Curran snags five as England complete 4-1 series rout
Tom Curran’s maiden ODI five-for helped England crown the first international fixture at Perth’s Optus Stadium with a 12-run victory.
It sealed England’s 4-1 series triumph over Australia.
Australia looked in command of their run-chase, well placed at 4-189 chasing 260, before collapsing badly.
— Macquarie Cricket (@MRNCricket) January 28, 2018
Curran (5-35) and Moeen Ali (3-55) turned the game with a string of wickets at key moments, with the Aussies ultimately falling 12 runs short.
It was a thriller of a game, befitting the occasion as the first international match at Perth’s new stadium.
The 60,000-seat arena was not built in time to host an Ashes Test, with Steve Smith’s men regaining the urn on the familiar territory of the WACA, just across the Swan River.
Much like the Tests, the 50-over series was done and dusted after three matches – England gaining a measure of revenge – but Eoin Morgan’s men responded well to an aberration in Adelaide in which they were reduced to 8-5 and were once again too good in WA.
Andrew Tye took 5-46 as England’s innings of 259 all out went along in fits and starts, with only Joe Root (62) going beyond 50, however the hosts were unable to take advantage.
Travis Head fell four short of a century at Adelaide Oval and it was a case of the unlucky 87 striking for Australia here, Marcus Stoinis holing out after an impressive 99-ball stint at the crease in what had appeared to be a comfortable chase.
Curran (5-35) then took centre stage to outdo Tye, removing Glenn Maxwell (34) and accounting for Adam Zampa (11) and Tim Paine (34) after they had threatened to pull off a stunning late chase as Australia succumbed to 247 all out.
Contributions of 49 from Jason Roy and 44 from Jonny Bairstow would end up being crucial as Australia could not give Stoinis similar support.
Tye took the first of his five wickets to remove Roy, the Western Australia man impressing on his new home ground, while WA captain Mitchell Marsh also enjoyed home-field success to remove Alex Hales (35) and Morgan (3).
England could not stem the bleeding, Jos Buttler (21) and Moeen Ali (6) leaving Root with the tail, which Tye quickly mopped up to complete a five-for on a positive day personally which also saw him fetch over $1million in the IPL auction.
Despite losing David Warner (15) and Smith (12) cheaply, Australia had looked firmly in control as Stoinis took over, hitting six fours and four sixes and remaining calm as partners came and went – Marsh’s dismissal for 13 courtesy of a stunning caught-and-bowled by Moeen (3-55) the most notable.
Having moved to within 13 runs of a second ODI ton – superstitious ground for Australians – Stoinis felt the pang of fate as he hoiked an Adil Rashid full-toss to Curran at long on.
Maxwell was suddenly under pressure to see Australia home but Curran rapped him on the pads before finding Mitchell Starc’s edge two balls later to swing the contest.
It was not the last twist, however, Paine sticking around, ably assisted by Zampa until he was bowled by Curran, to leave himself and Josh Hazlewood needing 24 from the final three overs.
The wicketkeeper hit Jake Ball – who appeared to be struggling badly with dehydration – for a four and a paddled six to lift the 53,781-strong crowd, but Curran nipped one through his defences to wrap up career-best figures and the win.