your "better" players support and simply refusing to give his wicket away? I think that's exactly the kind of man Bailey is, and exactly the kind of man Australia need right now at 6.

    The example, for me, is Paul Collingwood. A limited player, technically, but the guy was a fighter, and the perfect foil for someone like KP or Bell.

  • H on September 15, 2013, 22:46 GMT

    @Mitty2 on (September 15, 2013, 9:34 GMT)

    Come on now. Not all England supporters. It's ironic, in a way, that your comment was followed by up an Aussie fan trying to suggest that Australia have only lost to England this summer because of DRS and poor umpiring.

    Funnily enough, I was talking to someone the other day and it occurred to me that the worst DRS/umpiring issue was probably the Khawaja dismissal at Old Trafford, the Test match Australia came closest to winning. Makes it hard to argue that the umpiring/DRS was decisive, even if it was undoubtedly a big factor.

    Fact is, this isn't England's strongest side, but when the first choice sides did meet in the Champions Trophy, England's margin of victory was slim and that too against an Australian side missing Clarke through injury. I think the two sides are very even across all three formats, with Australia holding an edge in the shorter forms and us in the longer form. Us resting players only increases Australia's edge over us.

  • Shanmugam on September 15, 2013, 20:48 GMT

    @SamRoy, every player that you have mentioned will tell you that it is their test achievements that matter more. If 20 over cricket is hit and giggle and not proper cricket, then so is ODI cricket. Almost every Eng. fan would tell you that the Ashes matters most to us than the World Cup. We clearly understand that the Ashes is played between 2 nations while the WC is played between many. But, it doesn't mean that we should attach more importance to that. You are free to like whatever you want and so are we.

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