England v Australia, 3rd ODI, Old Trafford September 8, 2015

Taylor, spinners deliver big England win

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England 300 for 8 (Taylor 101, Roy 63, Morgan 62) beat Australia 207 (Finch 53, Moeen 3-32) by 93 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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Vibrant England keep series alive

England clawed their way back into the ODI series against Australia with a 93-run victory at Old Trafford.

A maiden international century from Man of the Match James Taylor provided the bedrock of England's total of 300, before their spinners went to work on a dry surface, claiming 5 for 73 between them in 20 overs. Moeen Ali finished with career-best ODI figures while Adil Rashid has never bowled better in an England shirt.

It was England's first win in eight ODIs against Australia and only their second in 13. It means the sides go to Headingley with the series poised at 2-1 with two to play.

There are, as ever, some caveats. It was an important toss that England won, with the pitch turning considerably by the end, while Australia were missing seven of the XI that played in the World Cup final a few months ago and are very much a team in transition. But, with a couple of obvious additions - David Warner and James Faulkner in particular - it may not be far from the side that represents them in the 2019 World Cup. Both these teams are in a redevelopment phase.

Australia will also reflect that they had opportunities to bowl England out far more cheaply. Eoin Morgan was missed - a relatively simple stumping chance to Matthew Wade off the impressive debutant Ashton Agar - when he had 15 and Taylor would have been given out leg before off Glenn Maxwell for 41 had Australia utilised their DRS referral.

It was, in some ways, a slightly old-fashioned performance from England. Taylor, demonstrating the leadership qualities that saw him promoted to the vice-captaincy for this game, faced 47 dot balls in his innings and only managed one boundary in his first 50 runs.

But, while he never threatened to score at a run a ball and never threatened to be pretty, he manoeuvred the ball well, scampered 47 singles and, even when his colleagues failed and the innings faltered, kept his head and ensured his side posted a competitive total. It was, for its unruffled calm, its maturity and its judgement, almost Jonathan Trott-esque.

James Taylor celebrates his maiden ODI hundred © Getty Images

And, if the total was a little less than seemed probable at one stage, it still required a record run chase. The highest successful chase in an ODI at Old Trafford is 285, but that was in a 55-over a side game. In a 50-over game, it is 242.

Still, when England were 205 for 2 with 17 overs to go, it seemed a score of something approaching 350 was possible. But Australia's new-look attack bowled with impressive control and maturity and England managed only 100 runs for the loss of six wickets in the final 18 overs of their innings. The ball became much more difficult to time as it aged.

Perhaps for that reason, the most fluent batting in either innings came from the opening batsmen, Jason Roy and Aaron Finch. At one stage Roy, mixing touch and power in a manner that speaks volumes for his development as a batsman, took a jaded-looking Mitchell Starc for four boundaries in five balls.

But batting at the other end appeared far less straightforward. Alex Hales, timing the ball sweetly enough but unable to pierce the field, managed 9 from 31 balls before clipping to midwicket and when Roy was lured down the pitch and drawn into a miscued drive, it seemed England's momentum would falter.

After a torrid start against the hostile Pat Cummins, Morgan helped Taylor add 119 in 18 overs and provide the platform for England's total. While he looked uncomfortable against Cummins' short ball - the bowler was clocked at almost 96 mph - he eventually found something approaching fluency.

But after he fell, slogging the first ball of a new spell from Maxwell to mid-on, the anticipated acceleration never came. Stokes' increasingly torturous innings was ended by a top-edged sweep to mid-on, Jonny Bairstow was run out by a brilliant direct hit from Smith, Moeen top-edged an attempted pull and Liam Plunkett was run out after over-committing while backing up to Taylor.

While Taylor reached his century in the penultimate over of the innings - fittingly enough, brought up with a scrambled single - it was left to Chris Woakes' late slogging to help England reach 300.

Australia rarely threatened their target. While Finch, recalled after injury, looked in sublime form, Joe Burns horribly mistimed to mid-off and the spinners choked the innings into submission on a surface proving them with plenty of assistance. Smith was brilliantly caught by Steven Finn at midwicket - a full length diving effort - as he attempted to skip down the pitch and flick him through the leg side and Finch, frustrated by Rashid's turn, control and variations, holed out to long-on.

Maxwell flourished briefly but, after two successive reverse-sweeps for four, his attempt at a third resulted only in a top edge to the keeper and George Bailey's uncomfortable innings ended when he slogged a full toss to deep midwicket.

Victory was all but assured by the time Roy, at deep midwicket, appeared to have misjudged a tough chance but then dived backwards to cling on to an outstanding, one-handed, juggling catch.

Maybe, in the long term, this is a performance that will confuse the England management. It remains hard to see a place for Taylor in the side once Joe Root returns and the continuing struggles of Stokes with the bat are a concern. But selectors would rather leave out good players than include inadequate ones and, after a couple of chastening defeats, this was a performance that not only kept the series alive, but will encourage a developing side that they are on the right track.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on September 10, 2015, 16:34 GMT

    Easiest way to beat Aus guaranteed! Bring in 4 spinners (all rounder/part time spinners work too) and maybe 1 medium seamer who can move it a degree or 2, depending if it's overcast or not. Game over!

  • Dean on September 10, 2015, 10:19 GMT

    Valavan, Re Samit, when he was used in the test side a few years ago he did poorly with bat & Ball & although he remains a solid FC cricketer he's done nothing domestically since to suggest that he would be any more successful if given another go. This season his bowling stats are decent enough 23@31 but he's ave just 20 with the bat. He's not going to make the side for his bowling alone & there are plenty of better batsman out there. Re Monty, he's played very little FC cricket for Essex this year & at 1 point was plying his trade in the 2nd XI, 7 wickets &38 a piece isn't going to get him noticed again by the selectors. You would expect Moen & Rashid to play in the tests but there should also be room for a 3rd spinner in the party. That should be Ansari who's taken 44 wickets @30 a piece, scored 672 runs at an ave of 33 & been a key player in Surrey promotion charge.

  • Dummy4 on September 10, 2015, 6:33 GMT

    As I had written on the conclusion of previous ODI that that was not England's day, this was sure their day. England won the toss, chose to bat first and batted fearlessly. Again, do not rule out the Aussies - they might come back in the next ODI. After watching the game I can safely say that Cummins is getting matured and bowling real fast with accuracy. In Cummins, Starc has found a partner to shoulder with the pace attack. Last words - 300 plus is a psychological fearsome figure for the team chasing it. There are only few examples, no doubt, that this figure has been chased down but I am talking about this as a general rule.

  • Valavan on September 10, 2015, 6:29 GMT

    Hales,Cook, Taylor,Root,Bell,Bairstow/Butler,Stokes/Samit,Ali,Rashid, Broad and Anderson. This seems to be a good experiment in UAE. Why cant we give a second chance to Monty??? He had good rewards in SC and Middle East.

  • John on September 10, 2015, 1:51 GMT

    @Wayne_Larkins_barnett on September 9, 2015, 22:46 GMT; I couldn't agree with you less. The fact that Hales hasn't managed to put a string of decent scores together in ODIs so far doesn't mean that he can't. I would point to David Warner as an example of someone who made his name in T20 but took a while to find his feet in ODIs and is now very successful in all formats. Hales may not be that good but I think it's jumping the gun to say that he can't be. Also, he has proven success at the top of the order against a red ball in Division 1, while Moeen Ali has demonstrated a looseness of technique outside off that was exactly the issue that Lyth was battling in the Ashes. I see Moeen Ali and Hales as very different propositions as Test openers. I certainly wouldn't stake my life on Hales succeeding but I think that he's worth a try if Lyth is going to be dropped.

  • John on September 9, 2015, 23:56 GMT

    @SirViv1973 on September 9, 2015, 15:45 GMT; I'm with you on most of that. With regards to Hales form in this series, it's not ideal but I'm not too concerned at this stage. He looked OK in the first two games before getting out and looked to be over-compensating a bit in game 3. I'm not sure that he's necessarily out form. As for Roy, while he has tightened up his technique a bit since the NZ series, I just don't think, from what I've seen of him, that it would stand up to the scrutiny it would receive when opening the batting in Tests. I could be wrong of course, but I really don't see him getting a look in.

  • John on September 9, 2015, 23:52 GMT

    @davefromluton on September 9, 2015, 17:42 GMT;

    "Trickstar Ballance isnt even English"

    So, what's your point?

  • Johnston on September 9, 2015, 22:46 GMT

    JMCHIL - I would say that if Hales can't even string a run of decent scores together at ODI level, then he's little chance of achieving success in tests. Especially in the UAE. That's not to say you can't play well in tests after doing poorly in ODIs, but he clearly likes to go after the ball and seems to lack concentration. It's as bad a call as asking Moeen Ali to open in tests.

  • Nicholas on September 9, 2015, 21:28 GMT

    I've only just watched the highlights now. Better spirit from England this game, although with 300 runs on the board and a procession of Australian batsmen marching back to the pavilion for a change, why shouldn't they be. Less said about Wade the better. If there's a batsman struggling somewhere, by all means bring him in as a replacement batsman; but as a keeper, I haven't seen anything worse since K. Akmal. Lovely to see the spinners deliver; @landl47: noticed Ali's action - he's getting more rip on the ball! Clearly been working hard with his mate at (Worcestershire is it?)... @johnthekiwi (post on September 8, 2015, 20:31 GMT): ...and like I said to you, "now's not the time to be thinking about future tests just yet!" You don't like/enjoy this series, don't follow - simple as that. @TheBigBoodha (post on September 9, 2015, 11:00 GMT): Great joke mate; loved it. Almost thought you were serious and reverting back to old habits. Oh, wait...

  • John on September 9, 2015, 19:11 GMT

    @BRUSSELSLION ON SEPTEMBER 9, 2015, 11:22 GMT - I'm only suggesting he should open in SFs. He came in at 3 in the 4th over in the T20 and scored 70+ N/O and was averaging around 35 at a 100+ SR in ODIs as an opener and that in a struggling side. Before this series I'd have had him opening instead of Roy but now it would be instead of Hales. Before this series his SR and ave were way better than both Roy and Hales so to me it makes no sense not to have had him opening in the 1st place. For the record I'd probably open with Bell in UAE. It's not that I'm convinced he'll do well but I don't feel he'll do any better at 3 or 4. If he's in form I feel he can open just as well as any other position.

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