MANCHESTER: Moeen Ali took four wickets as England dismissed Australia for just 205 in the fifth one-day international at Old Trafford on Sunday
Off-spinner Ali, a thorn in Australia’s side throughout this series, returned ODI-best figures of four for 46 runs in 8.4 overs, with England bidding for their first 5-0 whitewash of their arch-rivals.
World champions Australia, who had lost 15 of their previous 17 completed matches at this level, were dismissed with more than 15 overs of their innings remaining.
Travis Head (56) was the only batsman to pass fifty, with the recalled D’Arcy Short left stranded on 47 not out.
Together with opening partner Aaron Finch he got the innings off to a roaring start, the pair putting on 60 inside seven overs after Australia captain Tim Paine won the toss on a good pitch.
But Ali then took two wickets for no runs in three balls to spark an Australia collapse.
With his third delivery of the match, Ali got a ball to grip and turn, with Finch (22) under-edging an intended pull onto his stumps.
Two balls later, Marcus Stoinis was out for a duck when a mistimed sweep lobbed gently to Jake Ball at short fine leg.
Head looked in good touch while compiling a 36-ball fifty, including eight fours.
But, not for the first time, he fell soon after completing a half-century when, on 56, he chipped fast bowler Liam Plunkett to England captain Eoin Morgan at short midwicket.
And 90 for three soon became 97 for four when Shaun Marsh, who had made two hundreds this series, exited for just eight when, pushing forward to Ali, was stumped by Jos Buttler.
Wicket-keeper Buttler was involved again as Australia slumped to 100 for five when, reacting quickly to Paine’s nudge, he ran round and, tumbling on the turn, threw down the stumps at the bowler’s end to run out his opposing gloveman for just one.
Surrey’s Sam Curran, playing in place of fellow left-arm seamer David Willey, then marked his ODI debut with two wickets for no runs in three balls after an expensive first two overs to leave Australia 159 for seven.
Alex Carey had made a promising 44, including five fours and a six when, carelessly trying to steer the ball down to third man, he was caught behind.
Two balls later Ashton Agar was out for a bizarre duck when he shouldered arms to a straight delivery that smashed into his middle and off stumps.
When Stanlake was bowled by Ali it meant England were denied the chance to make the 263 runs they had needed to break the record for the most runs ever scored by one team in a five-match ODI series — their own 1,617 in a 3-2 success at home to New Zealand in 2015.