Watson ton secures series for Aussies

Australia

A record ton from Australia all-rounder Shane Watson, and a century stand with Michael Clarke, gave Australia a formidable total in the fifth ODI against England, which the hosts fail to chase down and lost by 49 runs in Southampton.

A record ton from Australia all-rounder Shane Watson, and a century stand with Michael Clarke, gave Australia a formidable total in the fifth ODI against England, which the hosts fail to chase down and lost by 49 runs in Southampton.

The Aussies were all out in their final over for 298, after Watson's 143, the best ODI score by an Aussie in England, and Clarke's 75 ensured a big score on a flat track. England rookie paceman Ben Stokes was instrumental in ensuring a score under 300.

The visiting bowling attack then went to work to ensure the two-one series win, with pacemen James Faulkner and Mitchell Johnson sharing the spoils as only Ravi Bopara and Jos Buttler provided resistance on their way to 249 all out.

Australia skipper Clarke, playing despite a sore back, won the toss and chose to bat at a venue where the par score is 290-odd. England's Chris Jordan, on debut, soon got the ball rolling though, removing Phil Hughes for two.

The score then climbed to 48, with Watson and Aaron Finch in the middle, before a rain delay of half an hour disrupted proceedings. This was all England needed to break through, as Stokes removed Finch and Matthew Wade with successive balls at the restart.

Clarke was able to deny the paceman his hat-trick though, and he and Watto soon picked up the pace, especially against the spinners. The pair put on 163 runs in 22 overs, at nearly eight to the over, with Joe Root and James Tredwell taking the bulk of the punishment.

Clarke's innings of 75, off 76 balls, came to an end in the 32nd over, with the score on 211, as he hit Jordan to Kevin Pietersen at mid off. Earlier in the over, he'd been dropped by Boyd Rankin in the same fielding position.

Watson continued towards his eighth ODI century, making it off 87 balls, and went on to overtake Ricky Ponting's ODI record in England. He was out to Stokes on his 107th delivery faced, caught behind by Buttler, who bagged five dismissals.

Of the rest of the batting line up, only Faulkner was able to reach double figures as the England bowlers, led by Stokes, recovered manfully. A four by Fawad Ahmed in the 49th over ensured the score was close to 300.

England's innings got off to the worst possible start, as Pietersen, again opening the batting with Michael Carberry, found himself run out for a duck in the first over as they tried for a suicidal single.

Carberry then survived a number of edges through the slip cordon, alongside Joe Root, as the pair battled their way to 50 in the 13th over. Carberry's luck ran out then, having faced 50 balls for his 30, as he was trapped LBW by Faulkner.

Root was out three overs later, bowled by Johnson for 21, before Luke Wright was also run out for a duck. He tried to take on Bailey's ambidextrous skills, but was well short as he didn't slide his bat or even try to dive.

Skipper Eoin Morgan, who will be keen to put this series behind him, managed to make 30 runs before the combined efforts of Voges and Wade saw him stumped while trying to come down the track.

This left Bopara and Buttler to try to salvage the chase, and for a while it looked like they could actually do it, despite the double-figure run rate. They put on 92 together in 13 overs, though neither managed to hit a six.

Buttler was the first to depart, signalling the end of the crowd's hopes, as he was bowled for 42 while trying to drive Faulkner. Bopara followed him to the change room an over later, caught by Voges off Johnson for 62.

Stokes showed his potential with the bat by making a nifty 27, but with no-one to partner him it was in vain, as Jordan fell for 14 and Rankin, the final wicket of the match, for four.

<b>England:</b> Michael Carberry, Kevin Pietersen, Luke Wright, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Ravi Bopara, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Chris Jordan, James Tredwell, Boyd Rankin.

<b>Australia:</b> Aaron Finch, Phil Hughes, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke, George Bailey, Adam Voges, Matthew Wade, James Faulkner, Mitchell Johnson, Fawad Ahmed, Clint McKay.

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