England beat Australia by 16 runs in Sydney to clinch ODI series


England skipper Eoin Morgan praised his team's character after they defeated Australia by 16 runs to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match One-Day International (ODI) cricket series here on Sunday.

England have won their one-day series against Australia with two games to spare as Jos Buttler's unbeaten century led the tourists to a 16-run win in Sydney.

Needing 22 from the final Chris Woakes (2-57) over, Australia managed three from the first two balls before their hopes were dashed when Marcus Stoinis (56 off 43) was caught on the backward square leg boundary. On a two-paced wicket, he paced it to perfection, played the anchor until about five or six overs out.

While still behind the required run-rate, Australia were edging into contention at 181-3 in the 34th over until the controversial dismissal of captain Steve Smith, caught behind by Buttler off Mark Wood for 45.

But there was doubt about whether mild-mannered Buttler had grounded the catch and it was only after a lengthy delay that Smith was sent on his way by TV umpire Kumar Dharmasena.

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Several English batsmen got promising starts, but it was wicketkeeper-batsman Buttler who helped them post an imposing 302 for six from their 50 overs.

Smith wants the decision to be taken completely out of the hands of the on-field umpires and left upstairs to the video room.

Australia made four changes to their side as Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Adam Zampa were all named in their team for a must-win match.

He faced 83 balls, hitting six fours and four sixes, in a dashing innings that gathered momentum in the last 10 overs.

Each offered a threat with their pace and accuracy, ensuring England's batsmen were never able to settle, even after getting starts.

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Jonny Bairstow (39) and Eoin Morgan (41) chipped in the the Three Lions but it was the Buttler-Woakes partnership from only 11.5 overs that allowed England to pass 300.

But after Morgan and Buttler had patiently rebuilt the innings, Australia's bowlers had no answer to the inventive and aggressive late assault. After being dismissed for just one run in the win at Brisbane, things did not get any better for the 30-year-old in Sydney.

Buttler, England's vice-captain, said: "I felt confident, and I feel like I've been hitting the ball well, working through the Big Bash and then coming into this series".

"Jos was probably the difference between the sides on a wicket that we thought was going to be fantastic to bat on and turned out to be a little bit two-paced".

We probably just needed to bowl some good balls at the top of the stumps and try to get them swinging across the line; we bowled too full or too short and got hurt.

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"I've got to play some better cricket".