England fight back to stay alive in series

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AP

Manchester

Australia batted themselves into a winning position before dramatically collapsing as England won the second one-day cricket international by 24 runs to stay alive in the series.

England’s decision to bat first at Old Trafford had appeared to backfire with the world champions limited to 231-9 and Australia reaching 143-2 with 20 overs left on Sunday.

Australia were making the run chase look easy thanks to a 107-run stand for the third wicket between captain Aaron Finch (73) and Marnus Labuschagne (48). But the tourists then collapsed to 147-6, and 166-8, in Manchester before finishing 207 all out in 48.4 overs.

A trio of England pacers did the damage: Chris Woakes (3-32), Jofra Archer (3-34) and Sam Curran 3-35. In what has become an unwanted tour tradition for Australia, Archer again claimed opener David Warner (6).

Earlier, no England batsman reached 50, with Morgan (42) and Joe Root (39) leading the scoring. Both men were dismissed by legspinner Adam Zampa, who finished with 3-36 off 10 overs.

Morgan was dismissed lbw after Finch opted to review the original not out decision, leaving England on 117-5 in the 29th over.

No 9 Tom Curran (37) and No 10 Adil Rashid (35) came to England’s rescue, sharing 76 for the ninth wicket in what would prove to be a decisive partnership.

Australia were aiming to wrap up a series victory after beating England by 19 runs in the first ODI last Friday, also in Manchester.

The series finale is at the same venue on Wednesday, when England will be hoping to avoid their first ODI series defeat at home since 2015.

Meanwhile, the Australian Associated Press reported senior Australian batsman Steve Smith could be in consideration for a recall for the series decider after missing the first two games because
of concussion.