The ODI series has been a pretty dismal for the English, off the back of an Ashes thrashing, but hopes were high that they might just about be able to beat what was an Australia B team in Perth – and thankfully they did.
The tourists performed well with the bat, setting a target of 317 for Australia to win. Jos Buttler hit four sixes for his 71 from 43 balls, Ben Stokes struck 70 off 84 and Ian Bell made 55 as England posted 316-8.
It proved a total that was beyond Australia, all out for 259 by the 48th over, with Stokes taking 4-39.
The result leaves Australia 3-1 up in the series with one match to play on Sunday.
“It’s been a while since we’ve had this feeling and those couple of catches at the end made us wait a bit longer,” England captain Alastair Cook said. “It’s frustrating because we have played a long way below our potential and you see glimpses like today, but the good thing is we know it’s there and when you see the way some of the guys have performed you know we’re not a bad side.
“[Stokes] he’s an outstanding cricketer, still quite raw, but he competes and you can see how much he has learned from that second match in Brisbane.”
Australia captain George Bailey agreed that his side had been outplayed.
“We were outplayed today,” he said. “I think there was plenty in the wicket early on and we struggled to control the ball a bit which allowed them to get off to a flier. We did well to claw it back, at one stage they looked on course for 350. Ideally you want the same team playing all the time but tonight threw up some opportunities. Ben Stokes has gone from strength to strength, loves the contest and I bet Cookie loves having him in his side.”
Wait a second while we recover from the shock…
Image credit: Getty