Australia have defeated England by a convincing 112 runs in the final of the One Day Tri-Series in Perth. Posting 8/248 from their 50 overs, the Aussies skittled the Poms for 166 in just 39.1 overs to claim the trophy.
A personal best from Glenn Maxwell rescued the Aussies from a possibly embarrassing innings in front of their home crowd. At 4/60 in the 18th over Australia were looking nervous. A 141 run partnership between Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh helped reignite the innings and instil some dominance on the lively track.
England struck with the third ball of the match when English spearhead James Andersen had Aaron Finch caught at first slip. Andersen nabbed fellow opener Warner on 12(18) before he was able to heat up, caught at point off a ball that reared up at him.
Steve Smith looked comfortable at the crease and at number 3, knocking the ball to all parts of the field. He was not given much support from the struggling George Bailey, who fell victim to a short-leg mind game with Stuart Broad on 2(17).
Just as Smith looked set to wind-up for another stellar innings, he gave his wicket away after assuming that England wicket-keeper Jos Buttler had removed the bails via a stumping chance. Smith dawdled back into his crease, giving Buttler enough time to remove the bails and the in-form batsman for 40(50).
At 4/60 fans nervously watched on as the out-of-form Glenn Maxwell and injury-plagued Mitchell Marsh set about restoring some balance to the scoreboard for the Aussies.
With powerful ‘Ponting-esque’ driving, Maxwell smashed his way back into form with some uncharacteristically conventional strokes. A trademark reverse sweep was dabbed to fine-leg bringing up his half-century in the 30th over.
Marsh was patient before unleashing to the leg side, using the bounce of the wicket and some wayward bowling to boost his run rate. Sublime timing of the ball was a feature of the exciting partnership, but adrenaline got the better of Maxwell again as he was caught behind swiping at a reasonable bouncer from Broad on 95(98).
“I have screwed it a few times before, it was nice to get through to that 40th over,” Maxwell commented after the match, clearly relieved to have posted a decent total with the World Cup just around the corner.
Marsh was run out at the bowlers end for 60(68) attempting to sneak a cheeky second run but failing to fool Buttler behind the stumps.
James Faulkner provided another brutal cameo, smashing an unbeaten 50 off the final ball of the innings and from only 24 balls. Faulkner’s innings included four boundaries and four big sixes, propping the Aussies to a defensible 278 runs.
The England openers looked resilient, but were again undone by the patient, precise and whippy bowling from the Aussie pace attack. Josh Hazlewood (2/13 from 6.1) removed Ian Bell, caught behind for 8 and Mitchell Johnson backed him up with the wicket of Taylor for only 4(18).
Mitchell Johnson (3/27) was bowling with excellent pace and extracting some ferocious bounce from the WACA pitch. He dismissed Ali with a terrifying bouncer at the ribs via an edge to Finch at 2nd slip and rattled the stumps of the English captain (Morgan) with the next ball.
Faulkner slid one through Joe Root with the first ball of his new spell and England were speechless at 5-71. Glenn Maxwell cleaned up the tail (4 for 46 from 9) with some sharp and tight sliders in a man of the match performance.
Clearly qualified to comment on form, Steve Smith was full of praise after Maxwell’s performance… especially with the bat!
“I think Maxy, the way he played today, was outstanding,” Smith said. “He gave himself a chance and got himself in and probably didn’t take a risk until he got himself to 50. I think that’s the way he should play in the future.”
Australia will seek to handle the concern of a rib injury to James Faulkner. Visibly in pain, the injury saw him leave the field, souring the win slightly for the Aussies.