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by John Pennington Friday 24 January 2014
England 316-8 (Buttler 71no, Stokes 70) beatAustralia 259 (Finch 108) by 57 runsFourth One-Day International, PerthScorecard
England's long wait to win an international match in Australia is finally over after they won the fourth One-Day International by 57 runs in Perth.
They ended a run of nine straight international defeats with an excellent all-round performance, scoring 316 for eight and then dismissing Australia for 259.
Jos Buttler (71 not out), Ben Stokes (70) and Ian Bell (55) all hit half-centuries for England and although Aaron Finch scored another fine century, hitting 108 in 111 balls, Australia fell short.
Stokes took four for 39, Tim Bresnan three for 45 and Stuart Broad two for 56 to wrap up a victory that prevents Australia from taking a series clean sweep.
Buttler completed a good all-round match by taking five catches behind the wicket although Stokes was named as the man of the match for his efforts.
Nevertheless, they lead 3-1 with one game remaining, which is in Adelaide on Sunday (26th January).
Buttler needed just 43 balls to hit six fours and four sixes to help England motor past the 300-run mark after the top order had set them a superb platform.
Some much-needed runs - 44 of them - from Alastair Cook, who now declares he is desperate to stay on as England captain, as well as 55 in 52 balls from Ian Bell saw the tourists put on 87 for the opening wicket.
Stokes then made 70 in 84 balls to keep the innings ticking over as Gary Ballance (18) and Ravi Bopara (3) fell cheaply.
James Faulkner's four for 67, including the wickets of Stokes and Eoin Morgan, who made 33 in as many balls, pegged England back only for Buttler's assault to ensure they finished on a high.
James Pattinson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Glenn Maxwell and Dan Christian also took a wicket apiece.
When Finch was at the crease, Australia were very much in with a chance of chasing down their target. He took 97 balls to reach his second century of the series but only made it to 108 in 111 before he was caught by Stuart Broad off Bresnan at third man.
Bresnan had already removed new opening partner Shaun Marsh for 15, Matthew Wade fell to Bopara for 23, Stokes struck to dismiss George Bailey - an excellent review by England for a leg-side catch to Buttler - for 11 and Broad had Steve Smith caught behind for 19.
Finch then fell to leave Australia at 189 for five and now it looked as if they were missing the key players (Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin, David Warner and Shane Watson) that were rested.
However, Maxwell (26), Christian (23) and Faulkner (2) are capable of the extraordinary but on this occasion there was to be no repeat of the Brisbane finale.
England stretched things out by dropping a couple of catches late on but eventually Buttler held on to a swirling catch to see off Pattinson for four to imbue England with something they haven't had for a while - a winning feeling.
© Cricket World 2014