Recent Match Report – Australia vs England 3rd ODI 2022/23

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Australia 5 for 355 (Head 152, Warner 106, Stone 4-85) against England

Life after Aaron Finch is proving a breeze for Australia with new opening pair Travis Head and David Warner piling up twin hundreds in a record-breaking partnership to take full toll of a listless England in the final ODI at the MCG.

The pair put on a stand of 269 in 38.1 overs, falling just short of their own Australian record ODI partnership of 284, to underpin Australia’s imposing total of 355 for 5 after the innings was reduced to 48 overs due to rain. They became the second duo in ODI history to post two 250-plus runs stands behind India pair Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly.

Head continued his dominant year in ODI cricket scoring 152 from 130 balls, his second century and third overall, while Warner made 106 from 102 to post his first century for Australia in any format since January 2020, breaking a 68-innings drought.

England are booked on a 6am flight out of Melbourne on Wednesday morning and bowled as if they were already waiting for it after winning the toss and electing to field. England’s intensity matched that of one of the smallest ODI crowds ever at the MCG on a miserable cold and wet Tuesday night in November, with the dead rubber resembling an Australian domestic one-day fixture. Two rain interruptions only dampened the mood further. All of England’s bowlers were collared at more than six runs per over. Olly Stone took four of the five wickets to fall but finished with the extraordinary figures of 4 for 85.

There was some swing early on and Head enjoyed several slices of luck. He twice edged behind, flashing hard outside off stump, as one flew safely through a vacant third slip and the other escaped the grasp of Liam Dawson at second as he jumped high to his right. Head was also given out lbw onfield to Chris Woakes but had it overturned on review as it was pitching outside leg.

From there Head found another gear, lashing England’s bowlers to all parts of the MCG on what turned into an excellent batting surface. Not even a brief rain delay could slow his momentum.

The early swing subsided, and he feasted on the easy pace of England’s seam attack. He smashed 16 fours and four towering sixes, to reach his century off just 92 balls in the 27th over, celebrating by rocking his bat like a baby in acknowledgment of his recently born baby girl.

Warner was the silent partner for a large part of the partnership. He was on 62 when Head reached his century having barely taken a risk. He breezed to his 19th ODI century punching a gift of a full toss from Stone wide of mid-off and celebrated with his trademark leap. It looked like a statement innings just a day after he had vented his frustration at Cricket Australia for their handling of a review into his lifetime leadership ban.

Australia were 217 for 0 at the second drinks break after 34 overs, having not struck a boundary in the previous five overs. Head and Warner then went into party mode smashing 52 from the next 24 balls as Head raced past 150. But both men holed out in the same Stone over to stall Australia’s momentum a touch. A second rain delay cut two overs off the innings and saw Marcus Stoinis fall attempting a wild swipe first ball after the break. But it allowed Mitch Marsh to come in and smash 30 off 16 balls to finish the innings.

To make matters worse for England, Phil Salt was subbed out of the game with concussion after suffering a head knock and shoulder injury in a fruitless chase and dive to save a boundary. Moeen Ali was subbed into the game having been rested after Jos Buttler returned as captain.

Pat Cummins also returned to captain Australia replacing the resting Mitchell Starc, while Sean Abbott replaced Ashton Agar who had flown early to Canberra to prepare for Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s XI game against West Indies.

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