Instrumental Joe Root Guides England To Victory

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Eoin Morgan’s aggressive England saw off Australia at the Gabba in Brisbane by four to go 2-0 up in the five-match ODI series and stake claim to win the limited-overs battle.
After a comfortable victory at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in the first ODI, England gathered its troops once again to inflict misery on the hosts. The Gabba was lit up with an all-round show by the visitors as they chased down a 271-run target with Joe Root impressing with the willow for the 2nd time in a row. Interestingly, his unbeaten 46 after a superb 2/31 with the ball capped off a stellar win for the Englishmen who scored 274/6 in just 44.2 overs.
Phenomenal Root
Root has been in supreme form and is yet to be dismissed in this series after a superb 91* in the first ODI. And after failing to convert his starts into big scores in the Ashes, he has found parity in the ODIs leading from the front. Root’s presence in the No. 4 position has been a boon for the visitors, who are equipped with a side that boasts of the finest ODI players. That in turn has collectively come into fruition as they are one match away from sealing a series win.
He shared a 68-run stand with Jos Buttler (42) to see the game off and stay until the end of the chase especially coming at a tricky period when the score read 129/3. He batted with a sense of purpose and looked composed throughout. He was busy playing the second fiddle with Buttler and Chris Woakes hitting the boundaries. His two wickets in seven overs earlier also included Steve Smith and that showed how much he enjoyed the game.

              Runs                Balls                  4/6             Strike Rate
                46*                  58                   1/0                  79.31

ALSO READ: Australia vs England: 1st ODI – Jason Roy’s Stunning 180 Floors Hosts At MCG

              Overs                Runs               Wickets               Economy
                  7                  31                      2                   4.43

Root’s contribution:

  1. Root has scored 137 runs in this series
  2. He is yet to be dismissed and has a staggering average of 137.00
  3. In both matches he stayed till the end to help his side win

Root was delighted with his performance and cited the reason to prove a point after the Ashes loss. “Was enjoyable today. Didn’t think I’d bowl seven overs at the start of the day. The form he’s (Smith) been in the summer, it was enjoyable for me to get the back of him. Whenever you come off the back of a series loss, you want to prove a point,” said Root.
The Chase
England started off poorly with the 1st match hero Jason Roy getting dismissed for just two runs. But Jonny Bairstow and Alex Hales stood up to the task and laid the foundation with a 117-run stand for the second wicket. Their aggressive batting and finding a way to clear the boundary did not allow the Aussies any room. The duo scored at a brisk pace hitting shots all around and managed 17 boundaries between them to keep the hosts at bay.
Jhye Richardson, who made his debut after taking over from Pat Cummins, got the Aussie back into the game, as he took wickets of Hales and Bairstow who departed on 57 and 60 respectively. Skipper Eoin Morgan too departed soon after making 21. Root hung on and shared two vital stands with Jos Buttler (42) and then Chris Woakes (39), who remained unbeaten and carried England over the line.

                  Runs              Balls           4/6               S/R
Jonny Baistow                     60                56            9/0             107.14
Alex Hales                     57                60            7/1             95.00
Jos Buttler                     42                32            5/0             131.25

Mitchell Starc was pick of the Australian bowlers with four wickets to his name. But apart from Richardson, the others could not join the party and give him the support needed to defend the modest 271-run total.

      Overs          Runs      Wickets      Economy
Mitchell Starc        10           59            4          5.90
Richardson        10           57            2          5.70

Finch, the lone star for Aussies
Earlier, Australia fail to get momentum despite another superb century from opener Aaron Finch. The hard-hitting batsman backed his 107 runs at the MCG with a solid knock of 106 this time. His back to back tons saw the Aussies lay a good foundation, but losing wickets at regular intervals once again made the difference.
Finch was at his best and made most use of the form he is in. His innings was laced with nine fours and a six as he brought up his 12th ODI century.

              Runs                Balls                  4/6             Strike Rate
                106                  114                   9/1                  92.98

For the 2nd time in a row Finch was dismissed while trying to accelerate the scoring shortly after reaching three figures. It was England’s spin trio that put a brake on the Aussies once Finch and partner David Warner batted with authority upfront. The key wickets by England spinners of Smith (18), Mitchell Marsh (36), and Marcus Stoinis (4) dented the hopes of the hosts.
Australia scored just 57 off the last 10 overs before their decision not to include a frontline spinner in the line-up backfired, especially with England spinners picking five Aussie wickets.

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