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Morgan underpins epic chase to draw level with Australia

Eoin Morgan continued his rich vein of form as England managed to level the series 2-2 against Australia at Headingley.
Eoin Morgan continued his rich vein of form as England managed to level the series 2-2 against Australia at Headingley.
©REUTERS / Action Images

England 304-7 (Morgan 92) beat
Australia 299-7 (Maxwell 85) by three wickets
Fourth One-Day International, Leeds

Eoin Morgan played another captain's knock as England continued their fearless cricket and chased down 300 to win an epic fourth One-Day International against Australia by three wickets at Headingley to level the series 2-2 with one game left.

Australia won the toss and opted to bat first. Joe Burns (2) played on to his stumps off David Willey (3-51) very early in the innings.

Willey also picked up the big wicket of Steven Smith (5), trapping him lbw. The left-arm pacer continued his great day by getting Aaron Finch (15) to nick one to wicket-keeper Jonathan Bairstow.

Australia were in trouble at 31 for three after nine overs and had a slice of luck when Glenn Maxwell (85) was dropped by Jason Roy on seven.

That proved to be crucial as Maxwell had one of his most amazing days of cricket with bat and ball.

Maxwell and George Bailey (75) started counter-attacking, hitting Willey for three fours in the 11th over. Bailey survived a review for lbw in the 16th over off Liam Plunkett (2-47) which went for a couple of fours as well.

Maxwell was dropped once again on 35 by Adil Rashid (0-63) as Australia reached 100 for three after 20 overs.

Maxwell took full toll of Rashid hitting him for two sixes and a four in consecutive deliveries in the 23rd over to reach his half-century in just 42 balls.

Bailey provided steady support reaching his fifty in 64 balls. However, Maxwell fell short of a century as his 64-ball knock ended with his leg stump uprooted, trying a reverse sweep off Moeen Ali (2-40).

Australia managed 210 for four after 40 overs but in a double-wicket over, Plunkett got both Mitchell Marsh (17) and Bailey out.

Australia were 215 for seven after 42 overs but were revived again by Matthew Wade (50 not out) who added an unbeaten 84 runs in just 50 balls with John Hastings (34 not out).

The duo plundered 42 runs in the last three overs as Wade brought up his fifty in just 26 balls with a massive six followed by a single from the penultimate delivery of the innings.

Australia posted a big tally of 299 for seven. For England, Willey picked up three wickets, while
Ali and Plunkett managed two wickets each.

England didn’t have the best of starts, losing Alex Hales (0) in the second over trapped lbw off Pat Cummins (4-49).

James Taylor (41) and Roy (36) got things going with three fours in the fourth over. Roy was playing another blazing innings taking England to 73 for one after the first 10 overs with Taylor.

However, Roy’s 32-ball knock was ended by Cummins and a few overs later Marsh (2-52) got Taylor as England managed 109 for three after 20 overs.

Morgan (92) played a stunner from then on, adding 91 runs for the fourth wicket in close to 18 overs with Ben Stokes (41).

Stokes survived a close review for a catch behind but then hit three fours in the next over and England were 166 for three after 30 overs needing another 134 in 20 overs.

Morgan got to his fifty in 66 balls. Marsh then got Stokes’ wicket to bring Australia back into the game but Bairstow (31) and Morgan added a quickfire 58 in just 37 balls bringing the required run rate down.

Morgan’s classy innings was ended by a screamer at point where Maxwell took a diving one-handed catch to his right.

England were 238 for five needing 62 in 60 balls. That is when they flexed their batting muscle, batting deep and assuredly.

Although they lost Bairstow to a catch behind after a review, Ali (21 not out) played a calm cameo aided by Plunkett (17) who added 21 quick runs with Ali in 15 balls to make sure there were no surprises.

Although Maxwell took another amazing catch on the boundary to dismiss Plunkett, Willey (12 not out) came in and ended the game with a massive six.

England chased down the total in just 48.2 overs ensuring Cummins’ four-wicket haul went in vain.

Morgan was named as the man of the match for leading from the front as the series will now be decided with the fifth and final ODI which will be played at Old Trafford on 13th September.

© Cricket World 2015