England on verge of whitewash as Aussies fall again

Ian McCullough
England on verge of whitewash as Aussies fall again

England have strolled to a comfortable six-wicket victory over Australia to open up a 4-0 series lead at Durham's Riverside ground.

Centuries from Shaun Marsh and Aaron Finch helped Australia reach 8-310 after 50 overs - their highest score of a difficult tour after Tim Paine won the toss and elected to bat.

But England's red-hot batsman made relatively easy work of reaching their target to seal the win with 36 balls to spare on a sunny day in the north-east of the country.

Finch, restored to the top of the order scored 100 - his sixth ton against England - with Marsh hitting his second century of the series.

The Victorian, who was dropped early in his innings on 8 after Alex Hales grassed a hugely difficult chance at shot mid-wicket, reached three figures off 105 balls.

The Australian cricket team are facing a whitewash. Pic: Getty

Finch and Travis Head had a century-stand for the first wicket with the South Australia chipping in with 62 in a much-improved batting performance from the top order.

Marsh smashed 21 from an Adil Rashid over, but that was as good as it got for the tourists, who could only add 83 runs from the final 10 overs.

A middle order collapse prevented the tourists from posting a mammoth total against a big-hitting England batting line-up.

Mark Wood, who ended the innings of Finch, struck again two balls later when he bowled Marcus Stoinis for two to reduce the tourists to 3-227.

Ashton Agar made 18 with Alex Carey (6) failing to make a big impression on his recall to the side when he tried to hit Willey out of the ground and Craig Overton took a smart catch in the deep.

Marsh brought up his ton with a huge six off Rashid before departing to a brilliant relay catch between Jason Roy and Overton.

Aaron Finch has scored a century in Australia's total of 8-310 against England

Marsh looked well set for a fifth six of his innings only for Roy to flick the ball back into the hands of Overton.

Paine (3) and Neser (2) also fell to Willey, who finished with figures of 4-43.

Roy (101) and Jonny Bairstow (79) put on 174 for the opening wicket and despite the loss of Joe Root (27) and Eoin Morgan (15) off the bowling of Agar.

But Jos Buttler came to the crease and smashed 50 from 29 balls with Alex Hales unbeaten on 34 to hand England a ninth victory over Australia in 10 matches.