SYDNEY, Jan 21: A scintillating century from Jos Buttler brought England a 16-run win and a One-day International series victory against Australia here today.
The hosts, set 303 to win by England after winning the toss and electing to bowl, were always struggling in their chase and eventually managed only 286 for six.
The result gave England an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the five-match ODI series, a remarkable turnaround after Australia had trounced the tourists 4-0 in the Ashes Tests.
Australia�s hopes largely rested with Steve Smith (45) and Mitchell Marsh (55), but both were dismissed at a crucial stage of the chase, with Smith falling to a contentious low-down catch by Buttler off the bowling of Mark Wood (2-46).
Marcus Stoinis made a late attempt to lift Australia with a punishing 56, but England managed to hold on despite losing pacemen Liam Plunkett to a leg injury early in the Australian innings.
Buttler, 27, was the only batsman from either team really to get to grips with a slightly slow pitch, and his late surge enabled England to reach a total which had seemed out of their reach until the final few overs.
Several English batsmen failed to capitalise on promising starts, but Buttler notched his fifth One-day International century from the last ball of the innings as England helped themselves to 38 off the final two overs.
Buttler himself took 28 runs from the last 11 balls he faced. He faced 83 balls, hitting six fours and four sixes, in a dashing innings that gathered momentum in the last 10 overs.
England: J Roy c Finch b Cummins 19, J Bairstow b Zampa 39, A Hales c Zampa b Stoinis 1, J Root b Hazlewood 27, E Morgan c Paine b Hazlewood 41, J Buttler not out 100, M Ali b Marsh 6, C Woakes not out 53. Extras: (lb2, w13, nb1) 16. Total: (For six wickets, 50 overs) 302. Fall of wickets: 1-38, 2-45, 3-90, 4-107, 5-172, 6-189. Bowling: Starc 10-0-63-0, Hazlewood 10-0-58-2, Cummins 10-1-67-1, Stoinis 8-0-43-1, Zampa 9-0-55-1, Marsh 3-0-14-1.
Australia: A Finch lbw Rashid 62, D Warner c Hales b Woakes 8, C White c Buttler b Wood 17, S Smith c Buttler b Wood 45, M Marsh c Hales b Rashid 55, M Stoinis c sub (Billings) b Woakes 56, T Paine not out 31, P Cummins not out 1. Extras: (lb5, b4, w2) 11. Total: (For six wickets, 50 overs) 286. Fall of wickets: 1-24, 2-44, 3-113, 4-181, 5-210, 6-284. Bowling: Wood 10-1-46-2, Woakes 10-0-57-2, Plunkett 1.2-0-6-0, Ali 10-0-57-0, Root 8.4-0-60-0, Rashid 10-0-51-2. � AFP