Tue, Jun 26, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Buttler steers England to whitewash of Aussies

Reuters, MANCHESTER, England

England’s Jos Buttler plays a shot against Australia in the fifth one-day international at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, on Sunday.

Photo: Reuters

Jos Buttler on Sunday scored a dazzling unbeaten century to guide England to a thrilling one-wicket victory over Australia at Old Trafford in Manchester to seal an unprecedented 5-0 one-day series triumph over their old rivals.

England were in a parlous position at 27-4 chasing Australia’s total of 205 all out when the gifted, powerful Butler came to the crease and played a masterful innings.

Yet even though England crumbled further to 114-8, the wicketkeeper kept cool as wickets tumbled around him to smash an unbeaten 110 off 122 balls and seal England’s first 5-0 whitewash over Australia.

It was a remarkable effort, with the joint next highest English contribution being Adil Rashid’s 20, although the No. 10’s 47-ball effort in a ninth-wicket partnership of 81 was also key to helping the hosts get across the line.

When Rashid was out with 11 still needed, last man Jake Ball held up the Australia attack for 10 balls, allowing Buttler, who got his ton with a second six, to guide England home with a handsome driven boundary, his 12th, with nine balls to spare.

“I said to Jake if it’s two we’ll run, if it’s one we won’t. Great guts from him to soak up that pressure and face those balls,” man-of-the-match Buttler said, praising the tail-ender at the post-match presentation. “We were determined to come out and try and win 5-0. We bowled fantastically well and didn’t quite click with the bat. Games where you pull it out of nowhere are extra enjoyable.”

It capped a perfect week for England in which they had also claimed a world record by compiling a 50-over total of 481 in Nottingham on Tuesday last week.

Buttler then struck a whirlwind unbeaten half-century to guide them to another victory at Chester-le-Street on Thursday last week.

The 27-year-old, who also executed a brilliant run-out and stumping on Sunday as Australia succumbed largely to Moeen Ali’s four wickets was also voted player of the series, having compiled 275 runs from the five matches at an average of 137.5.

“I don’t think I’ve ever played better. It’s very enjoyable. We’re just trying to keep it going,” Buttler said.

England captain Eoin Morgan paid tribute to Buttler.

“We were very poor today and Jos really did pull something special out to get us over the line. It was outstanding,” Morgan said. “He’s in control — he’s a very cool, calculated customer with a lot of ability. We got a lot out of that watching from the dressing room.”

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