England captain Eoin Morgan praised the efforts of century-maker James Taylor and spinners Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali after the trio all played key roles in a 93-run win over Australia in the third one-day international at Old Trafford.
Tuesday’s floodlit success ensured England kept their series with the world champions alive at 2-1 down with two to play ahead of Friday’s encounter across the Pennines at Headingley, the Leeds headquarters of Yorkshire.
Jason Roy (63) and Morgan (62) – who shared a third- wicket partnership of 119 with Taylor (101) — also made telling contributions.
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England were able to frustrate Australia with 20 overs’ worth of spin that yielded five wickets for 73 runs.
Off-spinner Ali took an ODI best three for 32 and leg-spinner Rashid two for 41 as Australia, chasing 301 to win, were bowled out for 207 with six overs of their innings left.
Morgan, asked about Ali and Rashid, told Sky Sports: “I thought they were outstanding. I think it was set up by the start, we knew the first 15 or 20 overs with the new ball was going to set the tone for us with the ball because it was a lot easier on this particular wicket facing the new ball.
“I think Steve Finn’s spell up the top was really impressive, and then for the two spinners to come on and bowl with control — they didn’t really bowl that many bad balls throughout their 10 overs.
“I was very impressed, not surprised, but very impressed,” said the skipper, whose side had lost 11 of their previous 12 ODIs against Australia.
Man-of-the-match Taylor’s century was his first at this level and Morgan said: “I think the games we’ve played so far the top score before that was 85 so we want guys to make match-winning contributions and James Taylor managed to do that today.”
The former Ireland international added: “Jason Roy played very much his game, a lot of strong shots down the ground, clean striking which was nice to watch and then me and James Taylor managed to get a really good partnership going in the middle.”
Taylor added: “I got 98 not out against Australia (during an England defeat at the World Cup) so to get a hundred against them in a winning cause is nice.”
‘Threw it away’
Aaron Finch marked his return to the Australia team in place of the injured David Warner by top-scoring for Steven Smith’s side with 53 at Lancashire’s base in Manchester.
But the Victorian was disappointed by his failure to go in to a big score after being caught in the deep by Rashid.
“It’s a nice place to get in and get a big score — and none of us did that today,” said Finch, who has been playing county cricket alongside Rashid at reigning county champions Yorkshire.
“I put my hand up for that. I got off to a good start and got us into a good position and threw it away,” added Finch, who made a hundred against England at the World Cup.
Australia left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Starc, the man of the tournament at the World Cup, finished with expensive figures of one for 79 in 10 overs.
But a sympathetic Finch said: “It’s just one of those days for Mitch. He’s performed so well for two years in this format for Australia you can forgive one game. He was player of the World Cup, he was winning games single handedly.
“I think he had an off day and it’s just one of those things.”