England v Australia, 2nd ODI, Cardiff June 24, 2010

Broad and Strauss set up 2-0 lead

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England 243 for 6 (Morgan 52, Strauss 51, Bollinger 3-46) beat Australia 239 for 7 (White 86*, Watson 57, Broad 4-44) by 4 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

There was no Eoin Morgan-like standout this time, but England still cruised to a comfortable four-wicket win to take a 2-0 lead in the series. From Stuart Broad's three early wickets to an impressive Andrew Strauss half-century, to a coasting partnership from Paul Collingwood and Morgan to confirm the result, it was a thoroughly professional victory for the hosts.

On a day when Australia installed a Labor prime minister born in Wales, the nation's cricketers laboured in Wales for no such reward. Cameron White ground out one of his least attractive half-centuries to drive Australia to 239 for 7 but that was never going to be enough on a surface that, while a little slow, was no minefield.

The Australian batsmen struggled to time the ball and their innings was full of thick edges and jarring woody clunks. As in Southampton, Shane Watson the only man who struck the ball cleanly but when he departed for 57, they were sent into a holding pattern from which they never really emerged.

It left their newish attack with too few runs to defend - not that the bowlers helped themselves. Clint McKay, who was included ahead of Josh Hazlewood, sent down two no-balls in his first over and Strauss murdered the free hits, with an uncharacteristically muscular six back over the bowler's head and a four driven over wide mid off.

Those efforts helped Strauss find his touch and he moved briskly to a half-century at exactly a run a ball, before he was caught and bowled off a leading edge to Nathan Hauritz for 51. He had combined with Kevin Pietersen for a 68-run second-wicket stand that set the tone for the rest of the chase.

Pietersen played within himself but still managed 33 off 38, having seen nothing threatening from McKay, Doug Bollinger and James Hopes. He pounced on anything short and found the boundary four times before he fell to a stunning catch from Ricky Ponting, who leapt off the ground at midwicket, flung his right hand high above his head and plucked a wicket for Steven Smith.

Ponting's celebration was muted. He knew that further miracles were required with so few runs to defend, and when Morgan and Collingwood settled in to a steady rhythm the result was all but decided. There was one special moment for Collingwood, who with a single to fine leg passed Alec Stewart to become England's all-time leading run scorer in one-day internationals.

Collingwood departed for 48 and Morgan for 52, both to Bollinger, but any sniff Australia were given was quickly snuffed out. England's allrounders Tim Bresnan and Graeme Swann saw them over the line with 28 balls to spare and Swann brought up the win with a six over mid off.

The result will make it very difficult for Australia to come back and win the series, and on the evidence of the first two games it's their batsmen who need to lift the most. The bowlers are still learning at international level, but an experienced batting group has failed to set a big enough target in either match.

The early wickets from Broad, who celebrated his 24th birthday in style, set the Australians back significantly. When Tim Paine tickled a legside catch to Craig Kieswetter, it made Broad the youngest man to reach 100 ODI wickets for England. His next two breakthroughs were much more convincing.

Ponting was on 13 when he received a lovely cross-seam ball that bounced more than he anticipated and a thick edge was accepted by Kieswetter. Michael Clarke (1) was the victim of a well-laid plan when Strauss brought in a short leg, Broad duly dug in a bouncer, and Clarke could do nothing but prod a catch to Swann under the helmet.

White and Smith steadied the innings but, for men who are renowned as power hitters, battled to find the boundary. There was one slog-swept six from White off Swann but apart from that, neither man went after the spinners. Even when the late batting Powerplay arrived they could only scrounge 33 from it.

Smith made 41 and White saw the innings through to its conclusion with an unbeaten 86 from 98 balls, but it was reminiscent of Clarke's scratchy anchoring role in the first game. What they really need is for Watson to bat through until the late overs.

He began with three fours in the first over and looked in form until, for the second time in three days, he was caught off a top edge. From that moment on, England were on top. They can wrap up the series in Manchester on Sunday.

Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on June 26, 2010, 6:27 GMT

    i think its gr8 2 see australia losing australia deserve this after winning icc champions trophy they were very overconfident well done england n i hope aussies will not reach even semis this time in wc............

  • dummy4fb on June 26, 2010, 6:11 GMT

    Nice going ENGLAND! well done boys this is a lessen for all the teams that they can improve and go back up to the big league.

  • dummy4fb on June 25, 2010, 14:15 GMT

    It's sad to see the decline of Aussie Warriors,it's a sad truth which we have to accept just like the fall of West Indian invincibles

    Ponting we Indians are with you...try your best ..dosn't matter you win or lose..

  • SnowSnake on June 25, 2010, 11:52 GMT

    There is a serious problem with the batsmen in the world cricket-- they don't retire and have to be pushed out. Ganguly, and Hayden are good examples. Now, it is Dravid, Hussey, Ponting. Dravid has been pushed out of ODIs. Hussey and Ponting are dragging Aus. down. Yes, Aus. bowling is inexperienced, but there is no reason for Aus. batting to show poor performance. In recent ODIs, Aus'. young batsmen are doing really well. If Aus. loses this series then Ponting should be fired from captaincy and Clark should be brought in.

  • JimDavis on June 25, 2010, 10:02 GMT

    Setting targets and bowling second are our current weak points, I've 100% confidence in our batting line up to chase down any total, but very little confidence in our bowlers getting us a result. In that respect (and with a world cup around the corner) I'm happy to see the team putting themselves into these situations when winning the toss, even if the environment dictates they should bowl first. It might mean a few harsh lessons now, but being in the firing line is the quickest way for guys like McKay to learn. Hopefully we see the success of this strategy in India.

  • diri on June 25, 2010, 9:12 GMT

    simple.....we watching the best england team off all time v the weakest aussie team off all time, time for ponting to leave gracefully

  • daworm on June 25, 2010, 9:07 GMT

    I think the Aussie selectors are missing a trick not opening with Warner. Not sure what Paines doing opening. Just because hes a keeper doesnt mean hes Gilchrist. Wouldnt mind seeing D.Hussey for Clarke either.

  • Leggie on June 25, 2010, 8:47 GMT

    India can learn a lesson or two from the England selectors.., the way they have nurtured and realized the true potential of a young budding fast bowler - Stuart Broad. Stuart Broad is 24 and this is probably the right time for a young fast bowler to start delivering results. He has been in the side for almost three years now, and in these three years it was evident that England was only "investing" for the future. His performances were ordinary, but he was still persisted. It's a tribute to the selectors for spotting talent and sticking to it. They didn't flinch - even when Stuart Braod got into the record books for the wrong reasons - for being hit for 6 sixers in a over. Compare that to how Ishant Sharma has been handled and you will know what I am talking about. Fast bowlers need to be protected and preserved for a long haul, and England has done just that.

  • upsrockstar on June 25, 2010, 8:38 GMT

    Another clinical performance from England completely shattering the confidence of the Aussies.Broad after the pasting he got from Yuvraj has truly become world class and is a vital cog in England squad.In the batting department Strauss & Morgan chipped in with good knocks.For Australia their batting has let them down again.Ponting is looking completely out of sorts and for the past one year his form & average has dipped considerably.I don't know why James Hopes is in the team,his batting is pathetic so the Australians should include the burly Andrew Symonds in the team if they have any desire to win future series,but for this they will be crushed 5-0 by the Englishmen.

  • Rag-Aaron on June 25, 2010, 8:37 GMT

    Perhaps this is no surprise. While Australia were being lauded for their unbeaten summer last year maybe they should have paid more attention to who they were playing, ie, the two teams in most turmoil in world cricket. They played NZ straight after and while the Aussies won the ODI series, it was only by 3-2 - and it's not like we're the kings of cricket down here in New Zealand at the moment either

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