SYDNEY: A scintillating century from Jos Buttler brought England a 16-run win and a one-day international series victory against Australia in Sydney yesterday. The hosts, set 303 to win by England after winning the toss and electing to bowl, were always struggling in their chase and eventually managed only 286 for six.
The result gave England an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the five-match ODI series, a remarkable turnaround after Australia had trounced the tourists 4-0 in the Ashes Tests. Australia’s hopes largely rested with Steve Smith (45) and Mitchell Marsh (55), but both were dismissed at a crucial stage of the chase, with Smith falling to a contentious low-down catch by Buttler off the bowling of Mark Wood (2-46).
Buttler, 27, was the only batsman from either team really to get to grips with a slightly slow pitch, and his late surge enabled England to reach a total which had seemed out of their reach until the final few overs. Buttler himself took 28 runs from the last 11 balls he faced. He faced 83 balls, hitting six fours and four sixes, in a dashing innings that gathered momentum in the last 10 overs. —Agencies