Australia claiming a consolatory victory in the five-match one-day series after thumping England by eight wickets in an anti-climatic end to the international summer at Old Trafford. Mitchell Marsh took 4-27 and John Hastings ended with career best figures of 3-21 as the hosts set the tourists just 139 to win, a total they achieved with 25.4 overs remaining as Aaron Finch made an unbeaten 70.
The heavy defeat for England was accentuated by the loss of captain Eoin Morgan, who was struck by a Mitchell Starc bouncer and was forced to retire hurt, before playing no part in the Australia run chase. The skipper will be assessed before his fitness is determined ahead of the selection of the squad for the tour to the United Arab Emirates to face Pakistan in October.
Meanwhile, victory for Australia gives the world champions some encouragement and a winning end to a harrowing tour while denying England a clean sweep after winning the Ashes Test series 3-2 and the one-off T20 match. Darren Lehman's side travel to Bangladesh next month in good hands under new captain Steve Smith and a much changed side as they cemented their status as the team to beat in the 50-over format.
The final international fixture of the summer was perfectly poised after England had recovered from losing the first two one-day matches to set up a decider in Manchester. Six months after being dumped unceremoniously out of the World Cup, the hosts were seeking to claim a clean-sweep of all formats against Australia, who themselves were seeking to add some respectability to a tour already overshadowed by the relinquishing of the Ashes.
And those Australian ambitions of installing honour into a wretched tour were enhanced with a fine spell of swing bowling in the opening hour. After having the dismissal of Jason Roy (4) overturned from the second ball of the match, the England opener eventually fell later in the opening over from an in-swinging delivery which replays later showed was beating leg stump. Alex Hales (4) and James Taylor (12) then followed in successive overs from Hastings to reduced the home side to 22 for 3.
Starc was altogether the more potent of the new ball pair however and a surprise bouncer led to the exit of Eoin Morgan and the ball struck him on the helmet and saw him retire hurt having scored just a single. Replacement Jonny Barstow then scored just 10 before Marsh trapped him lbw as Australia again showed greater precision with the referral system as they reviewed the initial not out decision.
Ben Stokes hit a flurry of boundaries but wickets continued to fall around him as Marsh took two in the same over first as Moeen Ali (5) flashed a drive to Matthew Wade and David Willey (0) was rapped on the pads. Marsh continued to bamboozle England and took his fourth wicket when he trapped Stokes (42), after the Durham all-rounder had smashed a six over long on earlier in the same over.
England may have avoided the ignominy of recording their lowest first innings one-day score but the wickets continued to tumble as Hastings struck for a third time to dismiss Mark Wood (13). As the suspicion that Morgan would play no further part in the match was confirmed by the England and Wales Cricket Board, Adil Rashid attempted to guide his side to a competitive total by making 35. But Ashton Agar took his second one-day wicket by trapping Reece Topley (6) as England were bowled out for 138 following the longest partnership of the innings.
Australia had 45 minutes to negotiate before the lunch break and amid a cagy start opener Joe Burns (0) edged behind in Willey's first over to give England early hope. Aaron Finch loosened the shackles and hit Topley for three fours but England clawed their way into the game as Steve Smith (12) edged Wood behind in the final over before lunch.
On field captain Taylor looked to Adil Rashid upon the resumption but Australia saw the introduction of the leg spinner as a chance to reassure their authority as Finch and George Bailey combined to hit 24 from his first two overs. The spate of hefty blows deflated England and after Finch went to a ninth one-day fifty, as part of a 105 stand with Bailey, the visitors completed victory in the 25th over to clinch a 3-2 series win and end the summer in jubilant mood.