Australia 290-5 (Clarke 99no, Ponting 92) beat
England 212 (Yardy 57, Harris 5-32) by 78 runs
Fourth One-Day International, The Oval
Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting both narrowly missed out on centuries but Australia went on to score a convincing 78-run win over England in the fourth One-Day International at The Oval.
Captain Ponting, taking charge of Australia for a record 219th time, scored 92 and his vice-captain Clarke was left stranded on 99 from 106 balls at the end of the innings as Australia posted a score of 290 for five.
Ryan Harris then took five wickets to bowl England out for 212 in 42.4 overs with only Michael Yardy's maiden half-century and an entertaining 47 from Eoin Morgan giving England any hope.
Set a stiff target, they needed a strong start and although Andrew Strauss continued his good form in the series so far with a fluent 37 in 45 balls, Harris struck to clean bowl Craig Kieswetter for 12 and then have Kevin Pietersen trapped in front for eight.
Strauss was the third man to fall, with the score on 61, before Paul Collingwood (15) was a little unlucky to be trapped in front by leg-spinner Steven Smith when the ball appeared to strike him outside the line of the stumps.
Morgan then thumped three sixes and shared a 50-run partnership with Yardy for the fifth wicket but with his dismissal the match appeared to be all but over.
And despite the best efforts of Yardy, who eventually made 57 in 63 balls before being the penultimate man to be dismissed during an impressive final spell from Doug Bollinger (2-38), England fell well short as Harris returned figures of five for 32.
Tim Bresnan (22) helped Yardy keep slim victory hopes alive before the mounting run-rate became too much for England and the pressure led to a flurry of wickets and a comprehensive Australian win.
Unchanged for the fourth match in a row England had began the day by electing to field first and they struck early to remove Tim Paine when he chipped Bresnan to Morgan at mid-off for eight before Shane Watson (41) and Ponting steadied the ship.
Watson looked in good touch, hitting five fours and a six, before lofting Graeme Swann into the deep where Morgan took his second catch. Ponting, who passed 13,000 ODI runs in the course of his innings, then stroked ten fours and shared a third-wicket stand of 155 with Clarke, who hit seven fours.
Ponting fell to the first ball of the batting Power Play when he mistimed a drive and was caught by Strauss off James Anderson.
Cameron White hit a quickfire 17 and Michael Hussey was run out for one before Clarke was denied a shot at his fifth ODI century thanks to a fine cameo of 18 not out in eight balls at the death from Smith, who took Bresnan for ten runs in four balls in the final over after Clarke had taken a single earlier on.
Anderson, Bresnan, Swann and Stuart Broad took a wicket apiece for England, who led the five-match series 3-0 going into the match.
The final match is on Saturday 3rd July.
© Cricket World 2010