England win in Perth to take ODI series 4-1
Tom Curran takes five wickets as Australia are bowled out trying chase down 259
Tom curran took five wickets as England beat Australia in Perth. Photograph: Mark Nolan/Getty
The opening match at Perth’s new Optus Stadium saw its first five-wicket haul courtesy of Western Australia’s own Andrew Tye’s five for 46 and even its first streaker. But it will have to wait a little longer for its first Australian win thanks to a virtuoso performance from Tom Curran, who bettered Tye with five for 35 and snuck England to a 12-run win in the fifth and final ODI.
His two Tests might have come a bit too soon in his career, but Curran’s stock as one of the most exciting limited-overs quicks in English cricket was clear for all to see. The 22-year-old held his nerve, nailed his yorkers and ensured England took an ODI series they dominated as convincingly as the 4-1 scoreline suggests. This was the Surrey quick’s maiden five-for in the format.
Tye’s maiden ODI five-for came moments before he was sold to Kings XI Punjab in the IPL auction for $1.4m AUS (just over £800,000). He had given Australia a target of 260 that began, in earnest, when Marcus Stoinis walked out at number three. On 87, he was caught superbly in the deep by Curran off an Adil Rashid full toss which brought England back into contention at 189 for five, with 71 required from the final 90 balls.
Curran used the opportunity to put on a reverse swing clinic that trapped Glenn Maxwell in front and then squared up Mitchell Starc to find an edge through to Jos Buttler in the 37th over.
In his next over, Tye was dropped by Jonny Bairstow, who had earlier robbed Curran of a wicket in the second over of Australia’s chase when Travis Head was shelled at first slip. Luckily, Moeen Ali accounted for Tye having previously dismissed Mitchell Marsh with a brilliant instinctive caught and bowled chance, but then he, too, had a catch dropped off his bowling: Tim Paine chipping to Alex Hales at long on who couldn’t do his bit.
With 25 needed from the last 24 balls, Curran returned to bowl Adam Zampa with yorker. However, a sickly Jake Ball conceded 11 runs off the 48th over. As the ask dropped to 13 from 11, Curran dug deep for one last time to breach the defence of Paine for five-wickets of his own.
The pitch was a green-tinged Waca tribute surface – a drop-in pitch, as is the way with newer cricket stadia in this part of the world. The dimensions of the oval itself were such that the first scoring shot, off the very first ball, was an all-run four to Jason Roy. The opener didn’t have to do much running after that, finding the rope with ease an ensuring, this time, England were 54-0 after 6.3 overs rather than the comical eight for five they were in the previous ODI in Adelaide.
On 20, he was caught behind off Starc. However, no part of Starc’s front foot was behind the line and Roy used the life to blitz his way to 38 from 26 balls, before slowing up with just 11 off his next 20 deliveries leading to a airy, frustrated drive, caught at mid on for Tye’s first.
It was at this point – 71-1 in the 12th over – that Australia wised up. Mitchell Marsh came into the attack and, as the pitch started to develop a hint of inconsistency, used his short ball to removing Hales via a hook deflecting off the batsman’s helmet.
Tye’s array of slower and knuckle balls accounted for the middle order. He pinned Joe Root in the chest - a blow that might have stung as much as the Test skipper’s IPL spurn. Root notched his 26th ODI fifty to cap an impressive 226-run series, top-scoring with 62, before falling to Tye. A yorker to Jake Ball closed England’s innings on 259 and gave Tye his fifth wicket.
The script was written for a hometown, newly-made millionaire to cap off a special occasion. Curran, though, had no intention of letting a good story get in the way of a maginificent win.