Perth, February 7, 2011
By Scott Coghlan
Australia wrapped up an emphatic 6-1 series win over a weary England with a comprehensive 57-run win in the seventh and final one-day international at the WACA Ground in Perth on Sunday.
The home side made 279-7 after winning the toss, and in reply England managed just 222 in their final match of a marathon Ashes tour, despite a lusty unbeaten 60 by Michael Yardy.
England, who now return home for a few days' rest before departing for the World Cup next weekend, were never in the hunt after opener Andrew Strauss and Steven Davies both fell for ducks to leave them struggling at 5-2.
Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen tried to restart the innings, but the loss of both their wickets and that of Ian Bell left England on 64-5 and their hopes in tatters.
Mitchell Johnson claimed 3-18 for the home side and the wayward Shaun Tait 3-48, but he also conceded nine wides and five no-balls.
England captain Strauss rejected the idea that his side were not mentally focused for the match. "Our minds are on the plane home now, but that wasn't the case today. We didn't play very well. I thought 280 was a gettable target on this wicket and to loss five wickets in the first 15 overs is criminal," Strauss said.
Stand-in Australian captain Cameron White said Australia still needed to fine tune their game ahead of the World Cup. "It is good to go in winning, but I still think there is a bit of improvement left. We are yet to combine a good bat and ball game," he said.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, half-centuries by Perth natives David Hussey and man-of-the-match Adam Voges helped the home side recover from a slow start to post an imposing total.
Australia rested Michael Clarke and Shane Watson, and were 103-4 in the 26th over when White was dismissed for 24. Hussey and Voges then brought their experience in local conditions to the crease to accelerate the Australian innings, putting on 95 in 83 balls.
Voges, recalled for his first game of the series and not named in Australia's 15-man World Cup squad, remained unbeaten on 80 not out, while Hussey made 60.
It was Voges' highest score in his 15 one-day internationals and came from just 72 balls. The Australian innings got off to a controversial start when recalled opener Tim Paine was given out lbw to Liam Plunkett, flown in from the Caribbean just for the final game, for five on review.
The Virtual Eye system said he was hit in line and that the ball was going on to hit the stumps, though Paine was well down the pitch when the ball struck his pad.
Although England dropped a couple of sharp chances, they also held two magnificent catches. Opener Brad Haddin (27) was superbly caught by an alert Steve Finn on the long-on boundary from the bowling of Michael Yardy.
Finn caught the ball inside the boundary rope, but his momentum carried him over, forcing him to throw it up in the air and step back inside the rope to complete the catch.
Matthew Prior, who handed the wicketkeeping gloves to the recalled Davies, took a classic on the mid-wicket boundary to remove Mitchell Johnson for 26 from the bowling of James Anderson (3-48).
Prior leapt backwards as he retreated towards the boundary to snare the catch well above his head. England went into the match without creative batsman Eoin Morgan, who is in doubt for the World Cup due to a finger injury.
Brief Scores: Australia 279 for 7 in 50 overs (Adam Voges 80, David Hussey 60, James Anderson 3 for 48, Liam Plunkett 2 for 49) beat England 222 in 44 overs (Michael Yardy 60, Matt Prior 39, Mitchell Johnson 3 for 18, Shaun Tait 3 for 48)