• Last updated on Fri, 22 Jun, 2018, 02:10 AM
Roy smashed his second century of the series. © Getty
Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow went on a rampage again to give England an unassailable 4-0 in lead in the ODI series against Australia despite centuries from Shaun Marsh and Aaron Finch. While Australia’s batting stepped up after a miserable performance in the third game, England’s openers continued from where they left at Trent Bridge to make a target of 311 look fairly easy.
At the end of the fourth over, the hosts had raced to 35 for no loss with Roy fetching 30 of them. He eventually helped himself to a 36-ball fifty as England scored 76 in the powerplay. Unfortunately for Australia, there was no respite despite the field getting spread out as Bairstow joined in the act to raise the century stand off just 80 deliveries. The tale was all too familiar for Australia as the duo continued to milk the bowling attack like they have been doing throughout the series.
Despite taking a backseat in the partnership, Bairstow managed to raise his fifty off 40 deliveries. The chase appeared dead and buried at the end of the 20th over with England racing to 146 for no loss. Roy finally departed after bringing up his second hundred of the series with a six and then with Bairstow following him soon after, Australia finally managed to apply the brakes on the scoring rate.
Joe Root and Alex Hales took some time before starting to accelerate and Tim Paine’s dropped catch also added to Australia’s woes at one stage. Ashton Agar gave Australia a sniff by removing Root and Eoin Morgan off successive overs, but all it managed to do was unleash Jos Buttler onto the scene. The wicketkeeper-batsman went on an all out attack mode by first clubbing Jhye Richardson to signal his intentions. From thereon, it was just a one-man show as he even had enough time to get to another quickfire half-century while polishing off the chase.
Earlier in the day, Australia opted to bat first after bringing in Nathan Lyon and pushing Finch back at the top of the order. While Finch was subdued to begin with, Travis Head did the bulk of the scoring in the powerplay with regular boundaries. He hit a beautiful straight drive off Mark Wood in the seventh over and followed it up with one more off the final delivery. He reserved some special treatment for the debutant Craig Overton by picking three fours off his first over to round off the powerplay on a high.
England brought the scoring rate down after bringing on Joe Root into the attack and with the boundaries getting dried up, Head perished to a long hop bowled by Adil Rashid. The dismissal still didn’t tilt the balance though, as Finch and Marsh built a steady stand to set up a nice platform for a final flourish. Overton’s day went from bad to worse as Finch hammered him for another six to move into the nineties and eventually reached three figures for the sixth time against England in his career.
Mark Wood then plotted Australia’s downfall by getting rid of the centurion and Marcus Stoinis in the same over and from thereon, the onus was on Marsh to do the bulk of the scoring. The veteran opened up scoring boundaries at will to eventually reach a century but with no support coming from the other end, Australia eventually fell at least 20 runs short. In the end, it wouldn’t have mattered anyway.
Brief scores: Australia 310/8 in 50 overs (Shaun Marsh 101, Aaron Finch 100; David Willey 4-43, Mark Wood 2-49) lost to England 314/4 in 44.4 overs (Jason Roy 101, Jonny Bairstow 79, Jos Buttler 54*; Ashton Agar 2-48) by six wickets.