Tom Curran's five-for clinches thrilling 12-run victory as England beat Australia 4-1 in ODI series

England 259, Australia 247: Surrey seamer takes five wickets for 35 runs and rattles through Australian mid-order after Joe Root's battling 62 saved England from embarasssment

John Stern
Perth
Sunday 28 January 2018 12:24
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Tom Curran celebrates taking the final wicket of Tim Paine to seal victory for England
Tom Curran celebrates taking the final wicket of Tim Paine to seal victory for England

Tom Curran showed a sense of occasion that should stand him and England in good stead with magnificent five for 35 as his match-turning spell gave England a 12-run victory and a 4-1 series triumph that seemed implausible at the halfway stage and for much of the Australian innings.

Curran also managed to upstage what had been shaping to be the perfect unveiling for Perth’s sparkly new Optus Stadium

The crowd was 53,781, a record for any ticketed sporting event in Western Australia and their local boys did them proud too.

No sooner had Andrew Tye completed a maiden five-wicket haul in his home city of Perth than 4,000 miles away in Bangalore the gavel came down on his £794,000 Indian Premier League deal with King’s XI Punjab.

Marcus Stoinis, the muscular batsman, made 87 but his departure, caught by Curran off Adil Rashid, gave England a sniff.

The partisan punters also got a perfect – or should that be Perth-fect – dismissal when David Willey was caught by Mitch Marsh off Tye. All three players have been members of the Perth Scorchers T20 team in the Big Bash.

England secured a 12-run victory to win the One-Day series 4-1

And to top it off, we had the ground’s first streaker who side-stepped around a few stewards, in the traditional manner, before being rugby-tackled to the ground neck first.

England rested two of their leading bowlers, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood. They were not injured but, said captain Eoin Morgan, they had not recovered well from yesterday’s three-hour flight from Adelaide.

That left Woakes to count his IPL winnings – all £810,000 of them from his acquisition by Royal Challengers Bangalore – while a surprising amount of his team-mates failed even to land a gig.

It left England with a pace attack with all of 52 ODI caps between them. Curran produced a superb yorker to dismiss David Warner and complete a poor series for the explosive left-hander, who scored only 73 runs at an average of 14 in the five matches. Steve Smith fared only marginally better 102 runs at 20 compared to his 687 at 137 in the Ashes.

When Curran returned in the 37th over and made an immediate impact. He pinned Glenn Maxwell lbw and was insistent that the not-out decision be reviewed. Two balls later Mitchell Starc was well caught behind low to his left by Jos Buttler.

That left Australia 192 for seven but Tim Paine appeared to be taking his side to victory before Curran stole the show bowling both Adam Zampa and then Paine.

Jason Roy got the innings off to a good start with 49 but fell just short of his half-century

When England Lions played here in December they were alarmed by the pace and bounce generated by the 36-year-old Mitchell Johnson so it should perhaps have been no surprise to see how the pitch behaved.

Nevertheless it was quite a sight to see the 20th ball of the match, from Josh Hazlewood, fly from a good length and disappear over the head of the leaping wicket-keeper, Tim Paine, one bounce over the rope.

Steve Smith won his fourth toss in a row and did not have a second thought about bowling first. It was a tactic that worked a treat two days ago in Adelaide and the pitch, with its patches of green snaking around the biscuit-coloured surface, looked like it help his pace bowlers.

Joe Root's 61 top scored for England as they set a target of 260

England’s blistering start was misleading. Conditions appeared to be ideal for batting, though the vast square boundaries – a consequence of this stadium’s primary use for Australian Rules football – were not ideal.

The pitch turned out to be two-paced with exaggerated bounce from the Members End and nothing of the sort from the Southern End.

That the first ball of the match was dispatched by Jason Roy through square leg was nothing unusual but the sight of he and Jonny Bairstow scampering through for an all-run four certainly was. A touch of old-school sepia in this ultra-modern setting.

Moeen Ali took a brilliant caught and bowled to dismiss Mitchell Marsh

After spluttering in the last three matches, Roy’s turbo-charged engine was back at full throttle. He had an important slice of luck. Having hit Starc for four and six, he was then caught behind off a no-ball.

But having pummelled 49 from 46 balls, Roy became the first man to misjudge one of Andrew Tye’s slower balls and was caught at mid-on. Bairstow’s departure eight overs later for 44, chopping on to Mitchell Starc, set the tone for England’s innings. Some got set but only Joe Root went on.

Australia lost three wickets for three runs as Curran dismissed Mitchell Starc for a duck

Snubbed by the IPL, Root showed that in this longer white-ball format at least, he has the intelligence to play the required innings. It was just a shame for England that no one could stay with him.

He hit two fours in his 62, one of which was an audacious upper cut off Hazlewood to third man. Root, who was earlier hit in the ribs by a lifter from Tye, became the Perth man’s fourth wicket.

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