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Morgan shines as England level series

Eoin Morgan struck a brilliant 92 as England chased down 300 with 10 balls to spare to take the Royal London One-Day Series to a decider.

The England captain combined with Ben Stokes to get England back on track and then went through the gears in partnership with home favourite Jonny Bairstow to eat well into the target.

The hosts had a couple of scares after Morgan’s departure but Moeen Ali and the recalled David Willey kept their heads to take England to a thrilling three-wicket win in the fourth Royal London one-day international at Headingley.

Australia’s 299 for seven owed much to two big stands – the first worth 137 between Glenn Maxwell and George Bailey before Matthew Wade and John Hastings shared an unbeaten 84 for the eighth wicket.

By contrast, England’s reply contained key contributions from the majority of their batting line-up as Jason Roy, James Taylor, Stokes and Bairstow all passed 30.

England’s run-chase got off to a poor start as Alex Hales was trapped in front by Pat Cummins on nought but Taylor immediately stamped his authority on proceedings with a flurry of boundaries.

Roy got in on the act with successive fours off Hastings and then brought up the fifty partnership with a lovely straight drive off the same bowler.

Eoin Morgan continued his fine summer in an England shirt with an innings full of eye-catching boundaries

The Surrey batsman was catching the eye with some stunning strokes but he went for one shot too many and looped a drive into the hands of Aaron Finch at mid-off to give Cummins his second wicket.

Taylor shelved his attacking instincts after Roy’s dismissal and he was soon following his team-mate back to the pavilion after Wade took a diving catch down the leg side off Mitchell Marsh.

Morgan became England’s leading run-scorer in ODIs against Australia as he and Stokes rebuilt the innings, and then hit a six and a four off Maxwell to break the shackles.

Stokes survived after a bottom edge fell short of Wade and then hit three fours in the next over bowled by James Pattinson to bring up the fifty stand.

England matched Australia’s 143 for three at the halfway stage and Morgan was celebrating his third successive half-century after cutting Marsh for two.

Marsh ended the partnership on 91 when he bowled Stokes with an inswinging yorker but Morgan came back at Australia hard with boundary after boundary, including a huge six off Hastings which landed on the roof of the Rugby Stand.

Bairstow creamed two fours through the off side as the partnership went past 50 in double-quick time, but he lost his partner when Maxwell took a stunning catch at backward point off Cummins.

England were left requiring 62 off the final 10 overs and the asking rate came down considerably when a Cummins over went for 13, only for Bairstow to depart soon after, caught behind attempting to reverse sweep Maxwell.

Jonny Bairstow was one of a number of England batsmen to make a vital contribution in a memorable run chase

Liam Plunkett hit his first delivery for four and continued to look at ease with the situation until Maxwell took an incredible juggling catch on the boundary to end his cameo.

It was left to Moeen, who had been dropped by Wade, and Willey to take England home.

Willey had earlier made the breakthrough in the third over as Joe Burns chopped onto his stumps and then claimed the vital scalp of captain Steve Smith, who was trapped in front by a full, swinging delivery.

And it got even better for the Yorkshire-bound left-armer when he pushed one across Finch and found a thin edge, which was taken by Bairstow to leave Australia 30 for three after winning the toss.

It was almost the perfect ending to the perfect first powerplay for England but Roy dropped a low chance off Mark Wood to give Maxwell a reprieve on seven.

Maxwell celebrated the let-off with back-to-back fours through the off side in Willey’s next over and continued to look in good touch alongside Bailey, who was playing the anchor role.

Another Maxwell boundary brought up the fifty partnership and then Australia’s number five survived another scare as Adil Rashid failed to hold on to a low chance at fine leg off the bowling of Stokes.

David Willey took three early wickets including the key scalp of Australia captain Steven Smith

Rashid could only parry a thumping aerial drive from Bailey off his own bowling and it got worse for the Yorkshire leg-spinner as Maxwell cracked two maximums over the leg side to bring up his fifty off just 42 balls.

A Maxwell reverse sweep took the fourth-wicket stand past 100 and the shots kept coming as Bailey raised his half-century.

England were desperate to break the partnership and Moeen was the man to deliver as Maxwell tried one reverse sweep too many and was bowled for 85.

The wicket of Maxwell did the trick in slowing Australia’s progress but Bailey broke the shackles with a straight six off Rashid, the first boundary in 10 overs.

The tourists went into the final powerplay well placed on 210 for four but Plunkett took two wickets in three balls – Marsh hitting down the throat of Willey at long-off before Bailey gave the fast bowler a return catch to depart for 75 – as England regained control.

Debutant Marcus Stonis went in the next over after reverse sweeping a Moeen delivery straight to Rashid at backward point, but the momentum began to shift back in Australia’s favour again as Hastings opened his shoulders.

He clobbered the returning Willey for a straight six to take Australia past 250 and Wade did likewise off Wood to raise the fifty stand.

Wade, who made fifty off only 26 balls, hit Willey for two fours and then took Wood for two maximums in the final over as Australia finished with a flourish.

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