Eoin Morgan won the toss and elected to bat first on the decider of the three match series. Steve Smith was still missing for Australia after his blow on the head in practice ahead of the first ODI.
Australia had a fantastic start with the ball as Starc picked up the wickets of Roy and Root in the first two balls. Jonny Bairstow looked at this best as he was timing the ball beautifully, helping England recover along with Morgan. After the first 10 overs, Adam Zampa was brought into the attack and struck straight away getting Eoin Morgan out for the 3rd time in this tour. Soon after that he got the wicket of Jos Buttler as well which left England struggling at 96/4 in the 19th over. Sam Billings who was in form supported Bairstow very well as they put up a big partnership of 114 runs. Billings fell for a well made 57 and Bairstow soon followed after a magnificent 112. As Australia were looking to wrap up, they struggled at the back end once again as Chris Woakes took up the finishing role along with Curran and Rashid who who 53 runs off the last 5 overs to take England to 302 which was a very good score on this pitch.
Australia didn’t get off to a great start with the bat either as they lost Finch and Stoinis early on in the chase. David Warner who has struggled to face Archer this series got through his spell but expectedly Root was called out to ball who turned out to be a surprise package. Root dismissed Warner and Marsh in quick succession leaving Australia in trouble. Labuschagne who was trying to build an innings got run out trying to steal a single which left Australia at 73/5 in the 17th over. England from here should have really pounced on the moment and clinched the series but Carey was given a life early on when he was dismissed off Archers no-ball. After that, Australia took charge. Glenn Maxwell took chances at the right time and Carey was able to support Maxwell as he kept the scoreboard ticking and picking up the boundaries when required. Maxwell went on to get his second ODI century and Alex Carey got his maiden century as well. These two put on a Mammoth partnership of 285 runs which really took the game away from England. There was a bit of tension when Maxwell and Carey were dismissed in the end, with 10 runs to get off the last over. But Adil Rashid was called on to bowl the last over and Starc hit the first ball for 6 which sealed the match. He then went on to hit a 4 to win the game with two balls to spare.
It was a fantastic series victory for Australia winning 2-1. It was the end of a great series between England and Australia. Both teams have won 3 matches each across formats which is a fair reflection of how well the teams have competed.
Glenn Maxwell was judged the Player of the Match and Series.
Just Cricket Thoughts
In the first innings, Bairstow played very well and looked at his fluent best after a long time. He was able to target the shorter boundaries and paced his innings well after the quick wickets.
It was a very good move from Finch to get Zampa immedietely after the 10th over and he was brilliant once again picking up important wickets. Australia once again struggled with their plans at the death. The last 5 overs in the first innings almost took the game away from Australia. Starc could have bowled from the other end with longer leg side boundary, considering he was looking to bowl straight and Hazlewood could bowl at outside off stump line.
In the second innings, Australia were again found out against the turning ball. They will have to improve their play against spinners in the middle overs. Marcus Stoinis has not been able to play a defining innings in the opportunities he has got at 3. Glenn Maxwell played a fantastic knock and was very sensible in picking his bowlers. He too targeted the shorter boundary and ran very well between the wickets. Alex Carey who did not look very good in this tour so far was able to spend some time in the middle and play his shots which is a good sign.
Morgan might have missed a couple of tricks today. They could have attacked with the premier bowlers after Joe Root picked up 2 wickets instead of persisting with him for 8 overs which let Carey and Maxwell settle in. Bowling Adil Rashid in the last over was a big gamble considering Starc was on strike and we have seen him play big shots of the spinners a number of times. This move, unfortunately for Morgan did not work very well today.