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Faulkner Seals Thrilling Australia Win

James Faulkner
James Faulkner's brilliant unbeaten half-century guided Australia home in Brisbane
©REUTERS / Action Images

Australia 301-9 (Faulkner 69no, Maxwell 55) beat
England 300-8 (Morgan 106) by one wicket
Second One-Day International, Brisbane

James Faulkner struck a brilliant unbeaten 69 not out in 47 balls as Australia claimed a one-wicket victory over England in the second One-Day International in Brisbane.

England must be wondering what they have to do to win an international game in Australia after coming up short despite putting 300 runs on the board.

Eoin Morgan struck 106 and Ian Bell 68 before they reduced Australia to 120 for five and then removed set batsmen Glenn Maxwell (55) and Brad Haddin (26) during the batting Power Play to seemingly take charge of the game.

However, Faulkner, just as he did on occasion in India, proved again that when he is at the crease, no game is ever out of reach, striking five sixes - most of them huge - and then three fours in as many balls in the final over to put Australia 2-0 up in the five-match series.

England kept faith with the same team that was thumped in Melbourne and they were rewarded with an improved performance with the bat.

Bell made 68 in 84 balls with five fours to help England recover from another shaky start as Alastair Cook (22), Joe Root (2) and Gary Ballance (9) fell cheaply.

Morgan joined Bell in the 18th over and together they added 61 together to build the foundation for England's late charge.

Bell was run out by Michael Clarke but with Morgan in, England were looking strong, and he took on left-arm quicks Mitchell Johnson and Faulkner in particular, striking six beautifully-timed sixes and also hitting four fours to reach his sixth ODI century.

He faced 99 balls in all and although Faulkner got his man eventually to finish with two for 73, Morgan had done enough to guide England towards an excellent score, with excellent support from Ravi Bopara (24 in 19 balls) and Jos Buttler (49 in 36).

Johnson and Maxwell also picked up two wickets but England still reached 300 and would have been confident of defending their score, particularly when Australia's Melbourne hero Aaron Finch was caught by Ballance off Chris Jordan for a three-ball duck.

Jordan, who bowled superbly for scant reward in the opening match, bowled as well here, but this time picked up the wicket of Finch and then David Warner, who was caught and bowled for 18.

Shaun Marsh held the run chase together for with 55 but England reduced them to 120 for five when Joe Root (2-46) bowled Marsh and had Clarke caught by Ballance for 17 before Boyd Rankin trapped George Bailey in front for 24.

Maxwell and Haddin started their partnership circumspectly, sensibly taking time to get in and stave off England's charge.

Once they had done so, Maxwell took on the bowling, reverse sweeping Root for three fours in as many deliveries and the tide was beginning to turn as they took the Power Play.

However, England brought back Tim Bresnan to good effect, and he first had Haddin caught by Cook and then Maxwell pulled the ball straight to Bopara at midwicket.

It looked like those were the turning points, and even more so when Australia opted to send Nathan Coulter-Nile in next. He made a useful 16 but used up 23 balls and when he was trapped in front by Ben Stokes and Johnson was caught behind off Bopara for two, Australia were 244 for nine and looking like they were heading for a defeat.

Enter Faulkner, who managed to successfully keep the run-rate up and ensure that Clint McKay (2 not out) faced just nine balls.

England desperately wanted to bowl at McKay but had to bowl at Faulkner, who took full advantage as they were unable to get their yorkers and slower balls quite right.

Needing 12 to win from the final over, bowled by Bresnan, Faulkner wasted no time at all, hitting each of the first three balls to the boundary to finish off the game in style.

Sydney hosts the third match on Sunday (19th January).

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