Qantas Tour of England - ODIs
England cruise to fourth straight win
Finch, Marsh tons trumped by red-hot England batting unit, with Australia's 310 reeled in with 32 balls to spare to give hosts 4-0 series lead
Dave Middleton at the Riverside Ground, Durham
22 June 2018, 09:15 AM AEST
England have claimed a 4-0 series lead after cantering past Australia's best all-round effort of the tour, to claim a six-wicket win in Durham.
Centuries from Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh helped Australia put together their best batting performance so far as they posted 8-310.
It was a new record for the highest ODI score at this spacious venue in the country's north, but England chased it down with a minimum of fuss with the sense they could have got there much faster if so inclined.
Australia's Chester-le-Street record lasted only hours, with the hosts' accomplished batting unit reeling in the total with 32 balls to spare.
It means Australia have now lost 15 of their past 17 completed ODIs.
Australia made three changes for this match: Alex Carey, Nathan Lyon and Michael Neser came in, with D'Arcy Short and Andrew Tye dropped while Glenn Maxwell was ruled out with a shoulder injury picked up diving in the previous match.
Jason Roy hit a century – his second of the series – and Jonny Bairstow added 79. Alex Hales, who blasted that mammoth ton at Trent Bridge, was sedate here and finished not out on 34 from 45 balls.
Jos Buttler came in and smashed a 28-ball 50, then put the finishing touches on a win with 32 balls to spare.
England's powerful batting line-up highlighted just how under-strength Australia's bowling is on this tour missing the frontline pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.
Michael Neser, as affable a man in the Australian cricket team there is, opened the bowling in the hunt for the swing England's David Willey had found. By his second over captain Tim Paine had removed the slips. He bowled too straight and was milked for boundaries down the leg side.
Billy Stanlake strayed too full and was laced by Roy, and when he fell short a top edge flew for six. He leaked 26 runs in an opening two-over spell and was removed. When he came back in the 15th over, he went for nine more.
Nathan Lyon, playing his first ODI in two years, got the breakthrough after England put on an opening stand of 174. Roy had launched Lyon over long-on to bring up his ton but in the same over cut a ball straight to Marsh.
England had smashed 12 fours and a six in the first 10 overs compared to Australia's 11 fours.
But where the end of the Power Play had seen Australia slow right down, England did not drop the pace. In overs 11 to 25 Australia added 64 runs at 4.2 an over. England added 106 at more than seven.
Stanlake returned with an impressive second spell to quieten the run rate, and Jonny Bairstow tried to glide one to third man but instead only found Paine's gloves. The towering Queensland quick soon had Joe Root hopping about but another breakthrough was not forthcoming.
Neser returned for a second spell and was much improved, finding the edge of Root's bat only for Paine to put down a catch that Ricky Ponting on commentary described as "regulation for any keeper, even at club level".
Agar picked up two scalps by bowling Root as he aimed a huge swipe across the line before Eoin Morgan feathered an edge to Paine.
Finch had struck an even 100 for his 11th ODI century having returned to the top of the order after two matches batting at five. His 106-ball knock featured three towering sixes and six boundaries.
Marsh struck his second hundred of the tour as he continued his hot streak in Australian colours that started last summer, and hit 24 runs off one Adil Rashid over to take him to the milestone.
He exited on 101 after a clever tag-team catch between Roy and Craig Overton, on debut, and was one of three wickets in the 48th over for Willey as England clawed things back.
There was a half-century too for Travis Head, who struck 63 in a 101-run opening stand with Finch, Australia's highest for the first wicket since Finch and David Warner put on 231 last September against India.
After the blitzkrieg of Trent Bridge, Australia's innings was a reversion to an older style of ODI batting: lay foundations, build partnerships, keep wickets in hand for the late overs.
It's the sort of formula that has helped Australia win five World Cups. How it fares in the modern game remains to be seen.
Not just in the manner of today's result, but indeed if this will be Australia's approach going forward under coach Justin Langer and captain Tim Paine.
Part-time spinner Root bowled 10 overs unchanged from the ninth over, and went for 44 runs, He had bowled nine overs total in the series before today, and the Australians' careful approach left some unimpressed.
Criminal that Australia have allowed @root66 to bowl 10 overs on the trot... #EngvAus— Tom Moody (@TomMoodyCricket) June 21, 2018
Australia set a new record for the highest ever ODI score at this venue and added 124 in the final 15 overs at more than eight an over.
The visitors had been watchful against spin, and Head was devastated to have pulled a half-tracker from Rashid directly to Willey at mid-wicket.
Finch and Marsh carefully rebuilt until Finch picked Rashid's googly and launched him over long-on, repeating the dose two overs later.
Finch eventually fell for an even 100, trapped in front by the skiddy bounce of Mark Wood, and left with Australia 2-225 having put on 124 with Marsh.
It was a good scalp for his first international wicket on his home ground, but his second was better as he got another to skid along and castle Stoinis for 1.
Ashton Agar come in at No.5 after impressing with the bat throughout this tour, but was only able to add 19 before he got a faint edge on Rashid for Buttler to take a sharp catch.
Carey showed his innovation to scoop one boundary to fine leg off Willey, but holed out soon after for 6. Neser nicked off slogging for two and Paine was leg before on three. Nathan Lyon, in his first ODI for more than two years, was three not out.
ENGLAND XI: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (c), Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, David Willey, Craig Overton, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood.
AUSTRALIA XI: Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Shaun Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey, Tim Paine (c/wk), Ashton Agar, Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Lyon, Billy Stanlake.
Qantas tours of the UK and Zimbabwe
Australia ODI squad: Tim Paine (c), Aaron Finch (vc), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Travis Head, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Marsh, Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye
England ODI squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Craig Overton, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, David Willey, Mark Wood
Australia T20 squad: Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Travis Head, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Andrew Tye, Jack Wildermuth
England T20 squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, David Willey
Qantas Tour of the UK
June 16: England won by 38 runs in Cardiff
June 21: England won by six wickets in Durham
June 24: Fifth ODI, Old Trafford
June 27: Only T20, Edgbaston (D/N)
Qantas T20I tri-series Tour of Zimbabwe
July 1: Zimbabwe vs Pakistan
July 2: Pakistan vs Australia
July 3: Australia vs Zimbabwe
July 4: Zimbabwe vs Pakistan
July 5: Pakistan vs Australia
July 6: Australia vs Zimbabwe
July 8: Final