MELBOURNE: Dominant centuries from Travis Head and David Warner helped Australia defeat a tired England by 221 runs on Tuesday in the third and final One Day International at the Melbourne Cricket Ground to sweep the series 3-0.
After losing six wickets in Adelaide and a 72-run defeat in Sydney, England’s long tour ended in crushing defeat at the same venue where they won their 20th World Cup this month.
Australia made a massive 355-5 at the back of Head’s 152 and Warner’s 106 in a rain-beaten game reduced to 48 overs, with the pair of 269 putting on, the ninth-highest opening partnership in 50-plus cricket and the largest in cricket. MCG.
It left England needing 364 to win under an adjusted target in the DLS, an ominous score they never looked like they would face against a disciplined attack led by wicket-keeper Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and off-spinning Adam Zampa.
“It was great, all three matches,” said Australian captain Cummins. “Everything really clicked.
“It’s good to finish it here, that’s just about the best international I’ve ever been in. Everything was perfect.”
With Phil Salt sidelined with a concussion check after hitting his head on play, Daoud Malan was high to open against England with Jason Roy but fell for two against Hazlewood.
It didn’t get any easier for the batsmen, who were limited to just 49-1 from their first 10 overs, already behind the required run rate.
Cummins caught Roy (33) and Sam Billings (7) in quick succession, while James Vince knocked out 22 off 45 balls before Sean Abbott broke his resistance.
When Zampa knocked out captains Joss Butler (4) and Chris Woakes in successive balls, then Moeen Ali (18) in his next set, England were 95-7 and their hopes were dashed. Zamba finished 4-31.
“We tried our best, but we fell short a lot. Australia have outclassed us in every department,” said Butler.
“But a lot to be proud of. You don’t need long memories to remember the scenes here last week,” he said of winning the World Cup.
Butler, who had returned after missing the Sydney match, won the toss and told Australia to bat, only to see an exhibition from Head Warner.
Head made his third one-day century and highest score, off 130 balls with 16 fours and four sixes, as he cemented his place at the top of the order after the retirement of Aaron Finch.
With the conditions overcast and cold, the England bowlers extracted an early swing and Head survived a missed catch in four and gave them a light weight on nine, which he successfully challenged.
But he settled down when he and Warner took full control, forging their second 100-run partnership in three matches.
Rain stopped play for 30 minutes but the pair picked up where they left off with a header race to their century, completing the feat with four goals from Chris Woakes. Warner soon followed suit, crushing Ollie Stone to the ropes for a 19-ton ODI.
England won the toss
Warner C. Willy B-Stone 106
Smith J† Butler B Stone 21
Stoinis J Sub Jordan B Dawson 12
Marsh C Dawson B Stone 30
Alex Curry† not out 12
Labuschagne does not come out 8
Extras: (4 lbs, 1 note, 9 widths) 14
Total: 48 Ov (RR: 7.39) 355/5
Not hits: Sean Abbott, Pat Cummins (c), Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
Falling wickets: 1-269, 2-270, 3-292, 4-324, 5-347
Bowling: Chris Woakes 10-0-62-0, David Willey 9-0-63-0, Ollie Stone 10-0-85-4, Sam Curran 9-1-66-0, Liam Dawson 10-0-75 1
Malan c† Carey b Hazlewood 2
Vince J Soap Harvey B Abbott 22
Billings C&B Cummins 7
Ali G Labouchagne in Zamba 18
Butler (c) † c stoenies b zampa 1
Woakes lbw b Zampa 0
Curran J Hazelwood B Abbott 12
Dawson C† Carey B Marsh 18
Willie is not out of 12
Stone B Zamba 4
Extras: (2 lbs., 11 w.) 13
Overall: 31.4 Ov (RR: 4.48) 142
Falling wickets: 1-15, 2-57, 3-66, 4-89, 5-90, 6-90, 7-95, 8-122, 9-129, 10-142
Bowling: Josh Hazlewood 7-0-21-1, Pat Cummins 6-2-25-2, Shaun Abbott 8-0-45-2, Mitchell Marsh 5-0-18-1, Adam Zampa 5.4-1-31 4
Match result: Australia won by 221 runs (D/L method)
Series player: David Warner
Judges: Paul Revell, Paul Wilson