England suffer record defeat in third ODI against Australia

Centuries from Travis Head and David Warner set up crushing 221-run win in Melbourne

Australia's Adam Zampa decimated England batting during the third ODI in Melbourne on Tuesday, November 22, 2022. AFP
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England concluded their victorious tour of Australia on a forgettable note as they crashed to a record defeat against Australia in the third ODI on Tuesday in front of a sparse crowd in Melbourne.

Pat Cummins' side won by a thumping 221-run margin to seal a 3-0 ODI series triumph over the double world champions.

Less than two weeks after Jos Buttler's team took the T20 crown in Melbourne, they fell flat in front of 10,406 crowd at the 100,000-capacity ground in a match that had little consequence.

Travis Head (152 off 130 balls) and David Warner (106 off 102 deliveries) put on a 269-run stand in 38.1 overs for the opening wicket, Australia's second highest ever, which underpinned a record 355-5 at this venue.

The match was reduced to 48 overs a side due to rain and England were never in the hunt to chase an adjusted 364 target, capitulating to their heaviest loss in terms of runs, all out for 142 in 31.4 overs.

England never got going against a disciplined attack led by the pace of Cummins and Josh Hazlewood and Adam Zampa's leg spin.

With Phil Salt sidelined for a concussion check after hitting his head while fielding, Dawid Malan was elevated to open with Jason Roy but he fell for two to Hazlewood.

Australia's Travis Head, right, is embraced by teammate David Warner after reaching his century during the third ODI against England at the MCG in Melbourne on November 22, 2022. AFP

It didn't get any easier for the batsmen, who were restricted to just 49-1 off the opening 10 overs, already well behind the required run rate. Cummins accounted for Roy (33) and Sam Billings (7) in quick succession, while James Vince ground out 22 off 45 balls before Sean Abbott broke his resistance.

When Zampa removed skipper Jos Buttler (1) and Chris Woakes in successive balls, then Moeen Ali (18) in his next over, England were 95-7 and their hopes over. Zampa ended with 4-31.

Buttler, back after missing the Sydney game, won the toss and asked Australia to bat, only to watch an exhibition from Head and Warner.

Head made his third one-day century and highest score of 152, off 130 balls with 16 fours and four sixes, as he solidified his place at the top of the order after the retirement of Aaron Finch.

Warner built his 19th ODI ton off 97 balls.

With conditions overcast and cool, the England bowlers extracted early swing and Head survived a missed catch on four and being given out lbw on nine, which he successfully challenged.

But he settled as he and Warner assumed control, bringing up their second 100-run partnership in three matches.

Rain interrupted play for 30 minutes but the pair resumed where they left off with Head racing to his century, bringing up the milestone with a four from Chris Woakes. Warner soon followed, crunching Olly Stone to the ropes.

The partnership was finally broken by Stone, who bagged both Warner and Head in the same over and finished with 4-85 after removing Mitchell Marsh for 30 and Steve Smith for 21.

"It's been fantastic, all three games," Cummins, in his first series in charge of the Australia ODI squad, said.

"Everything has really clicked, the bowlers have all wanted to bowl and the batters have been fantastic. Good to finish it off here, that's just about the best ODI I've been a part of."

Updated: November 22, 2022, 1:46 PM