Australia capture series and break England's proud home record as Carey and Maxwell drive revival  

Australia's batting heroes Glenn Maxwell and Alex Carey put on 208 for the sixth wicket in victory over England
Australia's batting heroes Glenn Maxwell and Alex Carey put on 208 for the sixth wicket in victory over England

England lost this season’s last battle, in a magnificent climax, when Australia’s Alex Carey and Glenn Maxwell both hit centuries which were in the circumstances superlative, as they came together at 73 for five when their team was all but gone. Thus the current World Cup holders were beaten by the previous holders, and England lost a home bilateral one-day series for the first time in five years.

When England lost with two balls remaining, it was the first series they had lost all summer. They beat West Indies 2-1 in Tests; Pakistan 1-0 in Tests; drew 1-1 with Pakistan in T20s; beat Ireland 2-1 in ODIs; then defeated Australia 2-1 in T20s but not the ODIs, because Australia chased down their target of 303 in the highest successful run-chase at Old Trafford.

As a whole though, even if English cricket did not win the last battle, they won the war insofar as the invisible enemy of Covid-19 allowed. In these unique circumstances, to stage every game, without crowds but otherwise without compromise, was a triumph - from the groundstaff who worked overtime at the only two grounds England used, through the players and coaches who retained their sanity in hotel rooms for weeks on end, to Steve Elworthy who orchestrated as the ECB’s Director of Special Projects. He ran the World Cup last summer and this season was no less of a challenge.

In addition to everything else, this game was a heavyweight contest in which both sides tried to knock each other out from the moment the bell rang, from Mitchell Starc’s two wickets with the first two balls of the game to Australia’s sixth-wicket counter-punching by Carey and Maxwell in a record stand. Containment used to be the name of the one-day game, until very recently in England, but the format has evolved so much it is now extreme pace and wrist-spin, not medium-pace and finger-spun darts any more.

Starc landed not only the last two punches with boundaries in the final over, but the first two, which flattened England against the ropes: Jason Roy sliced to point, Joe Root was pinned by an inswinger. Yet Eoin Morgan was counterattacking in this same first over and England had reached 67 for two by the end of the powerplay, not 22 or 32 as in the first two games. So England’s response to losing wickets off the first two balls was to score more than a run a ball.

Joe Root grabbed two quick wickets as Australia were reduced to 73 for five  Credit: Pool via REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff

The one period when England had to rein themselves was when they lost their third wicket in the 11th over, when Morgan attacked Adam Zampa’s first over and was caught at mid-off. One of England’s three wicketkeeping Bs had to make a hundred, and soon Jos Buttler - still off the boil - ruled himself out. England's series loss hinged on Roy, Root and Buttler scoring so few runs.

The consequence of England losing four early wickets was that they could not attack Zampa or Australia’s fifth and sixth bowlers in the middle overs, which made a difference in the end as Carey and Maxwell accelerated then. Bairstow and Billings had to keep up their guard, so not a reverse-sweep was risked against Australia’s two spinners until the 28th over. Not only was one square boundary short but the strong wind blew that way - the opposite to its direction in the first two matches.

Innumerable times Jonny Bairstow has batted fluently for England but seldom before this series has he battled when not fluent. The loss of his Test place has steeled his white-ball batting; he no longer needs Jason Roy to show him the way. Bairstow’s 10th ODI century took his average up to 47: England’s only two batsmen with higher ODI averages are No3s who have batted more sedately, Jonathan Trott and Joe Root. Bairstow added 114 with Billings, until the 38th over when Billings top-edged a reverse-sweep, giving Zampa his 10th wicket of this series.

Woakes embarked on a perfect all-round display spanning the two innings but was not supported by his fellow bowlers. He had already played one match-winner at Old Trafford: his 84 that saw England home in the Pakistan Test. Now he oversaw 82 from the last 10 overs after Bairstow had gone to the first ball of them: an off-cutter which turned and alerted England to the possibilities of Root’s off-spin.

After his brace, Woakes has now taken the equal most wickets in the first powerplay of ODIs since the 2015 World Cup, 50, along with Trent Boult. After Root’s brace, England had cause to regret Jofra Archer’s no-ball - his first no-ball ever in ODIs - when Carey, on nine, steered a short ball to third man but was reprieved.

Maxwell batted magnificently to make 108 Credit:  Pool via REUTERS/Shaun Botterill

Maxwell, having represented Lancashire, knew the boundaries. Once an over he would mow Adil Rashid over the short leg side. England’s bowlers may have been given spells too long; Buttler dropped Maxwell when 44 off Rashid. England had to take a wicket, to bring in Australia’s bowlers, but it did not happen until Carey and Maxwell had added 212.

It was Carey’s first ODI hundred, Maxwell’s second. Together they boiled the equation down, from 81 off ten overs to 21 off three. Morgan brought back Rashid and his legreak dismissed Maxwell, while a wonderful catch by Mark Wood accounted for Carey, only for Starc to land the final blow. But the oldest relationship in international sport endures. 

Glenn Maxwell

Has been named man of the match and man of the series for his match-winning innings in matches one and three.  Three matches in one sentence. Some effort. 

Australia win by three wickets

Proof, I think, that they didn't choke on Sunday. It wasn't impassive. England choked them. But here, by virtue of a stunning 208-run sixth-wicket stand, Australia have become the first touring side to win an ODI series in England for five years.

What a game, what a series and what a summer given everything they have had to battle to get here. Superb contributions from West Indies, Ireland, Pakistan, Australia and, above all, England. 

OVER 49.4: AUS 305/7 (Cummins 4 Starc 11) – Target 303               

Australia win by three wickets with two balls to spare. 

Sweeps hard for four. 

OVER 49.3: AUS 301/7 (Cummins 4 Starc 7) – Target 303              

Cummins belts it down to long on for a single. 

OVER 49.2: AUS 300/7 (Cummins 3 Starc 7) – Target 303             

Single hoicked into the onside. 

OVER 49.1: AUS 299/7 (Cummins 3 Starc 6) – Target 303            

He has just launched a googly back over the bowler's head for six!

OVER 49: AUS 293/7 (Cummins 3 Starc 0) – Target 303            

Superb from Archer. Sensational from Wood.

Australia need 10 from the last over. 

Morgan sticks with Rashid for the final over. Cojones.  


Carey c Wood b Archer 106 Caught brilliantly at third man. Fabulous snatch!

OVER 48.5: AUS 293/6 (Carey 106 Cummins 3) – Target 303           

Same tactic from Archer but this one is a wide. 

OVER 48.5: AUS 292/6 (Carey 106 Cummins 3) – Target 303          

Dot ball from Acher. Wide, trimming the tramlines as Carey backed away. 

OVER 48.4: AUS 292/6 (Carey 106 Cummins 3) – Target 303         

Cummins blocks and runs to cover. Single.

OVER 48.3: AUS 291/6 (Carey 106 Cummins 2) – Target 303        

Archer raps Cummins on the forearm as he backed away to try to uppercut. Ouch. DOt ball. 

OVER 48.2: AUS 291/6 (Carey 106 Cummins 2) – Target 303       

Carey drills the inswinging yorker to mid-off. Curran stops it. Single

OVER 48.1: AUS 290/6 (Carey 105 Cummins 2) – Target 303      

Archer is back. Cummins on strike. Long chat between bowler and captain.

Cummins squeezes one off his pads. 

OVER 48: AUS 289/6 (Carey 105 Cummins 1) – Target 303     

Brilliant captaincy from Morgan. After Maxwell departs Carey sweeps (after they crossed) for two then chips a back-foot punch down to third man. A single and then one for Cummins, too. 

Australia need 14 off 12. 


Maxwell c Curran b Rashid 108 Top edges to short third man a ball after he had just chipped it over him.  FOW 285/6

OVER 47: AUS 282/5 (Carey 101 Maxwell 106) – Target 303    

Carey, just to be peculiar, moves to 99 with a six by pulling the short ball over the short boundary. Two hundred partnership now. Carey brings up his hundred with a whip through the legside for one. Terrific innings after that false start. These two have been superb under intense pressure. England need a miracle. Or two quick wickets. Maxwell flicks a single into the legside, Carey pops a single off his hip and Maxwell ends the over with a pull for two into the ground from chin height.

Morgan throws the ball to Rashid.

Australia need 21 off 18.  

OVER 46: AUS 271/5 (Carey 93 Maxwell 103) – Target 303   

Carey backs away and pokes a single fine of point. Maxwell, like Bairstow, brings up his hundred with a six, flaying a length ball over cow corner for six, clearing the leaping Billings by a few feet. Now, sensibly, they just tap it around for singles. Eleven off the over. The partnership is 197. 

Australia need 33 off 24. 

OVER 45: AUS 260/5 (Carey 90 Maxwell 95) – Target 303  

Chris Woakes starts his ninth over with two for 28 off his previous spells. They run a leg-bye off the first, then Carey plays a short-arm pull to mid-on. Woakes takes the pace off to Maxwell, bowling cutters and bowling a sixth-stump line. Maxwell slaps a cut for a single. Carey pulls two to deep midwicket and he has to dive to make it home. Bullet throw from Billings. Carey inside edges a single to square leg and Maxwell ends the over with a cross-bat shovel through midwicket. They race back for two. 

Australia need 43 off 30 balls. 

OVER 44: AUS 253/5 (Carey 86 Maxwell 92) – Target 303     

Tom Curran returns - he needs to bowl a least two to make up 20 from him, Root and Rashid. Curran swings and misses at the first ball, which dies in the pitch. Curran is bowling to trim the tramlines to stop Maxwell heaving to cow corner. Curran serves up a slow off-cutter and Maxwell bunts it back up the pitch for a single. They appeal for a strangle when Carey is struck on his backside as he tried to tickle it. Carey drills a single to mid-off then Maxwell swings it back Australia's way by wristily launching it over cover for four despite it painting that tramline. He nicks the strike, too, with a shovelly pull to midwicket for one.

Australia need 51 off 36. 

OVER 43: AUS 245/5 (Carey 85 Maxwell 86) – Target 303    

Maxwell shovels a pull off the bottom edge fine for four. They trot a leg-bye next ball. Carey flicks a single square and Maxwell flogs a cut through cover for another. Carey pulls Wood for a single and Maxwell exceeds the required rate when he takes a single to third man. 

Australia need 58 off 42 balls. 

OVER 42: AUS 236/5 (Carey 83 Maxwell 80) – Target 303   

Carey steps away, Archer follows him and the umpire throws his hands out to signal a wide. Better from Archer to follow, a yorker that Carey digs out. He does it again next ball. Morgan at cover stops the run. Archer bangs the next one in and Carey uppercuts for four. He knew Rashid was moved fine so he hit it harder and belted it square.

Archer follows Carey again, who pops it into the legside and hares a single. Maxwell carves Archer's slower ball for two to cover point then works a single off middle to backward square. 

Australia need 67 off 48. 

OVER 41: AUS 227/5 (Carey 78 Maxwell 77) – Target 303  

Wood has three left and will continue. His first ball is pushed to cover by Carey and that's the 150 partnership. Maxwell duck-hooks a bouncer for one and Carey throws the hands at one outside the off but doesn't reach it. Wood smiles. A leg-bye is jogged when Wood angles one into Carey's thighpad. Wood cranks it up to Maxwell who steps away and heaves at fresh air. Two off the last ball, a pull into the ground that scuttles through midwicket.  

Australia need 75 off 54. 

OVER 40: AUS 222/5 (Carey 77 Maxwell 74) – Target 303 

Archer returns. He has four overs left but has been costly in terms of runs and that no-ball so far. Maxwell swats a pull to midwicket for a single. Carey can't find the gap through the onside so goes on to his toes next ball and uppercuts for four. Rashid is moved finer at third man after that. Carey plays tip and run for a single, Archer finishes with two dots to Maxwell after the latter hits a cut straight to the fielder in the circle.

Double Nelson. 

Australia need 81 off 60. 

OVER 39: AUS 216/5 (Carey 72 Maxwell 73) – Target 303

Carey fiddles after a Wood length ball, plays and misses. He defends the next as Wood cramps him and then bottom-edges a pull to mid-on. Archer fields and hurls it at the keeper, forcing Wood to leapfrog out of the way. Couple of wides, quick and tailing down the legside, and one that jars Maxwell on the splice before the right-hander taps a single to mid-off. Carey leans into a cover drive and scampers back for two.

At this point England were 216 for five as well. 

Australia need 87 off 66. 

OVER 38: AUS 210/5 (Carey 69 Maxwell 72) – Target 303   

Rashid beats Maxwell with a big leg-break as he falls over slogging but it didn't find the edge. He connects with the googly, though, carting it flat over midwicket for six. 

Australia need 93 off 72. 

OVER 37: AUS 201/5 (Carey 67 Maxwell 65) – Target 303  

Mark Wood returns for his sixth over. He is bowling into the pitch and inviting Maxwell to try to hit into the legside. They work five singles, four off the bat one off the pad, from the first five balls. Wood then fires another into Maxwell's pads. England appeal but it hit the pad which at least prevents it from  being called wide. 

OVER 36: AUS 196/5 (Carey 64 Maxwell 64) – Target 303 

Outrageous strength from Maxwell to sledgehammer a six over wide mid-on and on to a balcony on the Point. Ridiculous. A gloved samaritan retrieves it. Maxwell lets the leg-break go in the expectation it would be called wide, which it wasn't nor should it have been. He thick edges a drive for a single, Carey sweeps for one and Maxwell, who might be being too greedy here, toes a cross-bat hoick wide of mid-on. 

These two have got the talent to take Australia home. It will be down to bottle from here and how well Jofra Archer bowls when he comes back on. 

OVER 35: AUS 186/5 (Carey 62 Maxwell 56) – Target 303

Woakes will bowl his eighth over and he succeeds in reining Australia in a little, keeping them down to two singles off the first five balls, the last of which is a jaffa, an off-cutter that leaves Carey's edge. Make that two off six.

Australia need 117 off 90. 

OVER 34: AUS 184/5 (Carey 61 Maxwell 55) – Target 303  

Maxwell raises the century partnership in hair-raising fashion, clothing a slog sweep just shirt of Woakes at long on. They run one, Carey pokes three through cover then Maxwell does nail the slog sweep, thrashing it over deep midwicket for six. A pair of singles end a costly over for Emgland. 

OVER 33: AUS 172/5 (Carey 57 Maxwell 47) – Target 303 

Woakes resumes after drinks. Carey nurdles a pair of singles into the legside, Maxwell punches one back down the pitch. Four singles in total here, England bargaining that the drip drip does not fill the bucket before they can put another hole in it.   

Australia need 131 off 102. 

OVER 32: AUS 168/5 (Carey 55 Maxwell 45) – Target 303

Rashid changes ends which leaves the short boundary on the legside vulnerable to Maxwell. Carey works a leg-break to midwicket, Rashid beats Maxwell outside off stump  then is driven to cover for one. A misfield turns a tip and run into two. Replays show instead of being beatn outside off he feathered a low edge through and Buttler couldn't hang on. 

Maxwell knocks himself off his feet with a reverse sweep and is struck in front. The umpire says not out but England review. It hit him on the elastic part of his glove's wrist-strap so technically he can't be out leg-before as that counts as the bat. England lose a review. Great call by the umpire. 

OVER 31: AUS 163/5 (Carey 51 Maxwell 44) – Target 303

Woakes replaces Rashid and Carey brings up his fifty with a short-arm pull one bounce over midwicket for four. The fluency is returning. Justin Langer who looked as if he had murder on his mind when Carey holed out (before the no-ball was called) now applauds the left-hander.  

Maxwell chases a fifth-stump beauty from Woakes but the ball just races past the edge. 

OVER 30: AUS 158/5 (Carey 46 Maxwell 44) – Target 303   

Wood comes round the wicket to Carey and, after being forced on to the back foot the previous ball, ventures forward to open the face and steers it past third man for four. He plays a copy of the stroke that had him caught off a no-ball but misses it, fortunately for him. He also missed chopping it on.  Carey works a single through midwicket and Maxwell pulls for one more. Up with the rate again. The partnership is 85.

OVER 29: AUS 151/5 (Carey 41 Maxwell 43) – Target 303  

Carey is beaten by the googly and slices it into the offside, safely however ugly it looked. They trot a single. Maxwell misses out on the drag down then taps the leg-break with the turn into the legside for a single. Carey reads the second googly and drills it for two to cover then works one off his toes.  Mark Wood is coming back having started with four overs of blistering pace.

OVER 28: AUS 146/5 (Carey 37 Maxwell 42) – Target 303 

Maxwell may be comfortable against Curran - game knows game in the improvisation stakes - Carey is not and it takes him four balls to glean a single. Maxwell, by contrast, takes one to launch an on-drive out of the ground for six. 

OVER 27: AUS 139/5 (Carey 36 Maxwell 36) – Target 303

Rashis is almost tripping himself up with his footwork against Rashid, almost falling over as he tried to sweep, then goes for a more orthodox approach and drives for a single to cover. Carey is beaten by a googly then takes on the slog sweep. Root dives on the boundary and attempts to pat it back to his colleague on the rope but he can't get his hands together quick enough and it bursts through for six. He couldn't have caught it as he would have landed the wrong side but his attempt at a relay didn't come off. The baton slipped.    


OVER 26: AUS 131/5 (Carey 29 Maxwell 35) – Target 303  

That should be the end of Root now after a valuable two for 46 off his eight. Rashid is warming up. Curran is slashed down to third man by Maxwell for two then, after a wide yorker that was too wide, steers the next one which may also have been a wide, between point and short third man for four. They need seven an over and have been achieving the rate the last few overs as they build momentum. 

Another risky single taken to Roy at backward point but he slips as he throws and they make it home. 

OVER 25: AUS 122/5 (Carey 28 Maxwell 26) – Target 303 

Maxwell goes Petula  and takes Root down town with a towering T20 six, meaning that he opened his stance even further and simply larruped it. Couple of Langer-pleasing strike-rotators to end the over after three dot balls.  

OVER 24: AUS 114/5 (Carey 27 Maxwell 21) – Target 303

Curran keeps Carey quiet for another couple of balls before the left-hander decides to try something different, walking across his stumps to scoop it over his shoulder for one. Maxwell slashes a cut to third man for one then Carey slaps a cross-bat stroke over cover for four. 

OVER 23: AUS 108/5 (Carey 22 Maxwell 20) – Target 303

A seventh over for Root and the batsmen, wary that it's Cummins, Starc, Zampa and Hazlewood to come, milk him for four singles until Carey devours a pie, Root dragging one down, and pulling it hard through midwicket for four. 

OVER 22: AUS 100/5 (Carey 16 Maxwell 18) – Target 303 

Tom Curran, who didn't take a wicket on Sunday but bowled beautifully, begins with a maiden to Carey. Pace off and on with no discernible change. 

OVER 21: AUS 100/5 (Carey 16 Maxwell 18) – Target 303

Better from Carey after his reprieve, driving Root for a two and two singles while Maxwell slices a single past point. 

OVER 20: AUS 95/5 (Carey 12 Maxwell 17) – Target 303  

Carey is caught of a big no ball from Archer but it was a genuinely terrible stroke, no mitigation given there was no on-field call. He just guided it to Rashid at third man as if doing morning catching practice. Archer is ticking, more so when Carey slogs the free hit through cover for three.

When Maxwell top-edges a hook for four over Buttler, Archer stops ticking and starts seething. It's his first no-ball in ODI cricket but it was a big one.   

OVER 19: AUS 86/5 (Carey 9 Maxwell 12) – Target 303 

Root continues while there's a left-hander in. Maxwell's stance is so open that when Root turns one into him, Maxwell almost falls over trying to pull it. He scuffs it into the floor but hasn't the balance to set himself to dart a single. Just the three off the over, Maxwell's two pretty frantically, Carey's more serenely with a leg-side clip. 


OVER 18: AUS 83/5 (Carey 8 Maxwell 10) – Target 303 

Maxwell plays the same stroke that Bairstow employed to bring up his hundred, flipping Archer over cow corner for six. Archer tests him with a knuckle ball and then a snorter of a bouncer. Between them Maxwell clips two to point and afterwards a single off a slower ball to the same fielder. 

OVER 17: AUS 74/5 (Carey 8 Maxwell 1) – Target 303

Nice stroke from Labuschagne, smearing a four through extra-cover but then he almost runs himself out to mid-on but Roy's diving underarm wasn't close enough to the stumps to hit them or allow Root to whip off the bails. The Billings/Buttler combo was far more clinical.  


Labuschagne Run out 20   Would have been run out two balls earlier with a direct hit. He wastes his reprieve with a dumb run to Billings when Carey tips and runs to point. Billings tosses it to Buttler who removes the bails with the right-hander a yard short.  Brainless.  FOW 74/5

OVER 16: AUS 67/4 (Labuschagne 15 Carey 7) – Target 303           

Labuschagne survives chopping on Wood's slower cutter bu the skin of his teeth and a coat of lacquer. They run two to fine leg. The right-hander works one through square leg and Carey cuffs a leg glance for one more.  


OVER 15: AUS 63/4 (Labuschagne 12 Carey 6) – Target 303          

Root continues, bowling quick and giving it a rip. Labuschagne plays out two dot balls then works a single into the onside - it's his release stroke against the off-spinner. Carey sweeps elegantly for four and they trade singles to end the over Carey's up the pitch past Root, Labuschagne's into the legside as per. 

On come the drinks.  

OVER 14: AUS 56/4 (Labuschagne 10 Carey 1) – Target 303         

Wheels from Wood, who is bowling like the wind. He pins Carey with a full one at 95mph that was sliding down but his defence is up to a couple more. The left-hander sways out of the way of a 93mph bouncer and Wood adds a maiden to his figures. 

OVER 13: AUS 56/4 (Labuschagne 10 Carey 1) – Target 303        

Marvellous from Morgan and Root - having dismissed Marsh he treats Carey to an undercut slider that the left-hander only just keeps out. He reverse sweeps the last for a single. Australia in the mire here. 


Marsh c Buttler b Root 2 Golden arm strikes again. Excellent from Morgan to keep him on as Marsh is all hard hands and planted feet against spin. He inside edges a flick on to his front pad and the ball balloons up for the keeper to run round to leg slip to take.  FOW 55/4

OVER 12: AUS 52/3 (Labuschagne 9 Marsh 0) – Target 303       

Wood raps Labuschagne on the thighpad but the batsman again walks across and whips a single through square leg. Marsh is greeted with a fizzer from Wood that spits up at 89mph and hits him on the splice. Chiselling Wood's yorker out of the blockhole breaks Marsh's bat. Wood strikes him on the pad with one angling cross him, turns and appeals. It was going down but lightning quick - 93mph. 

OVER 11: AUS 51/3 (Labuschagne 8 Marsh 0) – Target 303      

A Yorkshire spinner - but Root not Rashid - for the first post Powerplay 1 over. Labuschagne works it with the turn for a single. Warner pulls straight to short fine leg then heaves and misses at a sweep as Root darted one down the legside. Wide. Root is turning it away from Warner who wants to pepper the short boundary at midwicket but Root is up for this, bowling fuller and flatter. Indeed he bags Warner with a ripper. 


Warner b Root 24 Blimey. That one was bowled hard and flat into the pitch, Warmer went on to the back foot and the ball rags from middle to hit the top of off.  FOW 51/3

OVER 10: AUS 47/2 (Warner 23 Labuschagne 6) – Target 303     

Thanks Luke. Mark Wood is the first change. The short boundary is on the right-hander's legside from this end. Labuschagne plays a nice back-foot punch through cover. Warner wants three to Archer but his partner stops him after two. There was a third there and Warner presses his point. He opens the face to run a single down to third man then Warner muscles a flick off his hip just behind square for four. Wood follows the boundary with a ripper that beats Warner for pace and movement and then whistles past off stump. 

OVER 9: AUS 40/2 (Warner 19 Labuschagne 3) – Target 303    

"No easy singles," says Shane Warne... "unless you run it down to third man," he adds, precisely after Warner runs it down to third man. Thing with a total like 302 is that there is always going to be time in the game to chase it unless you lose too many wickets. You can get ahead of the game with a rapid start but Australia haven't done that here. A good bowling performance can seen turn it into a bit of a job, though. This one could go either way. 

Anyway, that's me done for the day, I'm handing you back over to Rob Bagchi to take you through the rest of the innings. 

OVER 8: AUS 36/2 (Warner 17 Labuschagne 1) – Target 303   

Archer vs Labuschagne. We've seen this one before last year. Has been outstanding as a batsman since he replaced Steve Smith back then. A fascinating duel. Not quite as fascinating as in the heat of the Ashes, with 20,000 fans in the ground but still. And, perhaps as a nod to that, he does the old lightsabre leave at the end of the over. 

OVER 7: AUS 35/2 (Warner 16 Labuschagne 1) – Target 303  

Woakes continues diligently and continues to test the Australian batters. Looks like he's having a whale of a time out there — a quickfire 50 to get England to 300 and now the two early wickets. Full of the joys of cricket. Anyway, our good friend Marnus Labuschagne is off the mark with a single. 

OVER 6: AUS 33/2 (Warner 15 Labuschagne 0) – Target 303 

Archer continues and is bowling a little better here. A little less expensive in any case. Just two runs to Warner off his third over, after 20 off his first two. 

OVER 5: AUS 31/2 (Warner 13 Labuschagne 0) – Target 303

Stoinis looked mortified as he left the field... as well he might. 

WICKET! Stoinis b Woakes c Morgan 4

He was in the mood to really thrash the ball around — Archer had to leave the field after the ball burst through his hands at mid off — but a fairly average ball from Woakes is turned by Stoinis straight into the hands of Morgan on the leg side by a leading edge. Easy catch and well taken. 

FOW 31/2

OVER 4: AUS 27/1 (Warner 13  Stoinis 0) – Target 303   

Warner gets another four through the covers with a firm punch. Stoinis is not known as a number three in ODIs and has only batting there for six of his 41 innings in this format. Small sample size but his record at three is largely comparable to his overall one. Averaging 33.4 in his overall career at 92.4 runs per 100 balls and 35.2 at three at 86.7.  Six from the over. 

OVER 3: AUS 21/1 (Warner 7 Stoinis 0) – Target 303  

Marcus Stoinis out at number three. Australia were going well until that wicket. Replays show ball hitting middle and leg. Woakes having a good game. 

WICKET! Finch LBW Woakes 12

Absolutely dead in front! The finger was up before Woakes even appealed it was that clear. Finch doesn't review and England have the early wicket. 

FOW 21/1

OVER 2: AUS 18/0 (Warner 4 Finch 12) – Target 303 

Archer starts from the James Anderson end... and with a wide down the leg side. And another. Up there at 90mph already but a short wide one is missed out by Finch, who slashes it to Morgan. The next ball is pushed out to the deep cover boundary but is only three. The next ball is too full and Finch punches it over mid off for four... not the greatest first over from Archer here, with 10 runs from four legitimate deliveries. 

The final ball finds the edge as Finch slashes at one outside off... but it's well over the slips and goes for four. That's a big over early on, good news for Australia. 

OVER 1: AUS 4/0 (Warner 4 Finch 0) – Target 303

Warner off the mark first ball with what looked like a tuck off the hips but races to the midwicket boundary for four. Well played, I guess. Bit of a stoppage due to something going on with lighting in the background. Anyway, five dot balls after the first boundary. 

Players out on the field again

Chris Woakes to open to David Warner... the target is 303, at just a smidgen over six an over. 

Speaking of Chris Woakes, a nice little stats nugget here

In his first 10 ODI innings against Australia he averaged just 10.6. In his last seven that rockets to 71.2! And if Australia are to chase this down, they will have to beat the 286 that NZ reached in 1986 to break the record at this ground. 

Hello again

As Rob said, I'll be here to kick off the Australian reply to that 302 set by England. They'll be pretty happy with that after going two down for zip in the first over and then losing steady wickets. Very important contributions down the order from Sam Billings and also Chris Woakes at the very death, both men with 50s. Should be another 10 minutes until England are out in the field with their rapid pacemen. 

Change of innings

Australia will have to make a record score chasing at Old Trafford to win the match and series. Terrific contributions from Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Chris Woakes, Tom Curran and Adil Rashid.

Australia's wicket-taking bowlers, Zampa and Starc, are expensive and England got after Hazlewood and Cummins today, too. England in the box seat and their chances of victory must be 2-1 on. We'll be back with Australia's image in 30 minutes or so. Luke will take you through to 6pm. 

OVER 50: ENG 302/7 (Woakes 53 Rashid 11)  

Superb batting from Woakes who goes down and plays a kind of reverse scoop fine through third man for four after initially shaping to sweep. He lofts a drive over cover for two then gorges on width, cleaving it through point for four. He ends with a pair of twos to raise his fifty (off 38 balls)  and England's 300. Sensational effort from nought for two.


OVER 49: ENG 288/7 (Woakes 39 Rashid 11) 

Woakes carts Starc over midwicket for two then spoons a square drive that was wider than he thought over point for a single.

Rashid steps across his stumps then plays a remarkable stroke, flipping it over backward square for six. A couple of singles, a Starc Mankad warning to Rashid telling him not to wander so far away from his crease and Starc ends with 10-0-74-3. 

OVER 48: ENG 277/7 (Woakes 35 Rashid 4) 

Woakes drills Hazlewood's slower ball through the covers for a single, Rashid is beaten by the yorker that whistles past off-stump. Rashid swings and misses, then plays a clever shot, clipping it into the legside and running back for two as the fielders are all stationed miles back on the 85m boundary (the other side is 65m).  

OVER 47: ENG 272/7 (Woakes 33 Rashid 1)

Starc begins with length an Curran leans back to clobber it over the short midwicket boundary for six. But he then fights back with an unplayable, swinging 90mph yorker. Rashid plays a wristy clip through mid-on for one. Starc misses landing the yorker and Woakes carves it over cover for four then serves up the genuine article and Woakes chisels it out for a single. 


Curran b Starc 19   Hit for six the previous delivery, Starc unfurls the yorker. In fact it was a very low full toss and tailed away too, just clipping the edge of off-stump. FOW 266/7

OVER 46: ENG 260/6 (Woakes 28 Curran 13)   

Woakes is a little tied up until he steps away to swat the short ball over point for four. Woakes drives past cover for a single then Curran tucks a short ball off his hip and they run three because Starc slips when fielding and falls heavily, seemingly jarring his ankle. After a while he gets up and will bowl the next over. 

OVER 45: ENG 249/6 (Woakes 22 Curran 9)  

Woakes wedges a drive over the bowler for a single. Starc cranks up the pace and veers one into Curran's ribs and he fends it off. He gets away with a sliced drive that goes over point for one but Starc's cross-seamer messes with Woakes' timing and skids underneath his pull shot. 

No one better at this lark than Starc. 

OVER 44: ENG 246/6 (Woakes 20 Curran 8) 

Marsh returns for a sixth over and Woakes smashes a drive back over the bowler's head for four, flicks a hard-run two off his pads then rides the lift to guide the slow bouncer to fine leg for one.

Curran is served up a slow bouncer, too, by Marsh, his boyhood friend, and guides it square for a single. A legside wide and a leg-bye completes the over. 

If that is Marsh done, he has contributed a very upstanding 6-0-25-0 to Australia's cause. Starc and Hazlewood can take it from here. Starc, first. 

Meanwhile in the north-west of England.


OVER 43: ENG 236/6 (Woakes 13 Curran 7)

Zampa ends the series with bowling figures of 10 for 142.

Cummins, who usually bowls at the death, will also bowl out. Woakes glides two down to thrd man then carts Cummins off the toe of the bat over midwicket for four.  Cummins tests him with another fast off-break and Woakes chops it down to third man for two.

Cummins takes the pace off again and Curran waits for it and skelps it through cover for two. Nine off the over. 

OVER 42: ENG 227/6 (Woakes 6 Curran 5)  

Curran comes down the pitch and has to adjust hastily away from the drive and pops it into the legside for a single. Woakes and Curran seem happy with that approach, taking singes off the over until Curran flukily earns two with an edge through the slips for two. 


Zampa ends with 10-0-51-3

OVER 41: ENG 221/6 (Woakes 4 Curran 1)  

Cummins tries the fast off-break again to Tom Curran who manages to defend it. Playing circumspectly, understandably. Shane Warne reckons anything over 260 on the evidence of Bairstow's dismissal would be hard to chase. Curran Major gets off the mark with a drop into the onside before haring through 


Bairstow b Cummins 112 What a remarkable delivery. He rolled his fingers over it and bowled it like a fast off-break. It pitched and nibbled in through the gate, leaving Bairstow no chance.  FOW 220/6 

OVER 40: ENG 220/5 (Bairstow 112 Woakes 4) 

Almost a yorker from Zampa to Woakes who jabs it out and they run a single to mid-off. Bairstow is thwarted by the non-striker's stumps when he drives too straight, crisply enough for four were it not for the obstacle. Woakes is fortunate that Zampa was unable to get a finger on it but then it might have ripped it off if he had. Three singles follow. Zampa, who took three wickets in the first match, four in the second and three so far in nine here has to be man of the series if Australia win. If England win too. This convention that they give it to wthe winning side is daft.

OVER 39: ENG 216/5 (Bairstow 109 Woakes 1)

Marsh replaces Cummins to bowl his fifth over. Maxwell has got through four so just one more needed after this from their all-rounders. And Marsh will be bowling it, and possibly taking some of the leaky Cummins' allocation as well, after serving up five dot balls and only an on-driven single by Woakes off the fifth delivery.  

OVER 38: ENG 215/5 (Bairstow 109 Woakes 1)         

England nurdled a couple of singles but Zampa had drawn a couple of false shots and leading edges from Billings and eventually gets his man. Woakes pushes a single between bowler and mid-off for a single and Bairstow feasts on a fuller delivery and laces it through extra-cover for four. 


Billings c Marsh b Zampa 57 Misjudged his reverse-sweep, top-edging it to point. The partnership is broken at 114.  FOW 210/5

OVER 37: ENG 208/4 (Bairstow 105 Billings 56)        

Goodness. What a way to bring up your century. Bairstow short-arm pulls Cummins for six over deep backward square. It was 91mph and bounced no higher that Bairstow's knee. Next ball Jonny creams down the ground for four. Some Herbert was advocating that he should be dropped after Sunday's duck. He is the most foolishly written-off cricketer I think I've ever known.   

OVER 36: ENG 196/4 (Bairstow 94 Billings 55)       

Zampa returns and Billings comes down the track to slog an on-drive. He mistimes it but gets enough on it to heave it past Warner at long-on. Four, followed by a two from a pull over square leg to raise his fifty. Zampa then overpitches and Billings slog sweeps along the ground, rolling his wrists, for four through deep midwicket. A leading edge off a flick earms him a single to cover and Bairstow brings up the hundred stand with a single to1Long on. 

OVER 35: ENG 184/4 (Bairstow 93 Billings 44)      

Starc continues. Billings French cuts for two, his cover drive going down to fine leg, then he plays a remarkable stroke, stepping across his stumps and ramping it over his shoulder for six. Starc responds with a slower ball that foxes him as it seamed off the pitch. He was late on it ans spooned it safely over cover for a single. Bairstow chisels out the yorker, shapes to run and Finch throws at the stumps, missing them but hitting Starc on the ankle. Hard man, Starc. he smiles ... or maybe he was just being diplomatic as it was his captain. 

OVER 34: ENG 175/4 (Bairstow 93 Billings 35)     

Marsh is punished for the Steven Finn no-ball, knocking the bails off. Don't blame Finn for that. Blame the snitch, Graeme Smith. Billings had run it down to third man for a single. Bairstow collars the free hit, a slow ball bouncer, and pulls it for two then flicks a single off his pads. Billings pulls for a single though midwicket. 

OVER 33: ENG 168/4 (Bairstow 89 Billings 33)                      

Mitchell Starc returns for a fourth spell even though it's only his sixth over. Bairstow slashes a drive down to third man for a single, Billings hammers a drive that is technically catchable but it's too hard to hold and Starc understandably spills it as he stuck out a hand. Cummins saves four with a brilliant stop at deep backward square, they run two then Billings loses the ball for two minutes by smearing a length ball over midwicket for six.

Poor ball by Starc. Excellent shot by Billings, or 'Billins' as the Home Secretary would call him.

OVER 32: ENG 159/4 (Bairstow 88 Billings 25)                      

England back under the cosh this past four overs and Marsh continues to turn the screw. Bairstow drops one into the legside, Billings swings and misses at a running pull and is then gulled again by the slow bouncer, the ball dying in the pitch. Billings pokes one off his hips to midwicket for two and that's their lot. England need to break the siege. 

OVER 31: ENG 155/4 (Bairstow 87 Billings 23)                     

Playing to his strengths and Bairstow's red-ball weakness, Hazlewood is bowling a tight, probing Test-natch line to the batsman, looking for that tendency to withdraw his right leg and gate himself in a drive. Just the single, glided down to third man, off the over. 

OVER 30: ENG 154/4 (Bairstow 86 Billings 23)                    

Double bowling change - Mitchell Marsh returns. Billings plays his dabby chop for a single down to point, Bairstow defends a couple then strolls a leg-bye. Very tight and tidy. Only a bouncer that sails over Billings and called wide to blemish it.


OVER 29: ENG 151/4 (Bairstow 86 Billings 22)                   

Hazlewood, who had the unusual experience of taking some tap in his first spell, returns. Bairstow chops at a cut stroke that was too close to him to free his arms into the ground and down to third man for a single. Hazlewood is tailing it in and that stroke could easily drag the ball on to the stumps. Billings can't knock Hazlewood off the square ... or even connect with a pull. He resorts to tip and run to pinch the strike.  

OVER 28: ENG 148/4 (Bairstow 85 Billings 21)                   

Maxwell has been taken for 13 singles off his first 18 deliveries. Here he begins his fourth over and Billings reverse-sweeps powerfully for four. Maxwell is trying to restrict them to legside singles but he was too full that time. Billings reverse sweeps again, gloves it into his pad and they jog a single. Bairstow sweeps fine, very fine, for two, heaves at one that turned square down legside and accepts the wide after failing to make contact. Bairstow brings up the fifty partnership with another sweep, not so fine this time, for two. 

OVER 27: ENG 138/4 (Bairstow 81 Billings 16)                  

Bairstow is struck on the pads by Cummins. Big shout but it's too high and heading down the legside. They trot a leg-bye. Cummins hoops the next one into Billings' shin but again in did too much and , having burned a review earlier on a spurious leg-before, they decide not to. Shrewdly too as it took the inside edge. Good over, though, from Cummins. Fast, tight and full. Billings flicks a single off his pads but apart from the leg-bye that's the only damage. 

OVER 26: ENG 136/4 (Bairstow 81 Billings 15)                 

Maxwell is sneaking through another over but England are doing better at slowing him down by tapping four singles into the onside. Bairstow has been playing these off leg-stump but lets one go to claim the wide and negate Maxwell's tactic. 

OVER 25: ENG 130/4 (Bairstow 78 Billings 13)                

One-over spell for Starc. Cummins comes back into the attack and starts with three dot balls in his first four deliveries. Billings chances a single to Warner's arm - he makes it but would have been out with a direct hit - then Bairstow takes on Labuschagne's throw and turns one into two, much to Cummins' disgust. He gives Marnus a death-stare. Bairstow ends the over with a strike-rotator tip and run. 

OVER 24: ENG 126/4 (Bairstow 75 Billings 12)               

Phil Tufnell on TMS after 10 overs of England's innings said he thought England had 350 as their target. Well as 7,9 and 10 batted in the last match, though, their hopes rest on these two. Just three singles off Maxwell's quick over. Using the old tactic of turning and bustling in to reduce the time for settling/thinking. 



OVER 23: ENG 123/4 (Bairstow 74 Billings 10)              

Starc switches back to the Anderson End whence he took two wickets in two balls at the start of England's innings. Finch, as Shane Warne says, is looking to break this partnership and expose the all-rounders before England are halfway through their allocation. Billings opens the face and runs the ball down to third man for a single. Bairstow defends, hits the infield then plays a majestic shot to a poor ball, thrashing a drive through extra, closing the face on it as he executed it. He chops the next ball down to third man for two, taking on Stoinis's Howitzer arm and beating the throw. They're like greased pigs these two. 

OVER 22: ENG 116/4 (Bairstow 68 Billings 9)             

Off-spin from Maxwell, turning it in to the right-handers. He has a vast lopsided legside to defend and does so adequately. Tidy, England milk him for four singles but lack of boundaries are in his credit column. 

OVER 21: ENG 112/4 (Bairstow 66 Billings 7)            

Afternoon - Rob Bagchi tagging in for Luke. Zampa begins his sixth over having taken two for 13 and Bairstow decides it's time to attack him, fiddling two off his pads before skipping down to cart him over midwicket for four. These two gazelles exchange three singles to the infield. Best over for a while for England. 

OVER 20: ENG 103/4 (Bairstow 58 Billings 6)           

Billings, very upright in his stance, plays a lovely straight drive past the stumps and claims a single. England just getting a bit stuck here, with the run rate now below five. Bairstow, who was dealing heavily in boundaries early on, is  doing it in ones and twos now...

Billings guides one behind square for four, that is... 100 up for England. 

OVER 19: ENG 97/4 (Bairstow 57 Billings 1)          

Billings takes a single off the final ball and will face Starc next up. 

Australia review for Zampa LBW on Bairstow

What do England do here, then? Four wickets down, 31 overs to go and on a fine pitch...

Bairstow still in, mind you, so he will be the crucial cog in this effort. HUGE shout for LBW by Zampa, well bowled, but umpire says no. Think it came off bat but Australia review...

That has to be one of the worst reviews I've ever seen. It came off his outside edge sideways and was nowhere near the pad. 

WICKET! Buttler b Zampa c Finch 8

Well, well, well. Buttler tries to take on Zampa with a driver, though not exactly a HUGE shot it finds the Australian captain Finch who makes no mistake. Second wicket for Zampa and England in a little bother here with plenty of the innings left and another partnership broken.

In comes Sam Billings...

FOW 96/4

OVER 18: ENG 96/3 (Bairstow 57 Buttler 8)         

Mitch Marsh on now with his distinctly Australian haircut. It's a little... 1980s/early 1990s mullet-y. From the side at the least. Oooh. Bairstow chips one up but it's just short of the close in midwicket. A short ball catches Bairstow in the grill, I think, as he misses a pull and rolls away for four leg byes...

OVER 17: ENG 90/3 (Bairstow 55 Buttler 8)        

Nobody has got the long handle out to Zampa yet. Well, not since Morgan got out, either. Will Buttler or Bairstow be brave? Buttler Bairstow sounds like a law firm, doesn't it? A handful of singles and give runs from Zampa's fourth. He is definitely "doing a job" for Australia here. Just over a third of the way through the innings, now. 


OVER 16: ENG 85/3 (Bairstow 52 Buttler 6)       

England run a quick single, Warner hits the sumps but Buttler is in by about two metres. Nice fielding, though. England just struggling to find the gaps. Probably because there are fewer of them now. Bairstow within a hit of a run-a-ball 50...

And there's the hit, a swivel pull round the corner to take him to 51 off 48 balls. Nice work when England needed it.  He keeps the strike with a single out to deep cover and that's drinks. 

OVER 15: ENG 79/3 (Bairstow 47  Buttler 5)      

In the aaaaaair... and safe! Buttler cuts and survives and gets two for it. No big shots from him yet but he has not had the chance nor is this really the time to be taking it on. Get yourself in, obviously. 

OVER 14: ENG 75/3 (Bairstow 46 Buttler 2)     

Cummins continues to Buttler with a bit of short stuff. He steals a quick single off one of many good deliveries in this over. Concedes a wide with a short ball that just creeps down the leg side. Bairstow then whips the ball off middle for a single. He keeps the strike. 

OVER 13: ENG 73/2 (Bairstow 44 Buttler 1)    

Zampa's second over doesn't offer much for the England batters, either. Just a single from it. 

OVER 12: ENG 70/3 (Bairstow 43 Buttler 1)   

Cummins on for a third over after two poor ones. The situation has changed a little here with England now looking to get this partnership going rather than to flay the bowlers to all parts. Just a single off Cummins' third over, much better. 

OVER 11: ENG 69/3 (Bairstow 42 Buttler 1)  

Buttler off the mark first ball with a single. Zampa doing the job in his first over, a wicket and just two runs from it. England back in a little bit of trouble, again. 

WICKET! Morgan b Zampa c Starc 23

Adam Zampa comes on and gets a wicket in the first over. Morgan tries to take the spinner on and go aerial over mid off but he doesn't connect all that well. He cannot clear Starc who takes the ball above his head quite comfortably. 

FOW 67/3

OVER 10: ENG 67/2 (Bairstow 41 Morgan 23) 

Bairstow plays a firm but short-armed jab of a cut and the fielder in close at point can only half stop it as it races away on a pacy outfield for another four. Bairstow moves to 38 off 29 and is showing his intention with plenty of shots here, not all of them coming off. 

England end the power play in a decent position, despite the loss of two wickets in the first two balls. 


OVER 9: ENG 59/2 (Bairstow 34 Morgan 22)

This isn't getting much better from Australia. It's Cummins' time to stray onto the leg side, first with a wide and then with one that Morgan tickles away for another boundary, making it five runs from one legitimate delivery. It's a better end to the over with five dot balls. 

OVER 8: ENG 54/2 (Bairstow 34 Morgan 18)       

Better over from Hazlewood, well until the last ball, where he strays onto the leg-side which Bairstow tickles away finely for four. A poor ending to a good over and England advance to 50 and Australia have squandered that good start, almost. 

OVER 7: ENG 47/2 (Bairstow 29 Morgan 16)      

England not mucking about here as Cummins replaces Starc. Bairstow stands and delivers with a huge six off a slightly short ball over deep midwicket. Marnus Labuschagne has to move out in amongst the non-used covers to fetch the ball. It's another four — his fifth — with a more calculated push through the covers, timing it to perfection to the ropes. 


England going at near sevens here. Good recovery from these two to put the pressure straight back on Australia after that nightmare first oven.  

OVER 6: ENG 33/2 (Bairstow 19 Morgan 16)     

Morgan continuing with the tactic of giving himself room, this time shuffling down the pitch and hitting on top of the bounce — with a little jump — and scoring another boundary through the covers.

Hazlewood strays short again, Morgan picks it up quickly and pulls off the front foot for another four behind square. Plenty of intent from the England batters but plenty to hit as well. Bairstow and Morgan run three to take the partnership to 34. 

OVER 5: ENG 25/2 (Bairstow 16 Morgan 7)    

Another wide first up from Starc. Morgan pushes one through the covers but it doesn't beat Cummins to the rope and they run three. A magnificent shot from Bairstow in the middle of the over. Starc bowling full but just a little full here and Bairstow hoiks it off middle and leg towards cow corner for four!

The next one is four, too, but fortunate. An attempted pull as the shorter ball gets onto him too quickly and it flies over the head of the keeper for a one-bounce four...

12 from the over for England. Useful after that awful first over. 

OVER 4: ENG 13/2 (Bairstow 8 Morgan 4)   

A superb cut backward of square from Bairstow, just waiting on the short ball and thrashing it for four! Not an awful ball but an awfully good shot. Next ball draws and outside edge but it never got up off the pitch not off the bat, falling well short of slip. Not an especially lively pitch, it seems. 

OVER 3: ENG 9/2 (Bairstow 4 Morgan 4)  

A leg-side wide from Starc first up but very little for Morgan to get away in the rest of the over, including a few back of a length. Threatening still. 

OVER 2: ENG 8/2 (Bairstow 4 Morgan 4) 

Josh Hazlewood at the other end. Decent start from his first three balls on a good line and length. Bairstow picks up a slight deviation in length — a little short, here — and tries a swivel-pull but straight to the fielder. And not really timed, either. Unlike the next ball, which is full and punished with a flashing drive on the up through the covers for four! Bread and butter stuff for an ODI opener of Bairstow's quality. 

OVER 1: ENG 4/2 (Bairstow 0 Morgan 4)

Morgan backs a way a little, giving himself room and it's a firm push through the covers for four... England off the mark and now have more runs than wickets down. Bit of a waft outside off, playing well away from his body before he decides to half-leave. Dot ball to end. 

Starc to Morgan...

Hat-trick ball...

Angling in to the left-hander but it doesn't swing... and comes off Morgan's pad. No run. 

WICKET! Root b LBW Starc 0

Swinging in, in-between length and he traps Root in front first ball! Up goes the finger... Root thinks about reviewing but he knows it was plumb. 

Starc on a hat-trick! Already...

FOW 0/2

WICKET!  Roy b Starc c Maxwell 0

Roy throws his hands at full and wide-ish one, gets a chunky outside edge and it goes straight into the hands of gulley who snaffles it fairly comfortably! 

Fair to say he's not very happy with himself and a microphone somewhere near the dressing room picks up the F-bomb and the sound of a bat hitting something hard. 

FOW England 0/1

Right, here we go

England to bat. Mitchell Starc to open the bowling. Roy and Bairstow doing likewise with the bat for England. 

Advantage England, says Telegraph Sport's Scyld Berry

Morgan on Sam Curran's omission

"Sam is a very talented and versatile cricketer who gives us a lot of options, — it is hard for him to take but we've gone with the extra pace. The win on Sunday will give us a huge amount of confidence. The bowling line-up progressed throughout the World Cup, and continuing to explore that before the next World Cup is going to be important."

Mark Wood in for Sam Curran

A bit of extra pace, then. 

Steve Smith out for Australia again

Aaron Finch confirms that he's not quite right. 

Will England leave it all out there? Eoin Morgan says yes, obviously

I think we have to. We're playing against a really strong Australian side. It's been incredible. Our thanks go out to all teams - West Indies, Pakistan and Australia - who come over here, took the leap of faith and put it in the ECB's hands. The hard work that's gone alongside it. I think the guidance of Tom Harrison has been exceptional. 

England have won the toss

And they are going to bat first. So it'll be up to the bowlers to defend a score again, then. 

Michael Vaughan: England have mastered the mental side of cricket – but their fielding is nowhere near good enough 

With everything around English cricket in terms of coaching, pathway programmes, fitness and equipment, for them to be a very average fielding team really surprises me. Before they know it, it will cost them a big moment. It could be a Twenty20 World Cup final or an Ashes series in Australia. That is my concern. 

Read his full column here. 

What's going on with Australia?

Tim Wigmore takes a look at their "choking" problem against England. Their last ODI defeat was not the only time they've failed to get over the line when comfortable favourites in the game. 

There is now a sense of these vulnerabilities extending to the limited-overs games. Since the start of 2018, Australia have lost ODIs to England by margins of 12 runs, 16 runs, three wickets, one wicket and now 24 runs. Australia’s two victories by similar margins - three wickets at Adelaide in 2018 and then 19 runs in the first ODI - both came in matches in which England were always floundering. 

Read his full piece here.  

The moment England completed their comeback and won the second ODI

Good afternoon

And welcome to our liveblog for the final — and deciding — ODI in this England vs Australia series. It has indeed been a strange summer but once things got going on the men's international cricket front in early July, they never really stopped. 

Unfortunately, however, the sound of international leather on international willow is about to cease... but thankfully not before we've got the hundred or so overs of this match out of the way. At least it's not a dead rubber, eh?

What can we expect from this decider? A repeat of the second one would be good news for England, but I'm not sure it will be that easy. Our chief cricket writer Scyld Berry has a look into what we might get. 

The third and last ODI, between the current and previous World Cup holders, is going to be staged on a fresh pitch. It is four strips away from the one on which both England and Australia have struggled to score whenever the bowling has been straight and of “a heavy length” so the batsman, whether on front or back foot, cannot throw his hands at the ball. Strange concoctions have been throw up by 22 yards of Mancunian turf this summer and last. If the bowling has been wayward, the pitches have yielded huge totals, like England’s 400 against Afghanistan in the World Cup. If the bowling has been accurate and “heavy”, any decent total has been hard to chase.First-innings totals of 294 and 231 in the first two internationals proved more than adequate. Even though the winning margins were only approximately 20 runs, the team chasing the target did not truly come close. It was the same in the World Cup semi-final at Old Trafford: New Zealand scraped together only 239, yet the target was too much for India’s batsmen against their expert seamers, by 19 runs. 

 Whatever happens, we'll be here to take you through it all, right to the very bitter end. Game starts at 1pm, toss at 12.30.