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Buttler takes England to series-levelling win

Five-match series tied at 1-1 after fourth game

Buttler takes England to series-levelling win - Cricket News
Jos Butler raises his bat after reaching his half century.
England levelled its One-Day International series against Australia thanks to a stunning late show from Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes that helped it seal a three-wicket win in the fourth match in Cardiff on Saturday (September 14).

The young pair came together with England heading for another defeat, needing 84 runs from just over 11 overs when the sixth wicket, Ravi Bopara, fell.

But Buttler (65 not out) and Stokes (25) managed to turn the game on its head. Stokes was out near the end but Buttler stayed put and hit the winning runs. 

After setting England 228 to win, Australia started strongly with Clint McKay’s stunning hat-trick at the start of the England innings putting them well on top. 

Michael Carberry (63) and Eoin Morgan (53) led the recovery before both of them, along with Bopara, were dismissed. 

But Buttler and Stokes were waiting to become the stars of the hour. 

England’s bowling had blown hot and cold earlier in the day with the pace of Steven Finn (2 for 43) and Boyd Rankin (2 for 31) ripping apart the Australian top order in seamer-friendly conditions to start with. 

Sadly, the lack of a real fifth frontline bowler proved a stumbling block for England. 

James Tredwell and Bopara were easy pickings for the Australian middle order and leaked runs constantly, enabling Australia to build momentum. Partnerships between George Bailey and Adam Voges (30) and Bailey and Matthew Wade (36) frustrated England. Bailey top scored for Australia with 87 from 91 balls. 

Indeed, Australia looked set for a higher total until a sudden collapse, which had them losing their last five wickets for just 18 runs. Tredwell grabbed three late wickets to finish with 3 for 53.

The series decider is at Southampton on Monday.

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