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England v Australia: Jason Roy hits 120 to set up 38-run win for hosts

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Second one-day international, Sophia Gardens, Cardiff
England 342-8 (50 overs): Roy 120, Buttler 91*, K Richardson 2-56
Australia 304 (47.1 overs): Marsh 131, Plunkett 4-53, Rashid 3-70
England won by 38 runs

Jason Roy scored 120 to set up a 38-run win for England over Australia and take a 2-0 lead in the one-day series.

Jos Buttler, who captained the side after Eoin Morgan suffered a back spasm, made an unbeaten 91 from 70 balls as England posted 342-8.

Shaun Marsh (131) made his first one-day century since 2013 to keep Australia in the game, but partnerships proved hard to come by.

Australia were bowled out for 304, with seamer Liam Plunkett taking 4-53.

Despite Morgan being ruled out just 20 minutes before the game began, England were able to put in an assured batting performance.

They posted their highest one-day score against Australia but Marsh’s innings took the visitors deeper into the game than some may have expected.

However, Plunkett and spinner Adil Rashid (3-70) excelled in the final over to dismiss Marsh and run through the Australia tail.

The third game of the five-match series takes place at Trent Bridge on Tuesday at 14:00 BST.

England hold their nerve

Plunkett spoke during the week about England’s six-run loss to Scotland being a “kick up the backside” – and the lessons learned from that defeat seemed to click into place at Cardiff.

The hosts were more assured with the bat than at The Oval, although they looked set for a total in excess of 350 before Australia’s bowlers regained some control.

As Marsh edged Australia towards an unlikely victory, England’s bowlers held their nerve, with Plunkett and Rashid varying their pace to keep the batsmen off guard.

On a busy sporting Saturday, Australia’s national team suffered defeats at the football World Cup and in their rugby union Test against Ireland, but their cricketers put in an improved performance before falling to the same fate.

Despite being without their frontline seamers, the Australia bowers adapted well to a slow pitch, and reined in England as Buttler looked to accelerate, and Marsh’s innings was undoubtedly a positive.

They were also well led by wicketkeeper Tim Paine, who recovered from a nasty blow to the face to take a fine catch to dismiss Roy midway through England’s innings.

Roy & Buttler lead the way

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Morgan’s unplanned absence could have disrupted England, but the batsmen put together a mature innings.

Prior to today, opener Roy had not passed 50 since he hit 180 against Australia in January. Initially taking a back seat as Jonny Bairstow struck 42 from 24 balls, Roy accumulated either side of two rain delays.

While rain can often distract a set batsman, Roy only grew more aggressive, striking Andrew Tye for a towering six shortly after the game resumed. Roy manipulated the field, running quick singles, and eventually bringing up his fifth one-day century.

England stuttered in the middle overs – Alex Hales was bowled for 26, while Joe Root holed out on 22 – but Roy and Buttler rotated the strike well, before the former inside-edged Tye behind to Paine.

Buttler showed all his innovation as Australia took the pace off the ball. Back-to-back sixes were scooped over the head of Paine, while any width was sent crashing to the boundary.

Despite wickets falling quickly towards the end of the innings, Buttler struck successive fours from the final two balls of the innings to push England to a target that ultimately proved beyond Australia’s reach.

Marsh makes hay amid tourists’ struggles

Shaun Marsh

Marsh has had a fitful international career – he has made 54 one-day appearances since making his debut in 2008, and he played just two matches last year before being dropped.

As Australia faced the prospect of their highest ODI run chase, Marsh was the backbone of the innings, counter-punching off the back foot as he reached three figures, but no-one could support him.

A restructured batting line-up didn’t work – opener Aaron Finch, moved to five to combat England’s spinners, fell for a three-ball duck as he was trapped lbw by Rashid, and Glenn Maxwell fell cheaply to Moeen Ali.

The pressure built on England in the final 10 overs thanks to Marsh and cameos from Ashton Agar and Paine, but once Marsh fell, bowled by a superb slower ball from Plunkett, Australia’s challenge was over.

Paine said afterwards that Australia’s best cricket is “good enough to beat these guys” – whether they can find their form in time to turn around the series remains to be seen.

‘He’ll play a lot more for Australia’ – what they said

England stand-in captain Jos Buttler: “It was a good performance. There are areas we can improve on but it was fantastic to put 340 on the board and we knew we could restrict them.”

England batsman Jason Roy: “I was pleased with my hundred. It’s nice to come back after a long winter and continue winning on home soil. I’m just very happy for the win.”

Australia captain Tim Paine: “We would like to have restricted them to less than 340 but the way Shaun Marsh played showed we could have got them. If he keeps playing like that, he’ll play a lot more for Australia.”

Ex-England spinner Phil Tufnell on TMS: “England are progressing nicely and if you slip Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes into this side, they look even stronger. I do, however, think there’s room for a specialist seam bowler like Liam Plunkett. We’re stronger in the spin department than Australia though.”

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