Ponting, Clarke, Harris lead Australia to easy win
(REUTERS) – Michael Clarke, Ricky Ponting and Ryan Harris led Australia to a comfortable 78-run victory over England in the fourth one-day international at the Oval yesterday.
Clarke made an unbeaten 99 and Ponting 92 to lift the touring side to a commanding total of 290 for five and England, who clinched the series on Sunday, never looked like reaching their target.
Eoin Morgan made a typically fluent 47, including successive sixes off James Hopes, but he fell to Harris who completed figures of five for 32 to win the man-of-the-match award in an impressive bowling display from the world champions.
England chose to field after winning the toss and they dismissed Tim Paine early but Shane Watson continued his consistent form in a second-wicket partnership of 40 with Ponting.
Watson was out for 41 but Clarke joined his captain and the pair shared an untroubled stand of 155 in good batting conditions.
Ponting fell eight short of his century and Clarke was left stranded on 99 after hitting seven fours from 106 balls.
England lost Craig Kieswetter and Kevin Pietersen cheaply and captain Andrew Strauss was caught by wicketkeeper Paine off Shaun Tait for 37 to leave the hosts in trouble on 61 for three.
The in-form Morgan threatened a revival but he also edged a catch to Paine and although Michael Yardy made 57 from 63 balls, wickets fell regularly and Harris had Stuart Broad caught in the covers to end England’s innings on 212 in the 43rd over.
The final match of the series is at Lord’s on Saturday.
S. Watson c Morgan b Swann 41
T. Paine c Morgan b Bresnan 8
R. Ponting c Strauss b Anderson 92
M. Clarke not out 99
C. White c Anderson b Broad 17
M. Hussey run-out 1
S. Smith not out 18
Extras: (b-3, lb-2, w-9) 14
Total: (for five wickets, 50 overs) 290
Fall of wickets: 1-33, 2-73, 3-228, 4-263, 5-266.
Bowling: Anderson 10-1-66-1 (w-3), Bresnan 9-1-52-1 (w-1), Broad 10-0-46-1 (w-1), Yardy 9-0-49-0 (w-1), Swann 6-0-31-1, Wright 3-0-14-0, Collingwood 3-0-27-0 (w-1).
A. Strauss c Paine b Tait 37
C. Kieswetter b Harris 12
K. Pietersen lbw b Harris 8
P. Collingwood lbw b Smith 15
E. Morgan c Paine b Harris 47
M. Yardy c White b Bollinger 57
L. Wright b Smith 2
T. Bresnan c Watson b Harris 22
G. Swann c Paine b Bollinger 1
S. Broad c Hussey b Harris 4
J. Anderson not out 0
Extras: (b-1, lb-3, w-3) 7
Total (all out, 42.4 overs) 212
Fall of wickets: 1-37, 2-53, 3-61, 4-90, 5-140, 6-151, 7-199, 8-207, 9-208.
Bowling: Tait 7-2-23-1 (w-2), Bollinger 8-0-38-2, Harris 8.4-1-32-5, Hopes 10-0-56-0, Smith 9-0-59-2 (w-1).