WIRRAL cricketer Chris Edwards captained England's Learning Disability side to Ashes victory with a resounding eight wicket win over Australia in the Commonwealth Bank International Inclusion series in Brisbane.

Another outstanding bowling and fielding effort from Edwards’ side skittled the hosts for 71 beforeEngland reached their target in 12 overs to take an unassailable 5-1 lead with two games still to play.

A convincing 4-1 win in the T20 series meant just one victory was needed from three ODI encounters, and the longer 40-over format was always likely to showcase England’s greater depth, particularly with the bat. But it was with the ball that they proved particularly destructive. Teenage paceman Kester Sainsbury, aged 19, was the star of the show, ripping out Australia’s middle order with three for 25.

Tayler Young set the tone by bowling Boyd Duffield for four in the third over with the score on eight after Australia had chosen to bat, and when the veteran Gavan Hicks was run out for 16 at 32 for two in the ninth, they were firmly on the back foot.

Sainsbury, getting good bounce and carry, reduced the hosts to 32 for three when he had skipper Haydn Brumm caught behind for one, and after he castled Joel Corbett (10), one of Australia’s few batting successes of the series, they were reeling at 35 for fourin the 12th over.

England needed no invitation to move in for the kill. Sainsbury finished his work with the wicket of Craig Blaschke for two and a smart bit of glovework from Jack Perry – fresh from a brilliant T20 century yesterday – had Nat Young stumped off Alex Jervis to leave Australia in disarray at 46 for six.

Left-arm spinner Kieron McKinney (2-4) finished the job when he bowled Jamie Phillips for 10 with two balls of the 22nd over left. That he was one of only three men in double figures spoke volumes for England’s dominance.

Though Jonny Gale was dismissed early on for England, caught behind off Matt Lawrence in the second over with the score on seven, the unflappable pair of Dan Bowser and skipper Edwards shut the door on any hopes Australia had of producing something extraordinary.

Relentlessly punishing anything off beam, the pair appeared to have eased England to a nine-wicket stroll before Bowser (41 from 34) was pinned leg before by Hicks with three needed.

It was left to Ronnie Jackson to stroll out and hit the winning boundary to see England home with his skipper undefeated on 16.

Edwards, who now has two Ashes-winning campaigns under his belt, is keen to push on and finish the job.

“This is brilliant, but we’ve still got two games to go, and we don’t want to take our foot off the gas,” said the Caldy cricketer. 

“We were really disappointed to lose under the lights on Friday night – conditions that were a new experience for us all – and I’m pleased we bounced back in style.

“Jack Perry’s 100 yesterday showed character – that was really special – and everyone’s chipped in throughout, with different people performing well at different times.

“Kester – and Tayler’s – spell up front today, though, that was phenomenal. They attacked from ball one. Kester may only be 19 – but he’s a young man with an old man’s head. He bowled with lovely rhythm. He was so good, I thought, ‘let’s bowl him through.’”

The penultimate game of the series is at 1am BST on Wednesday.