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Ruthless Australia Wrap Up Series

Shaun Marsh pulls a ball
Shaun Marsh hit an unbeaten 71 to steer Australia to a comprehensive win over England
©REUTERS / Action Images

Australia 244-3 (Marsh 71no, Warner 70) beat
England 243-9 (Morgan 54) by seven wickets
Third One-Day International, Sydney

Australia raced into an unassailable 3-0 series lead over England in clinical fashion courtesy of a seven-wicket win in the third One-Day International in Sydney.

England failed to capitalise on a good start to the game and reached a score of 243 for nine only for Australia to cruise to 244 for three with 10 overs to spare.

Shaun Marsh struck an unbeaten 71 and David Warner made the same score before being dismissed while Eoin Morgan top scored for England with 54.

Nathan Coulter-Nile took three for 47 to undermine England's progress with James Faulkner (2-35), Dan Christian (2-52) and Xavier Doherty (1-28) also in the wickets.

While England, through Alastair Cook (35 in 36 balls) and Ian Bell (29 in 35 balls) at the top of the order, got away to a decent start, Australia were outstanding in the field and that helped them peg the tourists back.

Glenn Maxwell took a blinder to have Cook caught in the covers, Bell was run out by a Warner direct hit, Ben Stokes, promoted to number three, was well caught by Michael Clarke for 15 before Morgan was brilliantly caught and bowled by Christian.

The left-hander had hit four fours and two sixes in 58 balls when a leading edge looped the ball up in the air and Christian claimed the catch close to the ground. Morgan was not happy, and his apparent refusal to accept that the catch was clean upset Clarke, but eventually he made his way off the field.

Ravi Bopara (21) and Tim Bresnan (41 not out) added some late runs but England always looked to have posted a score well short of both what they should have made given their start, and what they needed to contain an in-form Australian batting line-up.

And so it proved with Aaron Finch (22 in 20 balls) and Warner (71 in 70) emulating what Cook and Bell had managed in the Power Play for England with a 43-run partnership in seven overs.

Warner went on after Finch was caught by Bopara off Chris Jordan to strike seven fours and two sixes in all in a partnership worth 78 with Marsh.

He fell when he drove Stokes to Bell at cover but there was to be no stopping Australia. Marsh joined forces with Clarke, who hit a fluent 34 in 28 and the 51-run stand between the pair killed off the game.

Clarke was bowled by Bopara and Brad Haddin justified the decision to send him in at number five by smacking an unbeaten 35 in 33 balls to hurry Australia to victory.

It is a victory that may also have proved the final straw for Cook, who said after the game that he would be considering his future as ODI captain at the end of the series.

That came after he made the admission in an on-field post-match interview that he hadn't looked to see where England would be playing their group games in next year's World Cup - which they open against Australia, in Melbourne.

Options for England would be to add the ODI captaincy to Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad's workload or to bring Eoin Morgan, who has skippered England on occasion, in as either ODI or Twenty20 captain to support Broad.

With Australia 3-0 up and looking poised to add a 5-0 clean sweep to their Ashes success by the same scoreline, the fourth game is in Perth on 24th January.

© Cricket World 2014