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22 May 2024

Stokes snaps England's losing streak

By Agencies

An fine all-round display by Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler's late assault with the bat ended England's long losing streak against Australia as the visitors won the fourth one-day international by 57 runs in Perth on Friday.

Wicketkeeper batsman Buttler smashed a 43-ball 71 after Stokes hit a fluent 70 and England posted 316 for eight wickets in their 50 overs.

Opener Aaron Finch notched up his second century of the series to lead Australia's reply but his 108 off 111 balls was not enough for the hosts.

Stokes returned with the ball to pick up four wickets as Australia, without the rested Michael Clarke, David Warner and Brad Haddin, were shot out for 259 runs in 47.4 overs.

England made the most of some uncharacteristically poor Australian fielding to post an imposing total in the fourth one-day international at the WACA Ground on Friday.

The visitors scored 316 for eight after being sent in to bat in the dead-rubber series, having conceded the first three games.

Emerging star Ben Stokes showed the way with a polished 70 off 84 balls, helped by Jos Buttler's late surge of 71 off 43. Opener Ian Bell kicked off with 55 from 52 deliveries on what looked a prime batting deck.

Under-pressure captain Alastair Cook made a crisp 44 from 43 balls at the top order, only to fall when a much-needed big score seemed likely for the embattled skipper.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Buttler chimed with some scintillating batting in the latter overs to boost an innings that appeared to have lost its way, hitting four sixes as he top-scored.

For just about the first time on the tour, England got on top of paceman Mitchell Johnson, who went wicketless and conceded 72 runs from his 10 overs, although he was on the wrong end of two dropped catches.

The tourists, beaten in all eight of their previous encounters with Australia at Test and limited overs level on a nightmare tour, finally enjoyed some good fortune as the home team couldn't maintain their previous efficiency in the field.

Australia rested three key players for the match - captain Michael Clarke, wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin and opener David Warner.

Having taken virtually every chance offered by England all summer, the Australians dropped their fielding standards, grassing two chances and also squandering a couple of other opportunities.

At one stage, they missed three chances in two overs.

When Bell was on 48, he cut Nathan Coulter-Nile to deep square and James Pattinson charged in off the boundary, only to have the ball bounce between him and the rope to bring up the Englishman's half-century.

Then local favourite Shaun Marsh, celebrating his recall to the national Test squad for the upcoming tour of South Africa, spilled two catches at first slip in a single Johnson over - one each from Bell and Stokes.

Australia were also guilty of wayward bowling, conceding 16 wides, with James Faulkner claiming 4-67.

Cook had been quoted as saying he was reconsidering his role as captain leading up to the match, but at the coin toss vowed to do all he could to hang onto the position.

The left-hander finally looked back in form during his knock, hitting three successive boundaries off Nathan Coulter-Nile and playing some sparkling shots either side of the wicket.

However, he was clean bowled by spinner Glenn Maxwell at 44 to continue his frustrating tour.