Heroic Jos Buttler hauls England from the depths to sink Australia and claim ODI whitewash

Nick Hoult
Jos Buttler showed wonderful intelligence and discipline in his slowest ODI hundred - AFP

It was a great day to be an England supporter at Old Trafford. The cheers that greeted every goal against Panama were just a warm up for the thrilling drama later on as Jos Buttler saw England home to a whitewash by holding his nerve in the tightest of situations. 

Buttler has become a fine cricketer, schooled in England but rounded off in the IPL. His finishing abilities are on a level with Harry Kane. He has always been wonderfully destructive when power is needed to ram home his side’s advantage, but he now twins that with being calm when gauging a pressurised run chase. This innings of 110 was the equivalent of sidefooting one home in a penalty shoot out and the sell out crowd loved it.  

Coming in at 27 for four after watching others throw away their wickets as England tried to blast their way to their low target, a bravado that could cost them a World Cup in 12 months’ time, Buttler instead never gave up. He cajoled the tailenders Adil Rashid and Jake Ball to stay with him, be patient and realise time was on their side. It was shades of MS Dhoni at his best and it resulted in a classic, low scoring thriller that was a much better contest than the run rests of Trent Bridge and Durham.

Jason Roy and the rest of the England top order looked a little overconfident as they slumped in pursuit of Australia's slim 205 total Credit: PA

This was Buttler applying his new Test match role down the order, rescuing a lost cause with the bat and making the most of his partners at the other end. A measure of his innings was the fact this was the first time he had faced 100 balls in an ODI as he put away the big shots. Four of previous hundreds were all quicker than his fifty here. 

Lancashire installed a giant screen behind the Pavilion to show the football and the stands emptied as many spectators chose the World Cup over watching Australia’s innings collapse after a promising start.

But later on they were rooted to their seats as the tension grew with each wicket lost. When Liam Plunkett played an awful stroke to be out first ball it left England 114 for eight, 92 short of their target with only two wickets left.

Buttler constantly talked between overs to Rashid, a talented batsman with ten first-class hundreds but prone to brain fades. Rashid did his job, eking out 20 runs from 47 balls allowing Buttler, who was on 47 when he came in, to keep the pressure on Australia.

Tim Paine brought back his strike bowler, Billy Stanlake, whose pace and bounce had put England in such trouble earlier on, in search of the dismissal that would expose last man Ball. Stanlake could not ratchet up the pace, his young body still needs time to develop, and England saw him off easily. Only 11 runs were needed when Rashid eventually made a mistake, playing one of his wristy flicks off Marcus Stoinis that went high in the air was caught by Stanlake running in from fine leg. 

Eleven needed, last pair at the crease. Ball can bat but he looked dreadfully nervous as he walked in. The batsmen had crossed but with one ball left in the over Buttler was facing and he smashed it straight down the ground for his century off 117 balls, but he barely celebrated knowing the job was still to be finished.  

England's player Jos Buttler (C) is applauded by teammates before being awarded Man of the Match and the Man of the Series Credit: AFP

It left Ball to face an over from Ashton Agar as Paine brought in the field to prevent the single. Ball was twitching, looking like he wanted to uncoil a big heavy ho at the spinner but instead he defended each one, and with every prod of a straight bat the cheers from the crowd grew louder. It was like listening to England score six goals all over again.

Buttler made his one bad choice of the day when he took a single off the first ball of the next over from Stoinis leaving Ball on strike, but he again blocked out the pressure, and squirted a single off the fifth ball. It was soon over. A four in the next over from Buttler brought the house down and he was mobbed by his team-mates. 

It capped a day that included a run out and a stumping for Buttler as Australian batting once again collapsed. The pitch looked rock hard and full of runs but the ball gripped for quicks bowling cross seamers and the spinners were on top all day. 

Australia immediately showed more intent after their pedestrian approach in Durham rattling to 50 in the fifth over, their quickest of the series, and nothing illustrated the more aggressive tactic than the attack on Joe Root. He was allowed to coast through ten overs at the Riverside but his first over here cost 13 as Aaron Finch hit over the top and was happier to go for the sweep.

Aaron Finch walks off after being clean bowled by Moeen Ali Credit: PA

Australia’s weakness against spin did not take long to be exposed, Finch was bowled by a quicker, flatter delivery from Moeen Ali and two balls later Stoinis pulled straight in to the hands of short fine leg. 

Travis Head again gave away a promising start, looking in fine form for 50 off 36 balls, and Shaun Marsh was beaten by some turn from Moeen and stumped by Buttler. 

England’s keeper is such a smart, athletic cricketer and that showed as he ran out Paine. Running round from behind the stumps, Buttler ripped off his glove, turned and threw down the wickets at the non-striker’s end as Paine went for a single that was not there. 

D’Arcy Short played his best ODI innings but his partners just could not hang around. Agar shouldered arms to left armer Sam Curran and the tail could not stick with Short as Moeen and Rashid tidied up the innings.

5:37PM

England win by one wicket (9 balls remaining)

Old Trafford roars to acclaim Jos Buttler, but the poor Aussie team look absolutely bereft. They're standing stunned in the middle of the field, trying to get their heads around the fact that they have lost after having England 114/8 and lost the series five-nil.

Buttler is mobbed by his teammates.

Credit: Sky

The game was going nowhere, and then along came Jos. What a player. Report coming up, thanks for following this with us.

5:35PM

OVER 48.3: ENG 208/9 (Buttler 110* Ball 1*) chasing 206                 

Stoinis to bowl. Buttler shovels the first ball away into the onside. There is one there but he refuses it. Next ball. Blocks. Now he drives the ball through the covers, wonderful timing, no footwork... it beats the field and goes for four. England have done it! Buttler has done it! 

5:32PM

OVER 48: ENG 204/9 (Buttler 106* Ball 1*) chasing 206                

Jos drills the ball to long off and sets off. But as he completes the run you can tell he's thinking that maybe he should not have taken one.

Second ball: Richardson. Nice reverse swinging ball into Jake. Well blocked.

Third ball: Another reverse inswinger, but Jake played that one with more confidence.

Fourth ball: defended without alarm.

Fifth ball: drifts onto the pads, good old Jake Ball has smeared it to leg... they run one, suggestion of going for a second but thankfully the batsmen see sense.

Sixth ball: Buttler on strike. What will Richardson bowl? Does Jos try to get the three required with a hit. No! Full toss from Richardson, Buttler gets it down the ground for a single and that will do nicely.

12 balls left and 2 required

5:27PM

OVER 47: ENG 201/9 (Buttler 104* Ball 0*) chasing 206               

First ball: how has he missed that? Outside off, Jake seemed to play about three different shots at this... somehow manages not to nick it.

Second ball: Jake plays it with the pad.

Third ball: Jake jabs his bat down on it late. He is making no effort to score. Aussies should get some more round the back.

Fourth ball: Arm ball! Rattles through. Oooh he was late getting onto that! Hang in there Jake. I reckon Aussies have two more balls.

Fifth ball: Nudges it off his pad and Jos tells him in no uncertain terms not to run.

Sixth ball: Plays back, squeaky bum time, but manages to block it. A maiden! 

5:24PM

Agar to have a go at Ball

then.

5:24PM

OVER 46: ENG 201/9 (Buttler 104* Ball 0*) chasing 206              

The Rashers wicket was off the fifth ball of the over, but the batsmen crossed. Jos has one ball and then the Aussies will get a crack at Jake Ball. Can he get a single? Well, no: what he can get is a remarkable straight six with a powerful jab shot. What a shot! What a way to bring up a ton. Well batted Jos... but it does leave Jake Ball on strike.

5 needed from 24 balls

5:21PM

WICKET! Rashid c Stanlake b Stoinis 20

Jos Buttler dabs a single into the covers. Rashid on strike. He just needs to keep it on the regular and not take any risks. But he's tried a flamboyant, wristy flick to a scrambled swam ball, it flies high down towards long leg, and Stanlake pulls off a really calm, gutsy catch. Oh Rashers! It was all going so well.... FOW 195/9

5:17PM

OVER 45: ENG 194/8 (Buttler 97* Rashid 20*) chasing 206             

Rashid and Buttler have a chat, and I think that the upshot of that chat was "see off Agar". Here is Ashton, and Adil doggedly blocks out a maiden. 12 needed from 30 balls, so England have plenty of time.

5:15PM

OVER 44: ENG 194/8 (Buttler 97* Rashid 20*) chasing 206            

Stoinis comes back. He's seeking reverse swing, which is reasonable, but I think the policy of pitching it up is not ideal to Buttler. jos comes at him now and, at this pace, he can afford to. Solid drive for four and England are getting close. Rashers puffs out his cheeks as a tension reliever. 

5:11PM

OVER 43: ENG 187/8 (Buttler 92* Rashid 18*) chasing 206           

Agar. Buttler bullies the ball out to the cover sweeper for two. England, who really believe now, take four singles to go with that.

5:09PM

Curious stat

5:07PM

OVER 42: ENG 181/8 (Buttler 88* Rashid 16*) chasing 206          

Richardson. Crowd are roaring England on / roaring drunk now.  Rashers thwonks a drive through the covers, not really middled but he got enough plank on it for three runs. Now Jos shows how that shot is played, fair creaming it through the cover region.

Crowd belt out "Hey Jude!"

5:03PM

OVER 41: ENG 173/8 (Buttler 83* Rashid 13*) chasing 206         

Well, England need a bit of luck if they are to recover from 114/8, and this is a bit of luck: Buttler tries a back foot drive off Ashton Agar (for it is he) and gets an edge that flies through where slip would be.

4:59PM

OVER 40: ENG 167/8 (Buttler 78* Rashid 12*) chasing 206        

Richardson, who is finding a little bit of reverse thanks to this abrasive Manchester surface, returns. Buttler with an exquisite drive through mid off, lovely boundary.

4:54PM

OVER 39: ENG 161/8 (Buttler 73* Rashid 12*) chasing 206       

That was the end of Stanlake's ten, and this is the end of Lyon. He finishes wicket-less but he has been economical and challenging.

4:51PM

OVER 38: ENG 158/8 (Buttler 71* Rashid 11*) chasing 206      

Stanlake comes back for his last one. He tries a leg-stump yorker, but it rattles through for four leg byes. Now Jos turns it to square leg and runs. He gets to the other end, turns to come back for the second and slips over! Oh no! Now Buttler is really struggling to get to the striker's end... he has to dive in desperation.... he just gets home. 48 needed from 12 overs.

4:46PM

OVER 37: ENG 150/8 (Buttler 68* Rashid 10*) chasing 206     

Lyon comes back and England play him well. Milkage. England are back in this.

4:42PM

OVER 36: ENG 145/8 (Buttler 67* Rashid 6*) chasing 206    

Stanlake back. Slower ball bouncer deceives Rashid and deals him one in the breadbasket. Now Jos plays the shot of the innings, a fearsome short-arm pull that sends the ball hurtling away for four.

22 runs off the last three overs have given England renewed hope...

4:38PM

OVER 35: ENG 137/8 (Buttler 62* Rashid 4*) chasing 206   

Bit of a mess from Stoinis, this over. Loopy bouncer called wide. Legside wide. Still, only five off it.

4:34PM

OVER 34: ENG 132/8 (Buttler 60* Rashid 3*) chasing 206  

Handy over. Buttler gets a tickle on a full ball and it beats the dive of Stanlake to rattle for four. Nine off the over.

4:30PM

OVER 33: ENG 123/8 (Buttler 52* Rashid 2*) chasing 206 

Oh, mildly surprising: they've given Stanlake the hook after one over. Here is Stoinis. Just one scoring shot in the over, Rashid gets two with an elegant cut.

4:24PM

OVER 32: ENG 121/8 (Buttler 52* Rashid 0*) chasing 206

Richardson to Buttler. Jos waits and edges the ball through the vacant slip region, I had that down as a deliberate edge, but whether intentional or not, it undeniably brings up his 50.

4:22PM

OVER 31: ENG 115/8 (Buttler 48* Rashid 0*)    

Stanlake comes on and there's every chance of him finishing this off I would say. Buttler takes a single off the third ball and Rashers clings on for the rest.

4:17PM

OVER 30: ENG 114/8 (Buttler 46* Rashid 0*)   

Good stuff from Richardson, albeit that those were poor shots.

4:14PM

So Adil Rashid comes in....

.... with Richardson on a hat-trick. The hat-trick ball is a good one. Tails in, straight, but Rashid is equal to it and blocks it firmly.

4:12PM

WICKET! Plunkett c Paine b Richardson 0

Liam Plunkett has come in and got a first baller! Wide again, he goes after it, and this is a lovely catch from Paine. FOW 114/8

4:10PM

WICKET! Curran c Paine b Richardson 15

Sam Curran has thrown the bat at a wide one. Caught at the wicket and the Aussies are certain it is an edge. Umpire gives it not out but Paine is convinced. He calls for the review straight away. 

Credit: Sky

And is proven right. FOW 114/7

4:08PM

OVER 29: ENG 113/6 (Buttler 46* Curran 15*)  

D'arcy Short comes on with his tweakers. Curran has taken a liking to them! Wallops a six over long on, tennis shot. Crunches another four through midwicket, not much of an over this, 12 off it. Not sure they needed to turn to the part-timer here, but whatever.

4:04PM

OVER 28: ENG 101/6 (Buttler 45* Curran 4*) 

Four off the over. Crowd have got the inflatable melon (or a creditable facsimile thereof) back and are cheering as a man dressed as Wonderwoman bats it around. You have to make your own entertainment in the quiet overs of an ODI

4:01PM

Killjoy steward has confiscated a melon

Credit: sky

3:57PM

OVER 27: ENG 97/6 (Buttler 42* Curran 3*)

Review. Lyon to Curran for LBW... given not out on the field... and they won't overturn the decision. Good call from Umpire Rob Bailey, and fair play to Paine for reviewing. Very close.

Curran lbw review Credit: Sky

3:54PM

OVER 26: ENG 96/6 (Buttler 41* Curran 3*) chasing 206              

Three singles of the over.

3:52PM

OVER 25: ENG 93/6 (Buttler 39* Curran 2*) chasing 206             

Five off the Lyon over. Getting some nice turn.

3:46PM

OVER 24: ENG 88/6 (Buttler 35* Curran 1*) chasing 206            

Sam Curran comes in, and plays some decent back-foot shots, quite compact.

3:42PM

WICKET! Ali c Lyon b Stoinis 16

Squared up, the ball flies off Moeen's edge for a catch in the gully. FOW 86/6

3:40PM

OVER 23: ENG 86/5 (Buttler 34* Ali 16*) chasing 206           

Moeen living dangerously, he's top edged a sweep now that lands safe.

3:39PM

OVER 22: ENG 81/5 (Buttler 32* Ali 13*) chasing 206          

Stoinis , the right-arm medium pacer and possible weak link, comes on. Ali forces the ball off the back foot and gets a thick edge. Fortunately, Paine had not felt confident enough to give Stoinis a slip.

3:34PM

OVER 21: ENG 78/5 (Buttler 32* Ali 10*) chasing 206         

Lyon blameless, gets through another cheap over. Two off this. Five overs he has bowled for 13.

3:32PM

OVER 20: ENG 76/5 (Buttler 31* Ali 9*) chasing 206        

Buttler swivel-pulls Stanlake and nearly treads on his stumps! That would have been a bit of a choker. Four singles off the over.

3:28PM

OVER 19: ENG 72/5 (Buttler 29* Ali 7*) chasing 206       

Lovely ball from Lyon, angled in and then spitting away. Moeen well beaten. Three runs off the over.

3:24PM

OVER 18: ENG 69/5 (Buttler 28* Ali 5*) chasing 206      

Stanlake. Just short of a length. Some nip and nibble. Ali takes a single off the first ball and there is no further addition to the total.

3:19PM

OVER 17: ENG 68/5 (Buttler 28* Ali 4*) chasing 206     

Jos takes a single off Lyon's third ball, Moeen nudges into the offside back. Two runs, then, off the over.

Looks like the dangerman Billy Stanlake is coming on.

3:15PM

Here come Moeen and Jos

Useful little scenario this, I think.

Lyon to bowl.

3:09PM

Lovely day in Manchester

I just hope fans who have paid into Old Trafford get a decent amount of entertainment.

England surely cannot bat as badly as they did in that last hour? Presumably the manager has given them a rollocking at half-time.

2:42PM

England need 140 runs off 34 overs

That's a required run rate of 4.11, almost impossible to score that slowly these days! So if England can just knuckle down for two and a half hours they will definitely win. We resume at 3.15pm

2:37PM

INNINGS BREAK: England 66/5  off 16 overs (Buttler 27* Ali 3*) chasing 206

Very end-of-term feel to this match, at the halfway point in terms of time, we've had 15 wickets. At this rate England are going to get a hiding. Shame, 5-0 would have had a nice ring to it but, as it stands, Australia, like Panama's footballers, should have a consolation.

2:36PM

OVER 16: ENG 66/5 (Buttler 27* Ali 3*) chasing 206    

Jos has two fours in this over. Drives uppishly through the covers, Head not a million miles away from that. Later in the over, a cut through point, four runs for that.

2:31PM

OVER 15: ENG 55/5 (Buttler 16* Ali 3*) chasing 206   

Moeen Ali facing Nathan Lyon. Lyon-o had Moeen's number in the Ashes. Ali works the ball to leg and sets off for a crazy run. Oh dear. Very close to being run out. One more over before lunch.

2:29PM

OVER 14: ENG 53/5 (Buttler 15* Ali 2*) chasing 206  

That shot from Hales was very insipid. England not showing the requisite discipline with the bat here.

Moeen comes on and is squared up by Richardson, the ball squirts through gully.

2:25PM

WICKET! Richardson c Paine b Hales 20

Oh dear, this is a very flat effort. Wide ball from Richardson, Hales does well to reach it, down on one knee and slashing wildly. Feathers is behind and this Old Trafford crowd must be wondering if they'll see any cricket after the interval at this rate. FOW 50/5

2:22PM

OVER 13: ENG 50/4 (Hales 20* Buttler 14*) chasing 206 

Three off the Ashton Agar.

2:20PM

OVER 12: ENG 47/4 (Hales 18* Buttler 13*) chasing 206

Good opportunity for these two batsmen to get some experience at patient accumulation from a tricky position (rather than crash-banging). Richardson is the new bowler, and Buttler has walloped him back down the ground.

2:14PM

OVER 11: ENG 41/4 (Hales 18* Buttler 7*)          

Jos drives hard at Agar and the ball inside-edges past the leg stump

2:11PM

OVER 10: ENG 34/4 (Hales 17* Buttler 1*) chasing 206

Buttler failing to learn from the mistakes of Root, tries to force off the back foot at a seriously quick ball. Hales puts a small dent in Stanlake's figures with a four. The powerplay comes to an end, and not a minute too soon for England.

2:09PM

OVER 9: ENG 28/4 (Hales 12* Buttler 0*)        

Ashton Agar returns, there is just one off the over.

2:07PM

OVER 8: ENG 27/4 (Hales 11* Buttler 0*) chasing 206

Jos defends and leaves the first two balls, respectively.

2:04PM

WICKET! Morgan b Stanlake 0

Another one! This time it's the skipper, and I think he has simply been done for pace there. Fast and straight from Young Prince Billy, Morgan pokes at it, leaden footed, and that's smashed into the stumps. FOW 27/4

England cricket missing a trick here: they could have been on tomorrow's front pages as a tasty side dish to the England footballers but instead people will be shrugging their shoulders.

2:00PM

Still half an hour until the interval!

Believe it or not. That's at 2.30pm.

1:59PM

OVER 7: ENG 27/3 (Hales 11* Morgan 0*) chasing 206

Lyon comes on to replace Agar, there are four runs off the over.

1:58PM

OVER 6: ENG 23/3 (Hales 7*)     

Rapid from Stanlake in that over, I have enjoyed his bowling in this series.

1:55PM

WICKET! Root c Marsh b Stanlake 1

Oh dear. And there goes Joe Root. Not a great shot. Quick ball, some distance outside off stump, Joe nibbles at it and guides it to second slip. FOW 23/3

1:54PM

Here comes Joe Root

England need a steadying few minutes here

1:52PM

WICKET! Bairstow b Stanlake 12

England's cricketers not going so well as their footballers, who are a ridiculous 5-0 up against Panama at half time

Bairstow has attempted a forcing shot off the back foot, the ball is too near his body, and he has managed to chop it on to his own stumps. FOW 19/2

1:49PM

OVER 5: ENG 19/1 (Bairstow 12* Hales 4*)    

Four off the over. England accumulating quietly.

1:45PM

OVER 4: ENG 15/1 (Bairstow 10* Hales 4*) chasing 206

Stanlake getting some good wheels up here, 91 mph. Bairstow flashes and, as the cliche goes, flashes hard. It fairly screams away past the slip.

1:42PM

OVER 3: ENG 8/1 (Bairstow 3* Hales 4*)  

Agar. Attractive stroke from Hales as he slots it through the covers.

1:40PM

OVER 2: ENG 3/1 (Bairstow 2* Hales 0*) 

Billy Stanlake comes on, useful over this, keeping the England pair honest.

It is 4-0 to England's footballers as well, they're putting Panama to the sword.

1:35PM

OVER 1: ENG 2/1 (Bairstow 1* Hales 0*)

Still not really sure how Roy missed that, it didn't appear to do much in the air or off the pitch. Anyway, here is Hales to join Bairstow.

1:33PM

WICKET! Roy b Agar 1

Oh dear, not going to happen today for Jason Roy. Down the track big swing, misses it, and is clean bowled. FOW 2/1

1:32PM

Sweet song

Anyway, enough gloating. Here is Ashton Agar to open the bowling 

1:29PM

Aussies suffer the humiliation

of having to start bowling before the interval!

1:29PM

Adding an extra dimension of foolishness

1:27PM

Whitewash, you say?

1:23PM

Australia all out 205 (34.4 overs)

Chapeau to D'Arcy Short, who remains unbeaten on 47*, played some nice cricket, including an attractive four in that last over as he skipped down the ground to Moeen. Travis Head made a fifty at the top of the order. The rest of this shower, though, well: the less said the better.

Once again, England's spinners made to look like Warne and Murali by this desperately ordinary Aussie middle order. Moeen has four wickets, Rashid 1. Decent spells from Curran and Plunkett too. England fielded well.

All in all, the hosts must be cock-a-hoop at having to chase 206 on a pleasant batting Sunday afternoon, and I would be very surprised indeed if they don't wrap up the 5-0 with plenty in hand.

1:21PM

WICKET! Stanlake b Ali 2

Billy Stanlake gets ideas above his station, attempting to force the ball off the back foot, opening up his body and exposing his stumps. The ball races through, he's bowled neck and crop, and that is all she wrote for the poor old Aussies. FOW 205/10

1:19PM

OVER 34: AUS 200/9 (Short 41* Stanlake 2*)           

Couple of singles off Rashers and a wide. 

1:16PM

OVER 33: AUS 197/9 (Short 41* Stanlake 1*)          

Moeen Ali on for a bowl. Short is doing a good job for his side. Elegant cut for a couple, now good use of the feet to manufacture a full bunger, albeit that he only gets one for it. 

1:12PM

OVER 32: AUS 193/9 (Short 38* Stanlake 0*)         

Billy Stanlake comes in and survives the rest of the over, by hook or by crook.

1:11PM

WICKET! Lyon lbw Rashid 1

Bye bye, Lyon-o, not so clever now. plays back to Rashid's guzoner, the ball rattling through and hitting the mouthy Australian tweaker on the pads, ugly looking shot and looks absolutely stone cold LBW. Lyon review, although without success, and Australia are on the brink. FOW 193/9

Credit: Sky

1:09PM

OVER 31: AUS 192/8 (Short 37* Lyon 1*)        

Nice shot from Short here as he cracks it on the up for four.

1:08PM

OVER 30: AUS 187/8 (Short 32* Lyon 1*)       

Hapless Australia survive the over, but only just. Lyon is hit on the pad as he drives at Rashid, and is also  caught at slip, or so it looked). Given not out on both counts, England review and it will be double bubble for them: they're checking the LBW AND the catch. LBW shout has hit him outside the line, and although there is a sound on snicko, it's possible that the bat hit the ground. England lose their review.

1:05PM

OVER 29: AUS 184/8 (Short 30* Lyon 0*)      

Nathan Lyon comes in, and is soon whooshing and missing at some accurate, niggling stuff from Sam Curran.

1:03PM

OVER 28: AUS 181/8 (Short 27*)     

That wicket came off the last ball of the over. Good work from Mo to get the ball in, and also by Jos to get the bails off. Previously, Richardson had managed to whack Rashid for six.

1:02PM

WICKET! Richardson run out 14

And my first duty is to tell you about yet another piece of Australian foolishness. Kane Richardson is run out. The ball hit his pad, they tried to take one to short leg (!), Richardson tried to get back, but could not. FOW 181/8

Richardson run out Credit: Sky

1:00PM

Blogger switch!

Heroic work from Charlie Morgan on our live blog, less so from the Aussie cricketers. Tyers here for the rest of the day.

12:50PM

Over 27: AUS 172/7 (Short 26* Richardson 6*)      

Short jams his bat down on a yorker from Curran and there is a single. Yikes, almost another run out next. Richardson adds one but a direct hit would have done for Short.

Short then back-cuts for four and a single ends the over. Sam Curran has asked some questions.

12:48PM

Over 26: AUS 165/7 (Short 20* Richardson 5*)     

Richardson is dropped off Rashid. He extended his arms but connected badly, plinking high towards the extra cover region. Plunkett sprinted around but couldn't haul it in. The batsmen come back for a couple, the only runs of the over.

12:44PM

Over 25: AUS 163/7 (Short 20* Richardson 3*)    

Kane Richardson glances for two and gets a bouncer from Curran! It's a wide, so Richardson receives an extra delivery and runs it to third man for a single.

12:43PM

Wicket!

Agar b Curran 0Oh dear. Number two in Sam Curran's ODI career, number seven in this bizarre Australia innings. Ashton Agar defends his first ball into the leg-side before leaving a delivery that pitches just outside off-stump...and simply slides into middle and off! Another brain fade. FOW: AUS 159/7

Credit: Sky Sports

12:40PM

Wicket!

Carey c Buttler b Curran 44 Just as a partnership was dragging Australia out of a rut. Sam Curran returns and Carey feels for his first delivery. A little scratch carries through the Buttler. FOW: AUS 159/6

Credit: Sky Sports

12:38PM

Over 24: AUS 159/5 (Carey 44* Short 20*)   

Short works three through mid-wicket, Carey pushes two into the off-side and then, yep, sweeps hard for four. Rashid gets away with a full toss to end the over. It only costs him one.

12:35PM

Over 23: AUS 149/5 (Carey 37* Short 17*)  

Carey almost runs himself out coming back for a second off Root's first ball. That would have been another gut-wrencher for Justin Langer. 

He composes himself thereafter, and after trading singles with Short he punches a straight six before driving through the covers for four.

12:31PM

Over 22: AUS 135/5 (Carey 25* Short 15*) 

Short and Carey trade leg-side singles but Rashid then settles in to string three dots together. He's started well.

12:29PM

Over 21: AUS 133/5 (Carey 24* Short 14*)       

Root returns and the tourists' left-handers work five singles. England will be totally happy with that.

12:28PM

Over 20: AUS 128/5 (Carey 22* Short 11*)      

Carey dabs a sweep for one as he continues to show off his sweeping repertoire. Short pushes a single in the only other run from Rashid's varied, accurate over.

12:22PM

Over 19: AUS 126/5 (Carey 21* Short 10*)     

Four runs from Moeen's seventh. Three to Short, two through the offside and then another inside-edged single, and the last to Carey. Adil Rashid is on.

12:21PM

Buttler brilliant, Paine poor

12:19PM

Over 18: AUS 122/5 (Carey 20* Short 7*)    

Morgan perseveres with Plunkett, who keeps matters tight until overpitching on the penultimate delivery of his over. Shorts crunches him for four. On the last, there is a inside edge and Australia add a single.

12:14PM

Over 17: AUS 117/5 (Carey 20* Short 2*)   

A good over for Australia to take us to drinks. Carey bunts a slog-sweep for four before nudging two more in a similar direction. He then goes down to scoop-sweep Ali. Buttler anticipates the shot and scampers across to intercept, but is beaten.

Carey and Short take singles to finish the 17th. 

12:09PM

Over 16: AUS 104/5 (Carey 9* Short 1*)  

D'Arcy Short is the new man, so we may see spin in tandem fairly soon. For now, Plunkett continues. Carey and Short trade singles with a wide in between. Plunkett brings third man finer and Carey dabs directly to him.

It's been that sort of day for England after the opening thrash from Finch and Head, which seems like ancient history already.

12:07PM

Over 15: AUS 101/5 (Carey 7* Short 0*) 

Ali causes Carey a few issues but there is a single off the final ball of the over.

12:04PM

Wicket!

Paine run out 1Brainless. Brainless batting and brilliance from Buttler. Paine dabs Ali into the leg-side calls Carey through. Buttler bolts out and throws down the stumps at the non-strikers' end. FOW: AUS 100/5

This is horrible stuff from Australia on a good wicket in glorious sunshine.

Credit: Sky Sports

12:00PM

OVER 14: AUS 100/4 (Carey 6* Paine 1*)          

Carey almost chops Plunkett onto his stumps and mis-times a drive for a single. Paine gets away by dropping at his feet and running hard. In between, Plunkett spears a leg-side wide. 

Polite claps for Australia's hundred.

11:57AM

Collapse

11:56AM

Wicket!

Marsh st Buttler b Ali 8Carey starts really nicely, reaching forward to play a sweet reverse-sweep for four. Then Marsh goes! He came forward to a flight ball from Ali, and overbalanced.

Excellent work from Buttler. He whips off the bails while Marsh's back foot is raised and the third umpire needs only one glance. FOW: AUS 97/4

Credit: Sky Sports

11:52AM

OVER 12: AUS 90/2 (Marsh 7* Carey 0*)         

Alex Carey is the new man, and leaves his first ball alone outside off.

11:50AM

Wicket!

Head c Morgan b Plunkett 56 A first look at Liam Plunkett, who mixes things up with some cross-seam deliveries and slower-balls. The bowlers are going to have to think hard on this surface.

Marsh works two and then a single. Head swings a four to fine leg too. But then he's out! He closes the face too early and a leading edge lobs to Morgan at short mid-wicket. FOW: AUS 90/3

11:47AM

OVER 11: AUS 83/2 (Head 52* Marsh 4*)        

Marsh and Head work a few singles either side of the wicket. They don't seem confident in forcing the issue against Ali.

11:44AM

Two more for Moeen

11:44AM

OVER 10: AUS 79/2 (Head 50* Marsh 2*)       

Another exhibit of how fast the out-field is as Head cuts Ball fine of point and third man cannot make up 15 metres to cut off the boundary. Head and Marsh trade leg-side singles, the former then going to a sharp fifty from 36 balls with a dab to third man. 

Following a number of starts in this series, he will want to double up for a second ODI hundred.

11:39AM

OVER 9: AUS 72/2 (Head 44* Marsh 1*)      

The pitch seems very nice and the out-field is seriously sharp. Australia have to be aiming beyond 300. Head certainly appears to be. He bolts down the wicket to cart Ali for four before trading singles with Marsh, who gets off the mark. Long-off drops for the last ball, so Head farms the strike.

11:37AM

Groan

11:36AM

OVER 8: AUS 65/2 (Head 38* Marsh 0*)     

That was funny. Head slashes a four through point and Ricky Ponting in the Sky Sports commentary box says "this is the best I've seen [Head] play." Next ball, naturally, Head plays uppishly through the covers. So close to a classic commentator's curse.

Head is lucky on the penultimate delivery too, chipping Ball with a looping leading edge. Australia scamper a single.

11:32AM

OVER 7: AUS 60/2 (Head 33* Marsh 0*)    

Marsh arrives, belatedly, and turns his first ball into the leg-side. No run, and the skids are on.

11:31AM

Wicket!

Stoinis c Ball b Ali 0 Eesh. Marcus Stoinis is promoted ahead of Shaun Marsh and laps his second delivery straight to Ball at short fine-leg. FOW: AUS 60/2

11:29AM

Wicket! 

Finch b Ali 22 Australia have really had a grim time against Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid this series. Finch tries a reverse-sweep off Ali's first ball and is pretty lucky to get a scratch of glove on it. After Head adds a fortunate single, via a leading-edge, Ali sneaks a quicker, shorter ball through Finch. A half-hearted pull was beaten and, yep, that's the leg stump out of the ground FOW: AUS 60/1

Credit: Sky Sports

11:26AM

OVER 6: AUS 58/0 (Finch 21* Head 32*)   

A change of ends for Ball, and Head greets that with a wonderful drive through extra cover. Head flips a wristy leg-side single before Finch is...dropped? No, the ball didn't quite carry to Curran at short fine leg.

Credit: Sky Sports

11:21AM

OVER 5: AUS 52/0 (Finch 20* Head 27*)  

Root starts with a dot, but does not halt Australia. Head scurries down the track and chips two to straight mid-on. Next he rocks back to cut four. A single brings Finch on strike.

The round-shouldered 31 year-old bangs a straight four and then slices two more over cover.

11:17AM

OVER 4: AUS 39/0 (Finch 14* Head 20*) 

Finch is not messing around. After Head works him on strike, he drives Curran - a former Surrey teammate - over the off-side before mowing him over mid-wicket for six. England need to pull this back...and skipper Morgan has turned to Joe Root.

11:12AM

OVER 3: AUS 28/0 (Finch 4* Head 19*)

Head looks in a really assertive mood. He tries to sneak singles off the first three balls without quite managing to do so. But there is a boundary through square leg to get him going in Ball's second over. 

After Head sneaks one to mid-off, Finch gets off the mark with a muscular carve through wide mid-on.

11:08AM

OVER 2: AUS 19/0 (Finch 0* Head 14*) 

Sam Curran is in the game. The 20 year-old looks decidedly calm.

Credit: Sky Sports

He begins nicely, forcing Head to defend from the crease thanks to a probing line. The second ball is overpitched, though. Head skews Curran through cover point for four. The outfield looks rapid.

Curran then creeps slightly too straight. There is a leg-side wide and a two from Head, worked towards mid-wicket. Head then swings another boundary through square leg and pushes three through mid-on. Good over for Australia.

11:03AM

OVER 1: AUS 5/0 (Finch 0* Head 1*)

Ball ships a wide - which looked like a fairly harsh call from umpire Rob Bailey - off the first delivery. 

Finch then pings a couple of drives before running three leg byes down to fine leg. Head's first ball is worked in the same direction to Sam Curran on the boundary. Five from over number one.

10:59AM

Players out

Aaron Finch and Travis Head are out in the middle. Quite why Finch didn't open at the start of the series is anyone's guess. Jake Ball will begin for England.

10:53AM

Blast from the past

It was: Moeen Ali, Ian Bell, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, James Taylor.

10:52AM

Ben Stokes on Sky

Really interesting insight from Ben Stokes, who is a guest summariser for Sky Sports today while his hamstring continues to heal.

Credit: Sky Sports

He says that England's batting approach during the 2015 World Cup, when they were dumped out at the group stage with Afghanistan and Scotland, was micro-managed. Stokes explains that there were mini-targets set, with players aware of where they should be at 10, 15 and 20 overs and so on.

Now, there is more autonomy among the batting unit. That, Stokes reckons, is why they have racked up scores of over 350 with regularity.

Can you remember England's top six for their decisive defeat to Bangladesh in Adelaide, when they failed to chase 275? 

10:43AM

Good morning

Hello, everyone. Charlie Morgan, here. There is one place that you are guaranteed to see England win 5-0 or 4-1 today.

Eoin Morgan's 50-over side have, frankly, bullied Australia so far in this series and they have a chance to secure a clean sweep today in Manchester.

Some news at the toss, first. Tim Paine has won the toss and has elected to bat on what looks like a hard Old Trafford track. The visitors have made a couple of changes. There is a trade of Richardsons, Kane replacing Jhye, while D'Arcy Short comes back in for Michael Neser.

Paine jokes on Sky Sports that the toss has been "sort of irrelevant" in this series because Australia prefer to set and England prefer to chase. Let's not bring up Trent Bridge.

Credit: Sky Sports

England have switched up their seam attack. Craig Overton has a side strain, while Mark Wood and David Willey are taking a rest. That means Sam Curran is handed a debut, with Liam Plunkett and Jake Ball seeing some more game-time as well.

James Anderson presented Curran with his cap. A nice touch.

Our man Nick Hoult is at the ground. Give him a follow on Twitter dot com.