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Australia completed a resounding series victory against England after defeating the visitors by 72 runs in the second ODI at the SCG. Australia posted a competitive 280 on the board thanks to Steve Smith’s fourth consecutive half-century in ODI cricket. England were on course for victory buoyed by Sam Billings and James Vince’s half-century only for a lower-order collapse to dash their hopes of a series-leveling victory.
The visitors, chasing a decisive win, made an atrocious start to their chase, losing Jason Roy and Dawid Malan for naught in the very first over. England’s misery were further compounded after Aussie skipper Josh Hazlewood sent the attacking Phil Salt packing to reduce the visitors to 34/3 in the sixth over.
Australia’s plans of an early finish to the match was halted by the resilience of Sam Billings and James Vince as the pair added 122 runs for the fourth wicket in double quick time. England were cruising in the chase, with both batters set at the crease. However, the hosts were handed an opening in the 28th over when Vince was dismissed by Hazlewood.
Despite Vince’s dismissal, England were in a commanding position, but the hosts found a way back into the game, dismissing four English batters for just 13 runs to change the complexion of the match. Mitchell Starc was the protagonist of the hosts rattling the English batters with his pace and accuracy. Australia’s star leggie Adam Zampa spun a web around the lower-order batters to hand Australia a terrific comeback victory by 72 runs.
Steve Smith continues his rollicking form in 50-over cricket
Earlier in the match, Australia’s stand-in skipper Josh Hazlewood decided to bat first after winning the toss in the decisive second ODI at the SCG. The Aussie openers David Warner and Travis Head were off to another brisk start, following their belligerence in the series opener. However, Both the openers were sent back to the hut in quick succession inside the first ten overs.
But that was the only joy the English bowlers had for a while as two of Australia’s most distinguished batters Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne frustrated the English bowlers with a combative 101-run stand for the third wicket. Both the batters went on to compile their respective half-centuries with Smith falling just six short of a well-deserved century.
The English bowlers fought back with quick wickets in the middle overs, but Mitchell Marsh marked his return to the eleven by completing a well-paced half-century to take the Aussies to a competitive total of 280 runs in their 50 overs.
Here is how Twitter reacted to Australia’s series-sealing victory in the second ODI against England: