Brisbane, Jan 30 (AFP) Australia claimed the one-dayinternational series against England with a 51-run win in thefifth match at the Gabba in Brisbane today.
After winning the toss and batting Australia made 249,with second-gamer Chris Woakes picking up a record-equallingsix wickets.
It seemed insufficient, but the tourists slumped to145-9, 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 theseven-match series, ending England''s run of five straight ODIseries wins, and the match also raised more than USD 6 millionfor 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 torevive their hopes but when the pair, and Eoin Morgan, fell inquick succession, they were 103-6 and all but beaten.
England captain Andrew Strauss lamented another poorbatting display. "It was another poor performance with thebat," he conceded. "There were too many soft dismissals.
"We thought 250 was very chaseable. We need to finishthis series off strongly heading into the World Cup."
Adding to the pain for England was an apparent hamstringinjury to young paceman Ajmal Shahzad while bowling late inthe Australian innings.
Shahzad, a member of England''s World Cup squad, limpedoff at the end of his eighth over, having pulled up sore fourdeliveries earlier.
Australian captain Michael Clarke, who made an overduereturn to form with a half-century, said it was a gutsy effortfrom 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 thenthe bowlers did a great job tonight. I think we areimproving."
England''s poor batting squandered the stellar effort byWoakes, who was recalled to replace spinner Michael Yardy andclaimed 6-45.
The 21-year-old Woakes became just the second Englandbowler to claim six wickets in an ODI, the other being PaulCollingwood (6-31) against Bangladesh.
His victims included four of the top six batsmen, Clarkeamong them.
However, Clarke finally showed signs of a long overduereturn to form by top-scoring for the Australians with 54 from74 balls. (More) AFP SHNLeading the side in the absence of the injured Ricky Ponting, Clarke was booed by local fans when he came out tobat.
It was the culmination of a poor season where he hadpreviously posted just one score over 50 for Australia, havingbeen out of form in Test cricket, ODIs and Twenty20s.
He finally broke the shackles of a dreadful summer whenhe hit paceman Steve Finn, making his ODI debut, forsuccessive boundaries early in his innings.
However, the loss of Shaun Marsh and the underperformingCameron White, both for 16, after opener Brad Haddin hadearlier thrown his wicket away, restrained Clarke and he hadto settle for trying to patiently rebuild the Australianinnings.
The experiment of promoting Marsh up the order failed forthe third match in succession when he fell to Collingwood inthe gentle seamer''s first over, while White was removed byWoakes.When Clarke did decide to take on the bowlers late in theinnings, he fell to a poor shot, advancing down the wicket toWoakes and skying a catch to Strauss. (AFP) SHN