Jos Buttler’s slowest century, his fifth ODI hundred in 83 balls led England to the ODI series victory. This 16-run win in the Sydney match led England to the series win sparing two matches in the series.
Buttler’s enchanting innings made the tourists win though they were at a slower pace before Buttler and Woakes made a partnership of 102 runs out of 10 overs. They made this at the score 302-6 as Buttler made his century at the last ball.
Though Aaron Finch scored 62 runs as an answer and Mitch Marsh made 55, Australian team failed to reach the required rate to win. Liam Plunkett got retired hurt in just eight balls and Marcus Stones got dismissed after his thrilling performance and score of 56 runs in the last over with bounce back of England bowling line-up which took consequent wickets at crucial times.
The England team led by Eoin Morgan got a 3-0 lead in the five ODI series.
The partnership of Morgan and Buttler brought the shaky batting line-up into the track from 107-4 in the 23rd over till the end of 40th over. Morgan got out at his score of 41 runs but England has Buttler still in.
It took 52 balls for Buttler to finish his half-century but only 31 to finish his hundred in spite of constant attack by the Aussie bowlers on the sluggish pitch. This keeper steered the tourist team to 200 runs in 40 overs with his majestic sixes and boundaries.
With his ballistic performance, Buttler led the team to win as he was dropped at 70 by Adam Zampa, saved by the review when given out lbw at 97 and finally did his 5th ODI century.
Woakes proved how vital he is at number 8 with his crucial 39 not out and tremendous partnership with Buttler of 76 runs in the last six overs.
The Australian team seemed to settle down with the score 181-3 in the 34th over though they were behind the required run rate but situation grew worse with controversial dismissal of captain Steve Smith.
Stoinis and Paine tried to rebuild the innings with a partnership of 74 runs but Stoinis got dismissed at the score of 56 off 43 balls.
Thus England secured its 18th victory in the last 20 one day internationals.
Australia seemed to be the strongest fielding side though it is trailing by the 2-0 difference in the five ODI series. They never allowed the touring team to settle down but Buttler and Morgan patiently rebuilt the picture.
Man of the match Jos Buttler commented,“ it’s the best win we’ve ever had- the way we were challenged throughout, Plunkett getting injured, Joe sticking his hand up to bowl the overs, and still fighting, and to win the series.”
The England captain said, “We’re certainly going to be playing our strongest possible XI and hopefully it’s good enough for us to put in winning performance.”
Australian skipper Steve Smith expressed his feelings about the match and his controversial dismissal that “We were chasing 30 too many and we couldn’t get that momentum going. We probably batted better than in the first two games but it wasn’t enough.”
“I was given out so I had to get off the field. I wasn’t batting very well anyway so it gave someone else a chance,” he commented about his dismissal.