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Willey targets series victory

David Willey refused to acknowledge his opening spell with the ball in Friday’s Royal London one-day international as perfect, but the left-arm seamer is keen to play a key role in England’s bid for a series victory at Emirates Old Trafford on Sunday.

From 2-0 down in the five-match rubber England have battled back to 2-2, winning by 93 runs in Manchester and then squaring the series with a three-wicket triumph at Headingley yesterday.

That was Willey’s first outing of the series after injury ruled out Chris Woakes, and the Yorkshire-bound all-rounder responded with 3-51 – his opening spell reduced Australia to 30 for three – and hit the winning runs with a huge six in making 12 not out.

“The coaches said to me just make sure you’re ready for when you get your opportunity and today I came out of the blocks well and got some poles in that early powerplay which is always important for the team, so we got off to a good start which I was happy about,” Willey told ecb.co.uk.

“I wouldn’t say it was perfect but I was fairly happy with it – three wickets in the first 10 [overs] is always a good start for the team in one-day cricket so I’m happy with that – there are some areas to work on but I’ll take it today.

Willey hits John Hastings out the ground for six. "It wasn't massive - it was nice to hit the winning runs for England," he said afterwards

“I struggled with injuries when I went back to county stuff but I’ve worked hard when I’ve been back here and it was brilliant to get my opportunity and do well in what was an important game, and a great knock from Morgs [Eoin Morgan] makes for a great game on Sunday.”

Asked about smashing John Hastings out of the ground for the winning runs, Willey added: “It wasn’t massive – it was nice to hit the winning runs for England and get us across the line.

“It will be a great game on Sunday, back at Old Trafford, and the momentum is with us so it should be an exciting game.

“I believe it’s sold out so fingers crossed we can play well again and get a series win.”

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