England made a chase of 277 seem like a weekend stroll down Birmingham’s Cannon Hill Park as Ben Stokes reinforced his MVP status with a bludgeoning unbeaten 102, alongside a slightly more serene 87 from captain Eoin Morgan.
Steve Smith’s men had one more rain break to contend with in their ill-fated sojourn. The heavens opened in the sixth over of the chase, with England 35 for 3 in pursuit of 277. By recent standards, the target was grossly sub-par but, in a welcome change, the white Kookaburra appeared to be moving around for Mitchell Starc and Hazlewood. Then, 42 minutes later, swing disappeared along with the rain, without a trace left behind. The game turned on its head.
David Warner’s horror time in the UK continued when Wood angled one across him to find his outside edge. Aaron Finch rediscovered his touch with a series of well-timed straight drives even as his captain fidgeted (more than usual) to another half-century. The pair added 96 for the second wicket before Stokes ended the stand by getting Finch to miscue a lofted shot. Henriques, who kept his place in an unchanged Australian line-up, took a while to get going and as did Glenn Maxwell, both of whom fell either side of Smith.
Australia 277/9 (Travis Head 71*, Aaron Finch 68; Mark Wood 4-33, Adil Rashid 4-41) lost to England 240/4 in 40.2 overs (Ben Stokes 102*, Eoin Morgan 87; Josh Hazlewood 2-50) by 40 runs [D/L/S method]