Watson Ton Helps Australia Clinch Series
Australia 298 (Watson 143, Clarke 75) beat
England 249 (Bopara 62) by 49 runs
Fifth One-Day International, Southampton
Shane Watson cracked 143 and Michael Clarke made 75 as Australia beat England by 49 runs to seal the One-Day International series by two games to one.
Watson's eighth ODI century helped Australia reach 298 all out as he and Clarke shared a partnership worth 163 for the fourth wicket to put the tourists in a strong position.
Although Chris Jordan marked his debut with three for 51 and Ben Stokes returned five for 61, Australia had more than enough runs on the board and England were dismissed for 249.
There was a spell when Ravi Bopara (62) and Jos Buttler (42) were batting together that England were still in the game, but their departures ended any slim hopes of a series win.
Watson was at the crease early after Phillip Hughes failed to deal with a rising delivery from Jordan and lobbed a catch to Michael Carberry for two.
After a short rain break, Stokes struck twice in two balls to have Aaron Finch caught by Eoin Morgan for 26 and then Matthew Wade caught behind as he tried to pull without scoring.
Watson then hammered 12 fours and six sixes, taking 28 runs off one Joe Root over, as England again struggled to contain Australia once their quickest bowlers were out of the attack.
James Tredwell bowled just four overs, going for 38, as Watson and Clarke enjoyed themselves at England's expense.
Clarke made 75 in 76 balls before Jordan had him caught by Pietersen and Australia then went from 211 for four to 294 all out, Watson's powerful hitting helping them reach an impressive score.
As Adam Voges (8), Watson and Mitchell Johnson (2) fell trying to continue the assault, the Durham man grabbed a maiden five-wicket haul and Jordan struck again to remove James Faulkner for 10 to complete an impressive start to his international career.
Fawad Ahmed has also made a good start having been given his chance on this tour and he was involved as Kevin Pietersen was run out without scoring as England's run chase faltered.
Carberry (30), Root (21) and Morgan (30) all got themselves settled but failed to kick on, falling to Faulkner, Johnson and Voges respectively, the latter stumped by a distance.
Prior to Morgan's dismissal Luke Wright had been run out by a direct hit from George Bailey without scoring and although England were 68 for four and then 105 for five when Morgan was out, they kept fighting.
As the temperature and attendance dropped, Bopara hit five fours and Buttler attempted to bat as he had on Saturday, hitting four fours in 37 balls but there was to be no glorious ending for England.
Bopara was caught by Voges off Johnson and Buttler was bowled by Faulkner. With England's challenge effectively over, Stokes hit a quickfire 27, Jordan made 14 and Boyd Rankin four but their contributions were academic. Australia had the game won from a long way out.
Faulkner ended with three for 38 and Johnson two for 21, with Fawad, Voges and Watson taking a wicket apiece.
© Cricket World 2013