Continuing with their recent dominance in 50-over cricket, Australia defeated England in the second ODI by 72 runs to clinch the three-match series on Saturday as Steve Smith continued piling up runs in one-day internationals while Mitchell Starc and Adam bagged four wickets each.

This victory in Sydney’s SCG followed the convincing 6-wicket win in Adelaide after the Aussies scored 280 runs in the allotted overs for the loss 8 wickets and then bundled out their archrivals for 208 in just 38.5 overs.

Although both David Warner and Travis Head could not repeat their Adelaide onslaught after being dismissed for 16 and 19, it was Smith, who scored 94 in 114, built a 101-run stand for Marnus Labuschagne. The partnership ended when Labuschagne was caught by Jason Roy on the bowling of Adil Rashid at mid-off after scoring 58 of 55 balls.

Meanwhile, Mitchel Marsh too managed to score 50 of 59 deliveries as Smith developed another partnership with him before losing his wicket when the total was 234 in the 44th over.

England never completely lost control with the ball, largely thanks to Adil Rashid’s three wickets, but a total of 280 felt very competitive on a surface that was not entirely easy for scoring.

The target looked much more daunting after just five balls of England’s chase by which time Starc had two wickets to his name. Jason Roy’s struggles did not abate as he gloved down the leg side second ball then Starc produced rapid outswing to firstly beat Dawid Malan twice then take out the off stump with an unplayable delivery.

Malan was looking to play to the leg side with an open face but having come off a fine century two days he had the right to feel positive and the ball shaped late and at pace to beat the edge. After Starc’s wicked delivery to remove Roy in Adelaide it was another strong response to his omission late in the T20 World Cup.

When Phil Salt was cleaned up by Hazlewood for a counterpunching 23, England were 34 for 3 in the sixth over and in danger of falling away. However, in the latest example of their batting depth James Vince and Sam Billings, who took Ashton Agar for consecutive sixes, constructed excellent fifties in a fourth-wicket stand of 122 in 22 overs which put England back in a position where the target was attainable.

But Vince swung across the line at Hazlewood for an umpire’s call lbw then the ever-consistent Zampa made the decisive breakthroughs in the middle order, including Billings for 71, as he claimed 3 for 0 in nine balls and England lost 7 for 52. This time, the batting depth was not enough.

There had been a surprise before the game when Hazlewood appeared for the toss when Pat Cummins was rested one match into his captaincy tenure. It was a case of change all-round with Moeen Ali also leading England for the first time in ODIs as Jos Buttler took a well-deserved break.


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