Ponting batters England


Victory saw Australia go 5-0 up in the seven-match series as they stayed on course to whitewash their oldest foes. Set a seemingly challenging 300, master batsman Ponting’s 126 -- his best ODI score against England, surpassing the 119 he made at Melbourne in 2002 -- took Australia to within sight of victory.

They still needed 39 off 36 balls after Stuart Broad had struck twice in the 44th over, Callum Ferguson plumb lbw and Ponting driving to Owais Shah at long-off.

But Cameron White and Mitchell Johnson, who ended the match with a six off Ryan Sidebottom saw them home with 10 balls to spare.

England’s batting had repeatedly failed this series.

But here they made 299 -- and still it wasn’t enough.

Former Ireland batsman Eoin Morgan top-scored with 58 -- his best for his adopted country. But Ponting, who shared a third-wicket stand of 133 with vice-captain Michael Clarke (52), showed how hundreds, not fifties, win games.

Ponting was soon into his stride and struck a huge straight six off left-arm quick Sidebottom. But on 40 he was dropped by opposing captain Andrew Strauss, a drive off leg-spinner Adil Rashid skimming the England skipper’s fingers at short extra-cover on its way to the boundary.

SCORE BOARD

England

Strauss lbw b Hauritz    35
Denly c Hussey b Johnson    45
Bopara c Hauritz b Watson    18
Prior st Paine b Hauritz    37
Shah c Paine b Johnson    31
Morgan c Siddle b Bracken    58
Mascarenhas c Johnson b Watson    19
Broad (run out)    22
Rashid (run out)    18
Bresnan c Bracken b Siddle    4
Sidebottom (not out)    3

Extras (LB-1, W-6, NB-2)    9
Total (all out, 50 overs)    299

Fall of wickets: 1-61, 2-95, 3-105, 4-165, 5-192, 6-230, 7-267, 8-272, 9-278, 10-299.

Bowling: Siddle 10-1-50-1, Bracken 8-1-43-1, Johnson 10-0-80-0, Watson 10-0-60-2, Hauritz 10-0-54-2, Clarke 2-0-11-0.

Australia

Watson c Mascarenhas b Bresnan    36
Paine c Rashid b Bresnan    16
Ponting c Shah b Broad    126
Clarke c Shah b Rashid    52
Hussey c S’bottom b Mascarenhas    6
Ferguson lbw b Broad    17
White (not out)    24
Johnson (not out)    18

Extras (B-1, W-6)    7
Total (for 6 wkts, 48.2 overs)    302

Fall of wickets: 1-45, 2-76, 3-209, 4-226, 5-255, 6-261.

Bowling: Broad 9-0-57-2, Sidebottom 9.2-0-43-0, Bresnan 10-0-76-2, Mascarenhas 10-0-49-1, Rashid 7-0-55-1, Bopara 3-0-21-0.

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