Australia claimed the one-day international series against England with a 51-run win in the fifth match at the Gabba in Brisbane.
After winning the toss and batting Australia made 249,with second-gamer Chris Woakes picking up a record-equalling six wickets.
It seemed insufficient,but the tourists slumped to 145-9,before a late flurry from Steve Finn (35 off 24 balls) boosted their score to a more respectable 198.
The result gave Australia an unbeatable 4-1 lead in the seven-match series,ending England’s run of five straight ODI series wins,and the match also raised more than USD 6 million for victims of the recent Queensland floods.
The English were in early trouble in the chase at 22-3,when Brett Lee (2-21) was on a hat-trick.
Kevin Pietersen (40) and Ian Bell (36) put on 73 to revive their hopes but when the pair,and Eoin Morgan,fell in quick succession,they were 103-6 and all but beaten.
England captain Andrew Strauss lamented another poor batting display. “It was another poor performance with the bat,” he conceded. “There were too many soft dismissals.
“We thought 250 was very chaseable. We need to finish this series off strongly heading into the World Cup.”
Adding to the pain for England was an apparent hamstring injury to young paceman Ajmal Shahzad while bowling late in the Australian innings.
Shahzad,a member of England’s World Cup squad,limped off at the end of his eighth over,having pulled up sore four deliveries earlier.
Australian captain Michael Clarke,who made an overdue return to form with a half-century,said it was a gutsy effort from the Aussies.
“I think we did really well to scratch out 249,” he said.
“We weren’t looking all that flash at one stage,and then the bowlers did a great job tonight. I think we are improving.”
England’s poor batting squandered the stellar effort by Woakes,who was recalled to replace spinner Michael Yardy and claimed 6-45.
The 21-year-old Woakes became just the second England bowler to claim six wickets in an ODI,the other being Paul Collingwood (6-31) against Bangladesh.
His victims included four of the top six batsmen,Clarke among them.
However,Clarke finally showed signs of a long overdue return to form by top-scoring for the Australians with 54 from 74 balls.