An Australian middle-order collapse of 4-3 has helped England level their three-game One Day International series at 1-1 with a 24-run win in Manchester on Sunday.
The tourists were firmly in control, after Archer took two early wickets, with captain Aaron Finch and Marnus Labuschagne at the crease at 2-144 in the 31st over, but Chris Woakes trapped the latter LBW triggering a dramatic collapse.
Mitch Marsh fell to Archer bowled for 1, followed by Finch (73) and Glenn Maxwell (1) in a match-turning four overs which Australia never recovered from, despite some late runs from Alex Carey (36).
When asked about how Australia stop their middle order collapses, Finch said: “It’s a great question, it’s the million dollar question.
“Guys will have their own plans. At times we might not be 100% committed to our plans. At times we might over-play the situation as well.”
Finch took no joy in his own knock of 78, insisting he needed to finish the job as the set batsmen, although he was impressed with his bowlers who restricted England, led by spinner Adam Zampa with 3-36.
Australia had England on their knees when Zampa dismissed Eoin Morgan at 5-117, and again when Josh Hazlewood got rid of Chris Woakes at 8-149, but late runs from Tom Curran (37) and Adil Rashid (35no) gave the hosts something to defend.
The Australians simply couldn’t get set in reply, besides for Finch and Labuschagne, and fell short.
“We knew it was always going to be tough for new batters to start on a wicket like that,” Finch said.
“England squeezed us and bowled a really straight good length. It was hard to take them on down the ground. It was hard to hit boundaries, they bowled well but it’s still disappointing.”
The two sides will meet in the deciding ODI on Wednesday in Manchester.