England beat Australia by seven wickets to complete a 4-0 rout in their one-day cricket series and secure its 10th straight victory in the 50-over format.
Captain Alastair Cook led England with 58 runs in the rain-affected match at Old Trafford in Manchester last night. Ravi Bopara, who earlier took two wickets, made 52 not out as England reached the revised target of 138 with 11 balls to spare.
It’s the first time top-ranked Australia lost four games in a one-day series against England. The visiting team was spared the threat of a 5-0 clean sweep that would have lifted England above it in the world rankings when the third match was abandoned because of rain.
“At the beginning of the series you just want to get the win, so to be sitting here at 4-0 is fantastic,” Cook said in a post-match news conference. “Clearly we are heading in the right direction with the group of players we have got.”
Yesterday’s game was shortened after rain delayed the start and Australia made 145-7 from its 32 overs. Set a revised target of 138 from 29 overs following another interruption, England got there in 27.1 overs with three wickets down to win under the Duckworth-Lewis rules used for weather-affected matches.
England, which took 32 wickets to Australia’s 14 during the series and didn’t require any batsman below No. 6 Craig Kieswetter in the matches, rose one spot to third in the International Cricket Council’s one-day rankings. It holds the No. 1 spot in the Test and Twenty20 formats.
“I certainly did not expect to lose 4-0,” said Australia captain Michael Clarke. “I am not surprised at how they played, just disappointed with the way we did.”
England next hosts South Africa in a best-of-three Test series starting July 19 at the Oval in London. The teams then play five one-day internationals and three Twenty20 games.
Australia, which visits England again next year for the Ashes, is scheduled to play Pakistan in one-day and Twenty20 matches that will be staged in the United Arab Emirates in August and September.