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England win by 3 wickets

England vs Australia

England v Australia, 4th ODI: Jos Buttler stars in crucial victory

Jos Buttler: Scored 65 off just 48 balls to lead England to victory

A timely half-century from Jos Buttler allowed England to level the NatWest Series with Australia after a three-wicket victory in the fourth one-day international in Cardiff.

Buttler hit an unbeaten 65 from just 48 deliveries to complete England's successful chase of 228 after Michael Carberry (63) and Eoin Morgan (53) had laid solid foundations.

A brilliant hat-trick from Clint McKay had blown England's top order apart but there was still enough batting firepower to ensure the final contest in the series at the Ageas Bowl on Monday becomes a winner-takes-all showdown.

Australia's innings was built on a spirited 87 from George Bailey, but the total of 227 all out seemed modest and ultimately proved to be insufficient.

England had been forced on the back-foot in spectacular style early in their chase as McKay removed Kevin Pietersen for just five before snaring both Jonathan Trott and Joe Root for first-ball ducks.

Pietersen fell lbw aiming across the line; out-of-form Trott pushed out at a full and wide ball and was caught head-high at second slip, and Root edged an attempted drive to first.

Carberry and Morgan were left to repair the damage, which they did admirably by putting on a stubborn century stand.

Wickets

They both fell during a torrid run of three wickets for 32 runs which also saw Ravi Bopara (7) depart, but Buttler and Ben Stokes' expansive stand of 75 moved England to the brink of victory.

There was still drama left as McKay (4-39) returned to bowl Stokes with a change of pace, but Buttler smashed a six and a four off Mitchell Johnson in the final over to close things out.

Skipper Morgan had earlier won the toss and put his opponents in, with Steven Finn and Boyd Rankin keeping the score to 31-2 in first powerplay.

Stokes had his first international wicket - in his 13th limited-overs match - when Jos Buttler held an athletic catch high to dismiss Shaun Marsh (25), and Finn trapped skipper Michael Clarke lbw for 22.

But Bailey and Adam Voges steadied the ship, the former hitting James Tredwell for six over long-on, to go with a sweep for his solitary four in a 57-ball fifty.

Voges (30) was eventually bowled trying to pull Ravi Bopara, leaving Bailey and Matthew Wade to engage in some chancy but effective running - several times turning apparent dots into ones and ones into twos.

That approach brought them 39 in a slightly early batting powerplay, and at the start of the last 10 overs Australia were 195-5.

The wickets column was still a worry for them, though - and so it proved. Wade (36) edged Tredwell to short third-man; James Faulkner (1) was run-out attempting a quick single - and after Tredwell (3-53) deceived Mitchell Johnson in back-foot defence, Bailey was ninth out caught-behind trying to angle the returning Rankin down to third-man.

Match Details

Date
14th Sep 2013
Toss
England won the toss and elected to bowl.
Venue
The Swalec Stadium
Umpires
R J Bailey, S Ravi
TV Umpire
A S Dar
Match Referee
J J Crowe
Reserve Umpire
M A Gough

england BATTING CARD

Batsman R
M.A. Carberry b Coulter-Nile 63
K.P. Pietersen lbw McKay 5
I.J.L. Trott c Finch b McKay 0
J.E. Root c Watson b McKay 0
E.J.G. Morgan b Watson 53
R.S. Bopara lbw Faulkner 7
J.C. Buttler Not out 65
B.A. Stokes b McKay 25
J.C. Tredwell Not out 1
Extras 4w, 8lb 12
Total 49.3 Overs 231 - 7
Full Batting Card

australia BOWLING CARD

Bowler O M R W
C.J. McKay 10 3 39 4
M.G. Johnson 9.3 0 64 0
J.P. Faulkner 10 1 43 1
S.R. Watson 10 0 43 1
N.M. Coulter-Nile 10 0 34 1
Full Bowling Card