Australia thrashed England by 88 runs in the second One-Day International (ODI) at Old Trafford, Manchester on Sunday.
Needing 316 runs to win the tie, England stuttered right at the start of their innings, losing the wickets of Michael Carberry, Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell early. However, senior batsman Kevin Pietersen and skipper Eoin Morgan revived the run-chase with well-timed half-centuries.
Pietersen struck two boundaries and two sixes in his 66-ball knock of 60. In Morgan’s company, he added 59 runs for the fourth wicket. However, the partnership was followed by the fall of two quick wickets to put England again on the back-foot.
Jos Buttler gave company to Morgan to help England get back into the contest. However, soon after Morgan’s dismissal, the batting line-up fell apart.
Earlier, Australian skipper Michael Clarke led his team to 315 for seven with a brilliant century. Winning the toss and electing to bat first, England got off to a good start as Steven Finn dismissed opener Shaun Marsh in the first over of the innings.The left-hander tried to drive an away going full length delivery and managed to get a thick outside edge. The visitors were one down with no run on the board.
Coming in to bat at number three, Watson played a cautious innings. He added 60 runs for the second wicket with the Aaron Finch. In his 51-ball knock of 38 he hit six boundaries and a massive six.
However, the steady knock came to an end with a mistimed shot as Watson looked to cut a short of good length delivery but managed to find an edge which was safely taken by the wicketkeeper. Although the all-rounder was adjudged out after checking television replays, Watson seemed disappointed with the decision.
However, opener Finch continued to score freely. He hit four balls to the fence and one out of the ground in his run-a-ball knock of 45. In company of skipper Clarke he added another crucial partnership of 55 runs for the third wicket before gifting his wicket to James Tredwell.
George Bailey walked into bat with the match still in balance. It was from this point that the visitors seized their chances and dominated the innings. Clarke and Bailey added 155 runs for the fourth-wicket partnership in 130 balls to put Australia in a commanding position. Bailey was the aggressor in their partnership as he slammed five boundaries and four sixes in his 67-ball knock of 82. When Bailey departed Australia were comfortably placed at 271 for four with six and half overs remaining in the innings.
The day belonged to the Australian skipper who played a fine innings of 105. His knock included 14 sublime boundaries. Although the innings was dominated by the batsmen, Boyd Rankin managed to return with decent figures of two for 49 in his 10 overs.
Australia 315 for 7 in 50 overs (Michael Clarke 105, George Bailey 82; Boyd Rankin 2 for 49) beat England 227 in 44.2 overs (Jos Buttler 73, Kevin Pietersen 60, Eoin Morgan 54; Clint McKay 3 for 47) by 88 runs.