x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

That winning feeling again for England cricket team

Australia ‘outplayed’ in 57-run defeat as all-round performance from Ben Stokes ensures tourists finally emerge victorious on visit down under.

Alastair Cook, left, led from the front with a handy 44 in England’s victory on Friday night. Will Russell / Getty Images
Alastair Cook, left, led from the front with a handy 44 in England’s victory on Friday night. Will Russell / Getty Images

PERTH, Australia // England has finally defeated Australia on their long tour down under by winning the fourth one-day international by 57 runs at the Waca Ground on Friday.

England were whitewashed in the Ashes series and lost the one-day series by conceding the first three matches.

Australia rested four regulars – captain Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin and David Warner – and England took advantage by scoring 316 for eight, including half centuries to Jos Buttler (71), Ben Stokes (70) and Ian Bell (55).

Despite Aaron Finch’s 108 off 111 balls, Australia were all out for 259 by the 48th over.

Stokes took four wickets for 39 to continue his impressive tour.

“It’s been a while since we had this feeling,” said Alastair Cook, the England captain.

“It was a full team performance. We’ve played a long way from our performance. The good thing is that we know that it’s there.”

After being sent in, Cook and Bell combined for 87 until Cook was bowled by Glenn Maxwell for 44 off 43 balls in the 13th over.

Cook hit eight boundaries, Bell nine, Stokes six and a six, and Buttler six and four sixes.

Mitchell Johnson finished with none for 72 from his 10 overs, while fellow fast bowler James Pattinson also struggled, with none for 63 off eight.

All-rounder James Faulkner claimed four for 67 and was on a hat-trick on the final ball of the innings, only for Stuart Broad to deny him by hitting a four.

“We were outplayed today, they got off to a flyer,” the Australia stand-in captain George Bailey said.

“Ideally, you want the same team playing every night, but you have to give other people some opportunities.”

Australia, despite a rising run rate required, had a chance as long as opener Finch stayed in. He brought up his third one-day century off 97 balls, including eight boundaries and four sixes, taking Ravi Bopara for a pair down the legside in the 31st over.

It was his second century of the series, after 121 in the opener at Melbourne.

He was out in the 36th over, trying to hit Tim Bresnan to the third man boundary but forcing Broad to make a running catch.

At 189 for five, needing more than eight runs an over, the pressure told and Australia lost wickets too regularly to threaten another comeback victory.

The fifth and final one-dayer is tomorrow at Adelaide.

Cook, meanwhile, sought to provide clarity over his future after revealing he is “desperate” to remain as England captain.

Cook had suggested he was ready to consider walking away from the captaincy in the immediate aftermath of last Sunday’s one-day international series-conceding defeat to Australia in Sydney.

But speaking for the first time since then, Cook suggested his mind had changed.

“That was quite an emotional time. Obviously we’d just lost another game,” he said. “It’s wrong for me to continue thinking like … I’m lucky enough to do this job. I’m desperate to carry on now.”

Cook was backed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to remain as captain during the fifth Ashes Test and this week has been backed by his teammates to stay on.

Ravi Bopara described him as “the best man for the job” despite a troubled tour of Australia that has seemingly left Cook with some doubts in his ability.

Cook is due to meet with the team director Andy Flower after returning home to conduct a review into the tour, when the future direction of the England team is set to be discussed.

Cook could still be relieved of his captaincy, in the ODI format at least, although it appears now that decision will not be made by him.


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