Ben Stokes out obstructing the field: The story of England’s 2015 ODI series against Australia

Ben Stokes and England were less than happy after he was given out 'obstructing the field' in the second ODI against Australia in 2015

England clinched the Ashes in double-quick time in 2015 – but then ran into a titanic 50-over tussle with Australia.

Ahead of the upcoming five-match series, which starts on Sky Sports Cricket at 12.30pm on Wednesday, we look back at that eventful contest, which included some superb individual displays, a controversial Ben Stokes dismissal plus much more besides – including a walrus!

Here is how it all panned out…

England vs Australia

June 13, 2018, 12:30pm

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First ODI – Australia win by 59 runs


England suffered a dramatic middle-order collapse to hand Australia a 59-run victory in the first one-day international, at the Ageas Bowl.

Set 306 to win, Eoin Morgan’s side were well placed at 156-2 thanks to Jason Roy’s 67 off 64 balls, but crashed to 194-7 before being bowled out for 246 in 45.3 overs.

It meant that world champions Australia claimed their sixth consecutive ODI victory in games between the sides and took a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

A look at the best bits from the first ODI between England and Australia at the Ageas Bowl.

The tourists suffered a similar collapse of their own, slipping from 133-1 to 193-6 as spinner Adil Rashid (4-59) claimed his second four-wicket ODI haul of the 2015 summer.

But crucially Matthew Wade (71no off 50 balls) and Mitchell Marsh (40no) resisted England’s surge with an unbroken stand of 112 off 13 overs for the seventh wicket.

Second ODI – Australia win by 64 runs


England fell to a 64-run defeat to Australia in the second one-day international at Lord’s after Ben Stokes was given out obstructing the field.

Eoin Morgan’s side, chasing the tourists’ 309-7 in a match reduced to 49 overs a side by rain, were 141-3 in the 26th over when the all-rounder intercepted Mitchell Starc’s shy at the stumps with his hand after the seamer fielded a straight drive.

Stokes was given out by umpire Kumar Dharmasena after the incident was reviewed, the decision that he wilfully interrupted the ball’s path to protect his wicket being greeted with boos from the crowd.

That was the first of five wickets to fall for 46 runs, but the chase was re-ignited by Morgan (85) and Liam Plunkett (24 off 12 balls), who smote 55 off 3.3 overs – a record ninth-wicket ODI stand for England against Australia.

But the pair’s efforts proved to be in vain as England folded to 245 all out off 42.3 overs, Morgan the last man out. Australia’s victory put them 2-0 up in the five-match series but came at a cost as David Warner was ruled out for the rest of the tour with a broken thumb.

Third ODI – England win by 93 runs


There were two outstanding catches in the third ODI between England and Australia at Old Trafford. Who's was better, Steven Finn's or Jason Roy's?

James Taylor struck his maiden one-day international hundred as England kept their series hopes alive with a 93-run victory over Australia in the third ODI at Old Trafford.

Morgan’s men – needing to win after two straight defeats in the five-match series – dismissed the tourists for 207 after Taylor’s 101 off 114 balls lifted the home side to 300-8.

Spinners Rashid (2-41) and Moeen Ali, who took career-best figures of 3-32, found appreciable turn to damage Australia’s hopes of an eighth straight victory over England, whose cause was aided by two incredible outfield catches by Steven Finn and Roy.

However, the most memorable moment of the match came when Alex Hales took advantage of being out in the cold on the boundary to put on a Walrus mask thrown from the crowd. Appropriately, his surname suggests he would be quite at home in cold conditions…

England's Alex Hales delighted the Old Trafford crowd by putting on a walrus mask that was thrown to him while fielding.

Fourth ODI – England win by three wickets


Morgan struck a sparkling run-a-ball 92 to propel England to a series-levelling three-wicket victory over Australia in the fourth one-day international at Headingley.

Morgan led the way as England chased down a target of 300-or-over to register the third highest successful run-chase in their ODI history at the time, closing on 304-7 off 48.2 overs, after Glenn Maxwell (85) had top-scored in Australia’s 299-7.

The result – England’s second win in as many games – meant the fifth and final one-dayer at Old Trafford would decide the series, which was delicately poised at 2-2.

Watch a light-hearted moment between ben Stokes and George Bailey during the fourth ODI between England and Australia.

Only two teams had ever come from 2-0 down to win a five-match ODI series 3-2 – South Africa, who overcame Pakistan in October 2003 and Bangladesh, who defeated Zimbabwe in January 2005, with England hopeful of becoming the third.

Fifth ODI – Australia win by eight wickets


Australia cruised to victory in the deciding ODI with England at Old Trafford, winning by eight wickets after bowling the hosts out for 138 within 33 overs.

Aaron Finch (70no) and George Bailey (41no) saw their side home in just 24 overs after England had picked up the early wickets of Joe Burns and Steve Smith.

However, the damage was done in the first innings when Mitchell Marsh was the pick of the bowlers as he claimed 4-27. John Hastings was also impressive in taking 3-18, with Stokes top-scoring with 42 for England.

Morgan had to retire hurt during the innings with concussion after being struck on the helmet by fast bowler Mitchell Starc. It proved to a disappointing ending to a thrilling series.

Watch the first ODI between England and Australia, at the Oval, live from 12.30pm on Wednesday on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event.

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