England Survive Wobble To Clinch Consolation Win
England 177-6 (Denly 53) beat
Australia 176 (Ponting 53, Swann 5-28) by four wickets
Seventh One-Day International, Chester-le-Street
Graeme Swann's maiden One-Day International five-wicket haul spun England into a strong position, from which they survived a wobble to win the the seventh and final match against Australia at The Riverside by four wickets.
Australia went into the match 6-0 up, chasing the first ever 7-0 ODI series win but two early strikes from opening bowlers James Anderson and Graham Onions and then six wickets to spinners Swann and Owais Shah put England in the ascendency as they bowled Australia out for 176.
Joe Denly then made 53 to keep England on top and despite the loss of five wickets in next to no time, they recovered to scramble home in the 41st over.
Handed his ODI debut, Onions struck to have Tim Paine (4) caught by Matthew Prior, following up on the early dismissal of Shane Watson, who edged Anderson to Swann at slip without scoring in the first over.
Australia were rebuilding the innings nicely before the introduction of Swann changed things completely. Ricky Ponting scored his 68th ODI half-century in making 53 to put on 79 for the third wicket with Michael Clarke, who made 38 in 81 balls before he was run out, failing to steal a single from Eoin Morgan at short fine leg.
Swann struck early in his spell of five for 28 to have Ponting caught at mid on by Paul Collingwood and following the run out of Clarke, he bowled Cameron White, the Victorian going back to a delivery to which he should have been playing forward.
James Hopes (11) and Mitchell Johnson (10) both miscued shots, offering easy catches for Swann and Anderson before Swann completed his five-wicket haul by clean bowling Brett Lee for a duck.
Spin continued to rule when Shah had Nathan Hauritz caught and bowled, the part-time spinner inducing Australia's full-time spinner to chip the ball straight back to him.
Mike Hussey attempted to finish the innings with a flourish, hammering Anderson for a four and a six in consecutive balls but his charge was foiled when he drilled Tim Bresnan to Denly at mid off having made 49.
Well as Denly played for his 53, both he and Andrew Strauss were gifted runs early on as Ben Hilfenhaus and Brett Lee bowled a succession of no balls and deliveries that were sent to the boundary by the gleeful England openers.
The pair put on 106 for the first wicket before things began to get a bit sticky for England when Strauss's reverse sweep off of Hauritz picked out Hilfenhaus at short third man.
He went for 47 and Australia sensed a way back into the match when four further wickets fell for the addition of just 35 more runs. Denly's 53 came in 78 balls before he was dismissed following that most unsurprising of occurrences - a run out involving Ravi Bopara (13).
The Essex man joined him in the dressing room soon after when he played all round a straight delivery from Watson and Shah (7) was the next man to go when Paine took a fine catch standing up to Hopes. Morgan then edged Lee to Paine for just two and Australia went on the attack.
There were two slips and two gullys for Brett Lee's return but just when England needed it, they had the steady hand of Collingwood to bring them home, but not without another wicket falling when Prior (11) offered Ponting an easy catch to give the returning Hilfenhaus a wicket.
Collingwood was unbeaten on 13 alongside Bresnan, who made ten and the match ended in rather bizarre circumstances when another Hilfenhaus no ball gave England the winning run.
Both sides now fly out to South Africa to play in the Champions Trophy, England opening their campaign on 25th September and Australia one day later.
© Cricket World 2009