Preview: England captain Eoin Morgan hopes his side can maintain their “new level of intensity” after moving to within sight of a first 5-0 one-day international series whitewash of Australia.
Morgan’s men, the number one-ranked side in this format, beat Australia by six wickets at Chester-le-Street on Thursday.
Set an ODI ground record of 311 to win, England finished on 314 for four with more than five overs to spare after Jason Roy (101) hit his second hundred of the series.
Following their century partnership during England’s 481 for six — the highest total in men’s ODI cricket — at Nottingham on Tuesday, Roy and Jonny Bairstow (79) again overwhelmed a novice Australia attack while putting on 174 for the first wicket.
There was a brief wobble when both openers fell in quick succession, but Jos Buttler’s unbeaten 54 put the result beyond doubt.
This latest victory left England 4-0 up in the five-match series against world champions Australia heading into Sunday’s finale at Old Trafford.
It was further confirmation of England’s dramatically altered approach to one-day cricket after a humiliating first-round exit at the 2015 World Cup.
England, the 2019 hosts, are now among the favourites although, following last year’s Champions Trophy semi-final loss to Pakistan in Cardiff, doubts remain over their ability to cope with the particular pressures of winner-takes-all knockout games.
News credit: First Post