England could end a memorable summer on the perfect note in Southampton today with the five-match One Day International series against Australia level at 1-1 after four matches leading into this afternoon’s final international of the summer.
Two games have been washed out with the unpredictability of the late summer weather while Australia won by 88 runs at Old Trafford the hosts won by three wickets in Cardiff on Saturday leaving the series poised for a fantastic climax.
The day / night game at the Ageas Bowl gets under way at 2pm on Monday and England could be boosted by the fitness doubt of the Australian captain Michael Clarke. He is suffering with a recurrence of his back problem and coach Darren Lehmann has said he will only play if he is 100% fit with another one-day series against India coming up before the Ashes gets under way.
The tourists will already be forced into one change with Phil Hughes replacing the injured Shaun Marsh after he damaged his hamstrings in the fourth ODI at the Swalec Stadium.
England are expected to be unchanged after winning their first 50-over game in the series with wicketkeeper Jos Buttler the star of the show after guiding his side home with an unbeaten 65 runs off just 48 balls.
Opener Michael Carberry hit his maiden ODI fifty too after he was bowled for 63 by Nathan Coulter-Nile. He shared a 104-run partnership with captain Eoin Morgan who made 53 in a crucial rebuilding job after Clint McKay took a hat-trick of Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott and Joe Root to leave the hosts struggling at 8-3 chasing 228 to win.
That was after a much improved bowling performance with Steven Finn, Boyd Rankin, James Tredwell and Ravi Bopara sharing eight wickets between them. All-rounder Ben Stokes also snared his first international wicket before scoring a crucial 25 runs to help England to victory.
Carberry is certain to wear the England colours at his home ground for the first time in his career after he missed out on selection in the T20 last month. The Hampshire batsmen then scored 10 against Ireland, and just five runs in two games against Australia before his breakthrough innings on Saturday and he explains his desire has helped him succeed.
"When you get three low scores early on, of course you're disappointed," admitted Carberry.
"But there is a difference between being disappointed and then carrying that disappointment round with you into the next game.
"I was determined not to do that, and I think what I've done well is stay positive."
"The management have been great, backing me all the way, and I'm pleased I've started to prove them right," Carberry said.
"I knew there was nothing much to worry about, in terms of how I was going."
The 32-year-old is desperate to perform on his home patch and he says it will be a proud moment when play gets under way at 2 o’clock this afternoon.
"There have been so many people at Hampshire who have supported my career, and have always shouted my name in terms of playing for England," he admitted.
"If I can get runs in front of my home crowd, and I hope we can win, it will be a nice way to pay them back."
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