Michael Clarke belts his first ever one-day century against England to lead his team to victory for the first time since February.
How it went down
England won the toss and much to Michael Clarke's amusement elected to field on a deck that looked perfect for batting that was only going to get slower as the day progressed. Shaun Marsh was dismissed before the Aussies had scored and Shane Watson was given out the very next ball, which made the English decision appear pretty smart, but Watson reviewed his decision and was given not out and forged a 60 run partnership with Aaron Finch to steady the ship. Watson and Finch both fell before they could score half centuries, but they set a solid base for George Bailey and Michael Clarke who put together a 155-run partnership off 130 balls to set the English 316 runs for victory.
Mitchell Johnson made sure the English couldn't get anything started in their run chase, dismissing opener Michael Carberry in the fourth over and taking the wicket of Jonathan Trott with the next ball, leaving the Poms reeling at 2-9 off the first four overs. Wickets continued to tumble as the Poms set about trying to keep up with the required run rate, but their biggest partnership of the match could only manage 59 runs and they fell 88 runs short of Australia's mammoth total.
Bluffer's guide: "Is this the same England that beat us by 48 runs in the Champions Trophy? Oh, it isn't? That probably explains it then."
QUICK SINGLE: Clarke ton sets up win over England
Two moments that mattered
1. AUSSIES TAKE TO TREDWELL. England went in with a fairly inexperienced bowling attack for this game and spinner James Tredwell is one of the side's more experienced hands, which is one of the reasons why the Aussies must have been trying so hard to hit him out of the attack. He was brought on to bowl the 12th over and only went for six runs, but was taken off once Ravi Bopara had removed Watson. He was then brought on in the 18th over and from there it was go time for the Aussies. They took eight runs off that over, 13 off his next and 10 off the one after that, which finally included the wicket of Finch, but the damage had already been done on the scoreboard.
2. TROTT GOES FOR A GOLDEN DUCK. Mitchell Johnson's ball to remove Carberry wasn't much to write home about, a loose ball wide of off stump that the English opener cut straight to backward point. But his next ball to remove Trott was an absolute beauty, back of a length and angled across the batsman, he couldn't get his bat out of the way and produced an edge through to Matthew Wade, that left England reeling in their run chase.
Hero of the day
It wasn't just that it had been a long time since Clarke had tasted victory as captain of Australia, he had also gone a long time without registering a century in one-dayers. The last time he achieved the feat was in March last year in a game against Sri Lanka at Adelaide Oval. His knock in this game was perfectly measured, allowing Bailey to be the more aggressive partner, while he still kept scoring at a run a ball to keep the pressure on the English bowlers. Now we know why he wanted to play in the one-day series.
It was only a matter of time…
Before Clarke scored a one-day century against England. He came so close at The Oval in 2010, going into the final over on 98, Clarke took a single off the first ball and never got back on strike, leaving him stranded on 99. Of course, England's bowling attack looked much more formidable in that match, so he was a monty to reach triple-figures against this less experienced line-up.
It's a numbers game
306 – The most runs England has ever chased to win a one-day international. Once Australia had made 315 it looked as though the result was purely academic.
315 – The most runs Australia has ever scored in a one-day international in England.
80 – Per cent of Michael Clarke's top five scores that have been scored on foreign shores.
What caught our eye
For all the criticism levelled at the DRS during the Test series, things seemed to be working much better in the ODIs. Watson's decision to review his first dismissal ended up being a very marginal call. It was understandable that he was given out with it being near impossible to tell with the naked eye whether the ball had struck bat or pad first. Slowing down the vision convinced third umpire Aleem Dar that the ball had taken bat first and he reversed the decision, although the English commentators were clearly seeing what they wanted to see suggesting that Watson had somehow hit his pad rather than the ball. Unfortunately the DRS came to bite Watson later on, when the Poms reviewed a not out decision and Dar gave him out caught behind.
Did he really say that?
"I'd like to play every Test and one-dayer at Manchester." Michael Clarke may have scored lots of runs at Old Trafford, but how many games would be washed out if he got his wish?
Soundtrack of the day
(Just Like) Starting Over – John Lennon
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 09 September, 2013 6:55AM AEDT