Joe Root remained unbeaten on  © Getty Images
Joe Root remained unbeaten on © Getty Images

Eoin Morgan’s 70th ODI as England  skipper; most by any England player was a successful outing. England managed to edge past Australia  thanks to steady knocks by their top-order batsmen, especially Joe Root. Chasing 271 to win, Root stitched stands with Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes to hand England a 2-0 series lead despite efforts from Mitchell Starc.

Starc claimed centurion from Melbourne, Jason Roy ,in the first over. Post that, it became the Alex Hales and Jonny Bairstow show. The pair added 117 runs for the second wicket that broke Australia’s back. Bairstow in particular tore into Andrew Tye and Travis Head, slamming them for frequent boundaries.

Hales soon got into the act and propelled himself to a half-century; his sixth overall. Bairstow achieved his 11th half-century just a ball before Hales.

Making his debut for Australia, Jhye Richardson got rid of Hales for 57, and then Bairstow for 60 to bring the home side back in.

Eoin Morgan joined Root in the middle and began resurrection. He scored 27-ball 21 before Starc cleaned him up. Buttler came out in the middle fresh off a good BBL season and looked solid. He played quite a flawless innings that included 5 fours. The pair of Buttler and Root added 67 runs, before Starc, yet again, broke them apart getting rid of the former.

Starc claimed his fourth in Moeen Ali and set an alarm in the England dressing room.

It was then Woakes, who stood up to his sides’ call and joined forces with Root. Woakes pulled, cut and drove bowlers past the boundary line to end up making a 27-ball 39. His stand with Root was off 47 runs that notched up a comfortable win for his side. Root stayed not out on 46 to be named man of the match award.

Earlier, in the day, it was Aaron Finch and Mitchell Marsh that enabled Australia reach 270. Finch slammed his second consecutive hundred, while Marsh scored a sturdy 36. It was Root’s miserly spell that pulled things back for England. He wickets include Steven Smith and Travis Head. Adil Rashid too picked a couple of wicket but was taken for over seven an over.

The third ODI will be played at Sydney in a day’s time.

Brief Scores :

Australia 270 for 9 (Aaron Finch 106, Mitchell Marsh 36; Joe Root 2 for 31) lost to England 274 for 6 in 44.2 overs (Jonny Bairstow 60, Alex Hales 57, Joe Root 46*; Mitchell Starc 4 for 59) by 4 wickets

 Man of the Match: Joe Root