Trott heroics keep England alive
England 8 for 299 (Trott 102, Prior 67, Hussey 4-21) beat Australia 7 for 278 (Watson 64, Trott 2-31) by 21 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Jonathan Trott's calculating century ensured England stayed in the series with a 21-run victory that upset Australia's national holiday in Adelaide. The tourists began the game needing to win and the scenario won't change when they head to Brisbane for Sunday's fifth ODI, but they have been boosted by an end to four consecutive limited-overs losses.
Trott's perfectly timed 102 off 126 balls stood tall on a day that was meant to be a celebration of all things Australia, but the home supporters left unhappy as the series score-line in the seven-game contest settled at 3-1. Trott, bowling his steady medium pace, even managed the valuable breakthroughs of Cameron White (44) and David Hussey (28) to end the pair's rescue act.
England's 8 for 299, which was reduced slightly by effective slow bowling, was more than enough for Australia, especially when the dangerman Shane Watson fell for a bright 64. England's bowlers did not allow the batsmen to gain any rhythm on a sluggish pitch and were able to wait for the locals to make mistakes as they tried to force the pace.
The opener Brad Haddin burned brightly for 20 before chipping Chris Tremlett to cover and Shaun Marsh (1) was caught and bowled by James Anderson (2 for 57). Michael Clarke's run struggles continued when he was bowled on 15 by the frugal Paul Collingwood and the side was 4 for 116 when Watson aimed a big drive and was caught behind off Ajmal Shahzad. Steven Smith managed a personal best of 46 and Brett Lee registered 39 as the game wound down, with the pair seeing the side to 7 for 278.
While Trott's bowling was a bonus, his best work was undoubtedly done with the bat. His century built on Matt Prior's brutal 67 off 58 as the top order maintained a ferocious pace.
Trott backed up his 84 not out in Sydney on Sunday with a much more fluent contribution that drove England towards a formidable total. He unfurled a couple of delightful straight drives, including one off John Hastings to move to 85, and reached his century with a single to midwicket.
He didn't push on after the milestone and played-on to Hussey shortly after raising his bat, walking off with six boundaries and a long ovation. The only major discomfort he experienced before then came on 30 when he found himself at the same end as Prior after his defensive shot rolled on to the base of the stumps. Lee followed through but his wild throw back to the bowler's end was wide and Trott survived.
Collingwood, who launched Lee for six to midwicket in the Powerplay, and Michael Yardy provided some late muscle to ensure the big score. Collingwood passed 5000 ODI runs, the first England batsman to do so, during his run-a-ball 27 while Yardy grabbed an unbeaten 39 off 27. Hussey, the offspinner, was called late, knocking over Collingwood and then dismissing Shahzad in the final over.
Hussey, who sneaked 4 for 21 off four overs, and Smith (3 for 33 off seven) collected career-best figures as they restricted batsmen who had enjoyed the offerings of their faster team-mates. Xavier Doherty also enjoyed the conditions as he gave away 44 from his 10 overs.
Prior and Trott delivered the early pain to the Australians after the visitors won the toss. He and Trott put on 113 at almost a run a ball for the second wicket following the early loss of Andrew Strauss for 8. Prior wasted little time in getting going and his half-century came when he pulled Lee off the front foot for six, with England moving to 1 for 100 after 15 overs.
Smith, the legspinner, picked up Prior in his second over when he cut to point and had more success when Kevin Pietersen (12) chipped to long-on. Two balls later Ian Bell exited without scoring, leaving England stuttering at 4 for 158.
Australia's fast bowlers seemed in trouble from the moment Lee's first over went for 12, with him starting with five wides down the leg-side. Lee finished with 1 for 68 off eight while Bollinger also struggled at the start and finish, giving away 55 in nine. The generosity helped England ruin the hosts' party, but the visitors still require victory in the remaining three games to steal the trophy.
Peter English is the Australasia editor of ESPNcricinfo