That’s it for your Ashes summer in Cardiff. A 169-run victory in the Investec Test match, followed by a dramatic 5-run win in the NatWest IT20 – we could not ask for more. Well done England and thank you everybody for your support this summer!
Eoin Morgan once again hailed the “exciting” young players that inspired another thrilling limited overs victory for England, as his side overcame Australia to win by 5 runs at The SSE SWALEC.
Morgan, who hit 74 with the bat, praised the maturity shown by Ben Stokes, whose accurate final over denied Australia victory at the death.
With Steven Finn and David Willey having bowled their allotted overs, Morgan turned to Stokes and admitted he was by the cool head displayed by the Durham allrounder.
Morgan said: “He took the responsibility of bowling that over really well. I hadn’t earmarked him before the day started as bowling that over. Given the situation we had to bring our frontline bowlers on to try and take the game further into 20 overs.”
After Morgan and Moeen Ali blazed a partnership of 135, England faltered in the final few overs, finishing on 182/5 and Morgan said he believed they should have scored more.
“The partnership with Mo rebuilt things but part of me was disappointed we didn’t make 200.
Returning from a month’s rest, Morgan stormed back to form with an outstanding captain’s knock, but claimed he wasn’t surprised with how sweetly he struck the ball.
He said: “I probably wasn’t surprised. I felt fresh, mentally and physically.”
He concluded by lauding the efforts of his young team in overcoming another obstacle, following the astounding achievements in the ODI series against New Zealand earlier in the summer.
Morgan added: “We have an exciting group of young cricketers – even outside the 14 who have been selected, we have four or five guys pushing for places. It’s a very exciting time for us, but its important that we recognise this is just the start of something and we continue playing in the fashion that we do.”
England now head to Southampton and the Ageas Bowl on Thursday for the first match in the Royal London ODI series.
Steve Smith’s highest international T20 score of 90 off 53 balls was not enough to give Australia victory, as England secured a narrow win over the tourists, in front of a boisterous crowd at The SSE SWALEC.
The Australian captain led from the front, hitting seven 4s and four 6s, slaying England’s bowlers to every corner of the ground, as the visitors set about chasing England’s total of 182/5. Smith’s partnership with Maxwell, who hit a fine knock of 44, was worth 112 and looked to have put the tourists in a dominating position.
Maxwell eventually departed thanks to a stunning catch in the deep from Ben Stokes, before Smith chipped the ball straight to Sam Billings at long-on, to leave Australia in the lurch.
After a fine penultimate over by David Willey, Stokes then bowled yorker after yorker, as Australia crumbled. First Matthew Wade was run out, before Nathan Coulter-Nile was caught by Adil Rashid at short third man and then Pat Cummins was dismissed to give England the narrow victory.
Earlier, an exhilarating partnership of 139 off 75 balls between Moeen Ali and Eoin Morgan powered England to a total of 182/5 – recovering from 18/2.
Morgan blazed blistering 74, off just 39 balls to announce his return to the international fray in typical fashion. He smashed three 4s and seven 6s – including a couple that flew into the River Taff – to put England in a commanding position after they were put into bat by Aussie captain Steve Smith at the toss.
Morgan was ably assisted by Moeen Ali, who blasted an unbeaten 72 off 46 balls, including six 4s and three 6s. The pair’s contrasting styles were hugely effective in putting Australia to the sword. While Ali preferred to flick and flay Australia along the floor square of the wicket, Morgan went aerial, repeatedly smacking the ball down the ground.
Jos Buttler came and went, hitting a bright and breezy 11 off 4 balls before being caught by Pat Cummins off Mitchell Starc and Sam Billings made 2 before being run out.
Cummins’ pace had been too much for openers Alex Hales and Jason Roy in the early exchanges. Both batsmen were dismissed in the same over, as England only managed 27/2 off their powerplay overs, before Morgan and Ali staged their fightback.
Despite the odd misfield and Smith’s onslaught, England held their nerve to secure the win by 5 runs amid wild celebrations at The SSE SWALEC.
A selection of your best tweets and pictures, as Eoin Morgan and Moeen Ali blast the ball to all parts of The SSE SWALEC this afternoon.
Natalie Sciver added a mature innings of 47 to her first innings figures of 4/15, as England cruised to a five wicket triumph over Australia at The SSE SWALEC.
Charlotte Edwards’ team had already surrended the Women’s Ashes but picked up a confidence-boosting win in the final match of their Ashes summer.
Earlier, Anya Shrubsole’s 4/11 had restricted Australia to just 111 all out – a score that proved to be well short of par on a good looking SSE SWALEC pitch. England then reached 114/5 with 11 balls to spare to take a consolation victory thanks to Sciver, who was ably supported by Katherine Brunt (17) and Lydia Greenway (20*).
Sciver’s fourth wicket partnership of 55 off 54 balls with Brunt ensured the victory for England, but it was Australia’s Meg Lanning who collected the trophy after the Southern Stars’ 10-6 points win.
Defeats for England in the only Test at Canterbury and at Hove in last week’s T20 proved costly but the Cardiff crowd today were royally entertained by an impressive performance from the hosts, not least Sciver whose all-round attributes were clear for all to see.
A quick round-up of what the newspapers are writing about, as England kick-off their limited overs campaign at The SSE SWALEC today.
Morgan re-charged ahead of T20
The Mirror’s Dean Wilson reports that Eoin Morgan’s month-long rest from country cricket ought to stand him in good stead ahead of the upcoming series – and raring to go ahead of the T20 in Cardiff. They also reveal how Morgan spoke with Middlesex director (and England selector) Angus Fraser ahead of the proposed rest period which Morgan says has made him feel fully refreshed.
“The England one-day and T20 skipper downed tools after a miserable run of form for Middlesex left him tired and jaded,” Dean Wilson, Mirror Online.
Stoinis ready for Aussie debut
Marcus Stoinis’ international debut is the subject of the Sydney Morning Herald’s focus this morning. Their reporter Jesse Hogan writes that Stoinis has been backed by captain Steve Smith after his suprise inclusion in the team ahead of the likes of George Bailey and Joe Burns.
“Stoinis has not played in the Big Bash League since February 2014, having missed last season’s tournament due to injury. He was an unused member of Delhi’s squad in this year’s IPL,” Jesse Hogan, SMH.
Exciting One Day series in prospect
Vic Marks, writing in The Guardian expresses hope that the ODI and T20 matches could be tighter than the Test series, which swung one way and then the other, with landslide victories for both teams. Nonetheless, Marks says England will be determined to build their momentum in limited overs cricket and their opening pair of Moeen Ali and Alex Hales could excite.
“Moeen is designated to open with Alex Hales, which is an appetising prospect. Should one of them be significantly more successful than the other then his chances of opening the batting alongside Alastair Cook in England’s next Test are likely to be enhanced,” Vic Marks, Guardian/Observer.
Chief Executive Hugh Morris fields questions about The SSE SWALEC pitch before tomorrow’s matches.