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England v Australia: Third ODI round-up

England slipped to a narrow defeat to Australia at Old Trafford as the third and final ODI went down the wire.

Mitchell Starc swept to the boundary to hand the Aussies the victory in the final over in a nail-biting clash that was a fitting end to a phenomenal summer of cricket.

Centuries, massive sixes, scoops, absolute jaffas, diving catches, and dramatic moments – this one had it all.

With Mark Wood for Sam Curran England’s only change, Eoin Morgan won the toss and opted to bat first on a pitch that looked a scorcher.

Early wickets tumbled, however, with Starc dismissing Jason Roy and Joe Root with his first two balls.

It takes more than that to knock Jonny Bairstow out of stride though and the England opener counter-attacked brilliantly alongside first his skipper and then Sam Billings to keep his side scoring at a good rate.

As he has many times over the past few months, Billings produced an important knock when his side needed him to help propel them to a defendable total.

But he would only play second fiddle tonight as Bairstow reached his 10th ODI century, bringing it up with a phenomenal whip off his legs.

When both men were removed within minutes of each other it looked as though England could falter but a Chris Woakes – who has had one hell of a summer – showed his class with bat in hand again.

Alongside Adil Rashid, who played one of the most remarkable shots you’re ever likely to see, he grabbed 53 in 39 balls to take England beyond 300.

It was Woakesy that proved the early hero with the ball as well, dismissing Aaron Finch and Marcus Stoinis early on.

Morgan then turned to Joe Root, whose bowling is so often underrated, in what would be something of a masterstroke.

Rooty produced one of the balls of the summer to dismiss Dave Warner before removing Mitchell Marsh in his following over.

When Marcus Labuschagne was run out following some smart work from Billings and Jos Buttler, it looked as though England could be well on their way to a series win.

But as has been the way so many times this summer, the momentum swang as a partnership of more than 200 between Glenn Maxwell and Alex Carey put the Aussies back in the driving seat.

With Australia looking in control in the 47th over, Morgan rolled the dice by turning back to Adil Rashid and England’s leg-spinner got the breakthrough.

Maxwell’s exit was swiftly followed by Carey, with Mark Wood taking a magnificent diving catch to remove him off the bowling of Jofra Archer.

That left the Aussies needing 10 off the final over and Morgan turned again to Rashid but Starc managed to haul his side over the line.

A 2-1 series win for the tourists but in many ways a fittingly dramatic end to a summer of cricket that has given us so much.

Fingers crossed, next time England take the field we can be there to roar them on!