Australia 221-3 (Clarke 62no, Paine 51) beat
England 220 (Strauss 63, Lee 5-49) by seven wickets
Fourth One-Day International, Lord's
Half-centuries from Tim Paine and Michael Clarke followed up on Brett Lee's five-wicket haul to hand Australia a comprehensive seven-wicket win over England that sealed the seven-match series with three matches still to play.
Lee returned five for 49 as England were bowled out for 220 before Paine's innings of 51 and an unbeaten 62 from Clarke got Australia home with 38 balls to spare.
Once again, only Andrew Strauss starred for the home side, the captain carrying England's batting with 63 in 75 balls. Despite a reshuffled batting line-up with Paul Collingwood rested and Joe Denly fit again, England struggled and were bowled out in the 47th over.
Lee's five for 49, his ninth five-wicket haul in ODIs, all but finished England off after Strauss was caught by Nathan Bracken off of Nathan Hauritz. Lee dismissed Denly (11), Matthew Prior (29), Luke Wright (12), Stuart Broad (2) and Adil Rashid (4), leaving Bracken, Shane Watson and Mitchell Johnson, who picked up one wicket apiece, and Hauritz, who grabbed two, to complete the dismantling.
England might well have been able to field a side in which their number ten (Tim Bresnan, unbeaten on 11) has scored a first-class century, but they still found themselves well short of a decent score.
That was highlighted when Australia came out to bat, Paine registering his maiden ODI half-century during a stand of 51 for the first wicket with Watson, who departed when he was trapped in front by Bresnan for 26.
Ricky Ponting returned to Australia's side as captain and showed he had lost none of his touch in making 48 and the 57-run partnership in good time with Paine all but put the game beyond doubt.
Ponting became Bresnan's second wicket and Paine became Adil Rashid's second ODI wicket when he was caught by Prior but Clarke, unbeaten on 62 in 81 balls and Callum Ferguson, not out on 23, ensured that the final three games of the series will have little but preparation for the Champions Trophy riding on them.
The fifth and sixth games are at Trent Bridge on 15th and 17th September.
© Cricket World 2009