Cricket: Australian comeback snatches thrilling one-day win over England

Superb centuries from Alex Carey and Glenn Maxwell have lifted Australia to a dramatic three-wicket victory over England, as the touring side clinched the one-day international series 2-1.

The pair put on 212 runs for the sixth wicket, after Australia had slumped to 73/5, chasing a stiff target of 303 runs in the final game of the series.

Jonny Bairstow scored 112, as England recovered from losing their first two wickets to the opening two balls of the game to score 302/7 in their 50 overs after winning the toss.

Australia lost their first five wickets cheaply, but fought back brilliantly to win with two balls to spare and take the series against the world champions and inflict their first home one-day series defeat for five years.

England got off to the worst possible start, as Jason Roy drove a thick outside edge to backward point and Joe Root was trapped lbw by Mitchell Starc off the first two balls of the innings.

But Bairstow set about engineering a recovery and England quickly pushed the run rate above six an over.

A 114-run partnership for the fifth wicket between Bairstow and Sam Billings (54) provided the backbone of the innings, and Chris Woakes also contributed a rapid half century to take England past the 300-run mark.

Woakes then took the first two wickets of the Australia innings, before Root nicked out David Warner and Mitchell Marsh cheaply with his part-time off spin to remove the tourists' top order.

When Marnus Labuschagne was run out in the 17th over, Australia were reeling on 73/5.

But Carey and Maxwell fought back, dragging Australia right back into the match with lusty hitting and leaving them needing 21 runs off the last 18 balls for victory.

"We were really focused out there," says Maxwell, who was named Man of the Match and Man of the Series. "We had a really good idea of what we wanted to do as far as keeping up the run rate was concerned and try and take it as deep as possible. 

"It was amazing. Coming it at five wickets down for 70-odd (runs), it was probably hit or bust at that stage. If we lost another wicket in the next five or 10 overs, it was going to be pretty hard to expect the bowlers to do a job with the bat for us.

"But once our partnership started to build, we could take a couple of risks, get away with a few and ride that momentum," Maxwell told a news conference.

They looked like throwing a winning position away, when Maxwell top-edged spinner Adil Rashid and was caught by Tom Curran for 108 off 90 balls, and 10 balls later, Carey was caught by Mark Wood at third man off Jofra Archer for 106.

Australia needed 10 runs off the final over, which England captain Eoin Morgan bravely entrusted to Rashid. Starc smacked a six off his first ball and hit another boundary to win the game, bringing a crowded summer of international cricket to an exciting conclusion.

England had a busy three-month window into which they crammed six tests and 12 limited-overs internationals - all played behind closed doors in a bio-secure bubble, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.