Stand-in skipper Steven Smith continued his good run of form with the bat as his unbeaten knock of 102 helped Australia defeat England by 3 wickets with a ball to spare in the 4th match of the tri-series at Hobart. This win also secured them a place in the series final, which is scheduled to take place at Perth on February 1st.
Chasing a target of 304, Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh gave Australia a solid start as the duo put on 76 runs for the first wicket inside 12 overs before both got out in quick succession to offie Moeen Ali and Steven Finn respectively. Cameron White, who was playing his first match of the series, got out on a duck to become Finn’s second victim. Glenn Maxwell and Smith then stabilized the innings with their 59-run partnership before Moeen Ali trapped Maxwell on the score of 37. Smith then took the charge and with good support from James Faulkner and Brad Haddin, he brought up his hundred and helped Australia win the match.
Earlier after being put into bat, Ian Bell scored a hundred to guide England’s total to 303. Bell also became the highest run-scorer for England in ODIs, surpassing Paul Collingwood’s record of 4995 runs. Joe Root, who got out cheaply in the first ODI against Australia, supported Bell pretty well and played a gritty innings of 69. In the last 5 overs, Mitchell Starc and James Faulkner bowled extremely well as the likes of Jos Buttler and Ravi Bopara managed only 27 runs, which actually was one of the factors that resulted in Australia’s win.
Brief Scores: England 303/8 (Bell 141, Root 69) lost to Australia 304/7 (Smith 102*, Haddin 42) by 3 wickets