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Dismal England lose by 9 wickets
January 26, 2007 15:31 IST
Australia heaped more humiliation on England with a nine-wicket victory in their tri-series one-day international at Adelaide Oval on Friday, as the tourists produced their worst batting display of the disastrous tour.
Australia cruised to an easy victory with more than half of their 50 overs to spare, booking their place in the finals after England crumbled to be all out for 110.
England's dismal total was their lowest of the current tour and ninth lowest of the 450 one-day matches they have contested since limited-overs internationals started in 1971.
The tourists looked to have reached their nadir after being bowled out for 129 in their second Ashes test defeat in Adelaide then 120 in their 90-run loss to New Zealand three days ago, but their latest effort eclipsed both of those.
Ian Bell top scored with 35 off 31 balls and was the only batsman to make any impression against an Australian side missing two of their frontline bowlers.
Bell slammed a six and two fours in a defiant display but only four other players made double figures and none made 20 after Andrew Flintoff won the toss and elected to bat first on a flat pitch offering little assistance to the bowlers.
Australian paceman Mitchell Johnson, who was promoted to the team after Glenn McGrath and Nathan Bracken were given the match off, captured four wickets for 45.
Brett Lee (2-8), Stuart Clark (1-21) and part-time spinners Brad Hogg (2-16) and Andrew Symonds (1-20) shared the rest.
England's innings came to an abrupt halt in less than 35 overs, forcing the Australians to begin their reply before the day session had ended.
Australia had gotten almost half their target when the teams took their scheduled innings break, then polished off the remaining runs before the floodlights were turned on for the night session.
Australia suffered a minor hiccup when Adam Gilchrist was run out for 23 off 19 balls, including four boundaries off one over from Liam Plunkett, but Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting guided them to victory with an unbroken 79-run partnership.
Ponting finished unbeaten on 51 from 61 balls after being dropped by Paul Collingwood at slip early in his innings while Hayden was not out 30 off 68 deliveries at the end.
Ponting hit the winning runs off Chris Tremlett to bring up his half-century in the 25th over.
The Australians bowled superbly during England's innings but were helped by some poor batting, with several players just throwing their wickets away.
Mal Loye departed for nine after flaying at a wide delivery from Lee while fellow opener Andrew Strauss went for 17 when he tried a late cut off Johnson that caught the edge.
Bell hit a simple catch to Michael Clarke at point just when he was looking like getting a big score while Ed Joyce pulled Lee to Johnson at mid-on.
Collingwood gifted Clark a catch at mid-off before Flintoff steered a simple catch to Ponting at slip to expose the tailend. England's last five wickets tumbled for just seven runs.
Australia, unbeaten after five matches in the series, play New Zealand in Perth on Sunday while England, currently in last place behind the Kiwis, play New Zealand in the Western Australia capital two days later.