Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Stokes was named Man of the Match for his heroics with both the bat and ball
England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler smashed a quickfire 71 and all-rounder Ben Stokes hammered 70 runs and claimed four wickets to help England snap their eight-game losing streak with a convincing 57-run victory against Australia in the fourth ODI in Perth.
Prior to this match, England lost the previous three ODIs and were whitewashed 5-0 in the recently concluded Ashes series.
The duo were well supported by opening batsman Ian Bell, who scored an excellent half-century.
Australia opening batsman Aaron Finch deserves a lot of credit as well as he made a fantastic century.
Australia captain George Bailey won the toss and chose to bowl first.
His decision to do so backfired as England skipper Alastair Cook and Bell put together an 87-run partnership before Cook was clean bowled by Glenn Maxwell for 44.
Bell and Stokes maintained England’s positive start with a 51-run partnership, during which Bell brought up his half-century, before he was caught by James Faulkner off the bowling of Daniel Christian.
Bell’s brilliant knock of 55 came off 52 balls and included nine boundaries.
Stokes and Gary Ballance kept the runs flowing with a 52-run partnership, during which Stokes registered his half-century, before Ballance was caught by Steven Smith off the bowling of James Pattinson for 18.
Stokes ended up making 70 off 84 balls, which included six boundaries and a six, before he was caught behind off the bowling of Faulkner.
All-rounder Ravi Bopara only made three runs before he was caught by Xavier Doherty, who was the substitute fielder, at mid-on off the bowling of Nathan Coulter-Nile.
Eoin Morgan and Buttler stabilised the innings with a 71-run partnership before Morgan was caught by Christian at midwicket off the bowling of Faulkner for 33.
Buttler ended up surpassing his half-century and was looking threatening before he was caught by Mitchell Johnson at third man off the bowling of Faulkner.
Buttler’s entertaining innings of 71 came off 43 balls and included six boundaries and four sixes.
Faulkner struck again the very next ball as Tim Bresnan was also caught by Johnson at third man for just two runs.
Thanks to Bell, Stokes and Buttler, England finished on 316 off their 50 overs.
Faulkner was the pick of the Australian bowlers with four wickets, while Pattinson, Coulter-Nile, Maxwell and Christian chipped in with one wicket apiece.
Chasing a tough target of 317 to win, Australia got off to a solid start as their opening pair of Shaun Marsh and Finch accumulated a 46-run partnership before Marsh was brilliantly caught by Bell at second slip off the bowling of Bresnan for 15.
Finch and Matthew Wade made up for the loss of Marsh with a 64-run partnership, during which Finch brought up his half-century, before Wade was caught by Cook at long-off off the bowling of Bopara for 23.
Bailey only managed to make 11 runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Stokes.
Stokes reviewed the decision immediately after it was given not out and Hot Spot confirmed that the ball had flicked Bailey’s bat on the way through to Buttler behind the stumps, which prompted the third umpire to reverse the on-field umpire’s original decision.
Smith scored 19 runs before be was caught behind off the bowling of Stuart Broad.
While all this was going on, Finch registered his third ODI century, but failed to convert it into a bigger score as he was caught by Broad at third man off the bowling of Bresnan.
Finch’s spectacular knock of 108 came off 111 deliveries and included eight boundaries and four sixes.
Following Finch’s dismissal, Australia’s middle and lower order collapsed and they soon found themselves all out for 259.
Stokes was the most successful bowler with four wickets, while Bresnan snapped up three, Broad picked up two and Bopara chipped in with one.
Bailey was disappointed with his side’s performance and said: “I don’t think we’ve quite nailed down our death bowling yet.”
Cook had a look of relief on his face after England finally won their first game on this tour.
“Yeah, it’s been a while since we’ve had this feeling,” he said. “It’s been a frustrating tour and we’ve played a long way below our potential. The good thing is we know it’s there. When you see the way people have performed today you know we’re not a bad side.”
Stokes edged out Buttler for the Man of the Match award.
“We batted really well and then I thought we were really consistent and put a lot of pressure on with the ball,” he said. “I do love the challenge in every game against Australia, the old foe.”