Clarke ton steers Australian victory

Skipper leads the charge as tourists outplay England to win second ODI at Old Trafford by 88 runs to take series lead.

    Clarke ton steers Australian victory
    Chasing a challenging target of 316, England were eventually bowled out for 227 [AFP]

    Michael Clarke led from the front with a century as Australia overwhelmed England by 88 runs in the second one-day international at Old Trafford on Sunday.

    Victory saw Australia take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series following Friday's washout in Leeds.

    Australia captain Clarke's 105, only his eighth hundred in 229 matches at this level, was the cornerstone of a total of 315 for seven and came on the same ground where he made 187 in the drawn third Test against England last month.

    Man-of-the-match Clarke received good support from vice-captain George Bailey (82) in a fifth-wicket stand of 155 as Australia made their highest one-day international score against England in England, surpassing their 302 for six at Nottingham's Trent Bridge in 2009.

    England, having only twice before made more than 300 to win an ODI, slumped to nine for two as Mitchell Johnson took two wickets in three deliveries and were dismissed for 227 with 34 balls to spare.

    Early wickets



    S Marsh c Buttler b Finn 0
    A Finch c Root b Tredwell 45
    S Watson c Buttler b Bopara 38
    M Clarke c Buttler b Rankin 105
    G Bailey c Tredwell b Bopara 82
    A Voges not out 16
    M Wade b Rankin 0
    J Faulkner c Morgan b Finn 18
    M Johnson not out 6
    Extras 5
    Total (7 wkts, 50 overs) 315
    Fall of wickets: 0-1 (Marsh), 2-60 (Watson), 3-116 (Finch), 4-271 (Bailey),
    5-283 (Clarke), 6-283 (Wade), 7-308 (Faulkner)


    K Pietersen c Faukner b Watson 60
    M Carberry c Clarke b Johnson 4
    J Trott c Wade b Johnson 0
    J Root b Faulkner 3
    E Morgan c Clarke b McKay 54
    R. Bopara c and b Voges 1
    J. Buttler c Johnson b Ahmed 75
    B. Stokes c Bailey b McKay 5
    J. Tredwell run out (Clarke/Faulkner) 1
    S. Finn c Voges b McKay 16
    B. Rankin not out 1
    Extras (lb1, w6) 7
    Total (all out, 44.2 overs) 227
    Fall of wickets: 1-8 (Carberry), 2-9 (Trott), 3-38 (Root), 4-97
    (Pietersen), 5-103 (Bopara), 6-154 (Morgan), 7-167 (Stokes), 8-169 (Tredwell), 9-216 (Buttler), 10-227 (Finn)

    Earlier, Ashes-winners England - resting James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann ahead of the return series 'Down Under' starting in November - appeared to be at least one bowler 'light'.

    But former Ireland paceman Boyd Rankin checked Australia's progress with two wickets in two balls including that of Clarke in an innings where off-spinner James Tredwell's eight overs cost an expensive 60 runs.

    England, after winning the toss, needed just four balls to reduce Australia to nought for one when fast bowler Steven Finn had Shaun Marsh edging to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.

    Bailey lofted Tredwell straight for six before completing a 47-ball fifty - and raising a century partnership too - with his third six, off seam-bowling all-rounder Ben Stokes (none for 66).

    But Bailey fell when he pulled medium-pacer Ravi Bopara to Tredwell at short fine leg.

    Clarke's 14 fours included several well-struck drives, cuts and pulls.

    Yet his 102-ball innings ended in ugly fashion, when he edged a swipe off Rankin to Buttler.

    England, in the absence of rested opening duo Alastair Cook, their regular captain, and Ian Bell, entrusted first-wicket duties to Kevin Pietersen and Michael Carberry.

    But Carberry had made just four when he cut left-arm fast bowler Johnson straight to Clarke at backward point.

    Johnson then produced a brute of a rising delivery that Jonathan Trott could only nick to wicketkeeper Matthew Wade as he went for nought.

    And when Joe Root was clean bowled by James Faulkner, Johnson's fellow left-arm paceman, England were 38 for three.

    Stand-in captain Eoin Morgan walked out, having rescued England from an even worse position of 25 for three with an unbeaten century in a six-wicket win against his native Ireland in Malahide on Tuesday.

    Pietersen, one of three changes to the team that played Ireland, swept leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed for six.

    But he exited for a 66-ball 60 after driving medium-pacer Watson to Faulkner at short extra-cover.

    And 97 for four became 103 for five when Bopara, who like Morgan also scored an unbeaten hundred against Ireland, was caught and bowled by left-arm spinner Adam Voges.

    When left-hander Morgan holed out for 54 off Clint McKay (three for 47), England's already fading hopes of victory went with him at 154 for six.

    Buttler made 75 off 65 balls, his maiden fifty in 16 ODIs, but he never threatened to alter the result, merely Australia's winning margin.

    The series continues at Birmingham's Edgbaston ground on Wednesday.



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