England skipper Eoin Morgan admitted that Australia were “too good” for his side in the series-deciding third ODI at Old Trafford on Wednesday (September 16).
WATCH: Mitchell Starc warns Adil Rashid for leaving his crease; Mankading chance avoided
Opting to bat first, the hosts posted 302/7 in 50 overs on the back of Jonny Bairstow’s hundred (112 off 126 balls) and half-centuries from Sam Billings (57 off 58 balls) and Chris Woakes (53* off 39 balls).
In reply, Australia were reeling at 73/5 before the duo of Glenn Maxwell (108 off 90 balls) and Alex Carey (106 off 114 balls) shared a 212-run partnership for the sixth wicket to put the visitors on the brink of victory.
Needing 10 runs in the final over, Mitchell Starc smashed Adil Rashid for a six and four to seal the deal for Australia with two balls and three wickets to spare.
“We were still in the game (going into the last over). When you can break big partnerships and the ball is offering a little bit and it is probably getting more difficult to bat as the innings goes on, you’re never out of the game,” Morgan said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
“Having someone like Adil Rashid gives us that option as well, even when the game is getting away from us. But Australia, given their performance today, were too good for us.
“I think it started in the first over, losing two wickets for no runs and then post over 300 is a huge positive for us. I think Jonny Bairstow was outstanding today, well supported by Sam Billings and Chris Woakes again with the bat.
“Then we played our strongest team against a very good Australia team. One of the worries in just piling your best side in such a short period of time was that we might not function as well as we have in the past. I know we’ve not played our best but the character and resilience we’ve shown has been brilliant,” he added.
On the other hand, Australian captain Aaron Finch was over the moon after the pair of Maxwell and Carey pulled off a heist against the defending champions.
He also thanked England Cricket Board (ECB) for staging an amazing series amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Maxy is in the team to do a specific role, and that’s to be able to take the game away from the opposition but also be that guy to counterattack and swing momentum,” Finch said.
“I don’t think there are many bowlers in the world that can trouble him when he is having one of those days. The way he navigated that innings and took it deeper and deeper … he did that perfectly.”
“We need someone to take the initiative, and we had two guys do that tonight, and I’m really proud of them. Thanks to the ECB and everyone who’s organized this and made this happen,” he further remarked.