Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh hit tons as Australia post 310
England must pull off a challenging chase under lights to stay on track for a 5-0 whitewash.
Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh both hit centuries as Australia set England a target of 310 for eight to go 4-0 up at Chester-le-Street.
England already have this one-day international series wrapped up, after their world-record 481 for six and 242-run win at Trent Bridge two days ago.
But Finch (100), his opening partner Travis Head (63) and then number three Marsh (101) combined for successive century stands to put the onus on England to prove they can chase as effectively as they can set a total.
It was Finch’s 11th ODI century, and sixth against England, while Marsh bagged his second in three innings.
Australia placed their faith throughout in the old-fashioned tenet of wickets in hand for a telling late push.
Finch hit only six fours – and three sixes – in his 105-ball century, and Marsh mustered five, and four maximums, in his hundred from 91 deliveries.
Eoin Morgan chanced Joe Root as first-change, and Australia allowed the part-time off-spinner to hustle through his full 10 overs at a cost of just 44 runs.
They did take toll of ODI debutant Craig Overton and Adil Rashid, however, and – despite a rush of late wickets for David Willey (four for 43) – also racked up 82 in the last 10 overs to provide England’s record-breaking batsman with a significant challenge under lights.