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February 6, 2011
Australia 7 for 279 (Voges 80*, Hussey 60, Anderson 3-48) beat England 222 (Yardy 60, Johnson 3-18, Tait 3-48) by 57 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Australia rounded off their international summer in style with a commanding 57-run victory in Perth. It wasn't a high-quality match, with the exception of the batting from Adam Voges and David Hussey, as a long season drew to a close with two patched-up sides on show. However, Australia's depth came to the fore again as Voges hit a career-best 80 before England's mentally-finished top order was blown away to end hopes of a face-saving win.
Nothing will compensate for the crushing loss in the Ashes series, but Australia's resurgent one-day form has suggested a fourth consecutive World Cup title isn't out of reach, especially if key players return from injury. Even taking into account England's own injury problems and declining form, the home side's performances have boded well in the absence of Ricky Ponting, Mike Hussey and Nathan Hauritz - all key figures in the one-day side.
During the Test matches, Australia's reserves did not appear up to international standard, but the team has not retained its No.1 one-day ranking by luck. Their pace attack is rapid, if wayward at times - they matched England's wide tally of 19 - while the lack of a matchwinning spinner isn't so harshly felt. Meanwhile, the batting is packed with stroke-makers.
Two were on show here after the top order wobbled to 4 for 102 before Hussey and Voges added 95 in 13 overs. This could be a one-off opportunity for Voges but if an injury replacement is needed for the World Cup, and Shaun Marsh doesn't recover, he might have put his name ahead of Callum Ferguson, who edged James Anderson to slip for 15.
Once Australia had posted a competitive total it was always unlikely that the visitors would be able to dig deep enough to make it a contest with the prospect of their flight home tomorrow evening. Mentally, a number of the players have long since been in those aircraft seats.
Andrew Strauss has plenty of reasons to be feeling weary after arriving in Australia on October 29 and it was a tired shot that ended his series when he was very late against Shaun Tait. The bat had barely come down when the ball knocked back the off stump. Steve Davies, back opening after the reshuffle caused by Eoin Morgan's injury, was unconvincing in his short stay until flapping at Doug Bollinger to complete an unhappy few weeks.
Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen briefly consolidated but there was never any great sense of permanency even from the in-form Trott. He was drawn into a flat-footed drive against Johnson which sent a thick edge to first slip, then Pietersen's uncertain stay ended with a drive to backward point. Even taking into account the looseness of England's batting this was the good Mitchell Johnson and he added a third when Ian Bell carved down to third man.
At 5 for 64 the game was over. Matt Prior played some handsome drives before giving Jason Krejza his maiden one-day wicket to end another unfulfilled innings and Michael Yardy battled hard to reduce the margin of defeat with his highest ODI score. But it had ceased to matter in the wider context.
England's makeshift bowling attack had done a decent job through the first half of the innings as the quicks started well and Yardy picked up two, but in a familiar pattern the work of the front line bowlers was squandered. Hussey and Voges took advantage with some positive strokeplay as they dispatched the loose deliveries on offer. Hussey had been given a life on 4 when Luke Wright dropped a return chance that should have been held and reached his fifty from 44 balls, which included a pulled six off Yardy.
With his boundary-clearing ability and a Powerplay to come he could have cut loose during the final 10 overs, but was squared up by Liam Plunkett and got a leading edge to backward point. Plunkett ended with 2 for 49, which was an impressive effort considering that he only arrived in the country three days ago following a 40-hour journey from the Caribbean.
Voges, though, remained to reach fifty off 45 deliveries, regularly showing his strength square of the wicket and rapid running. Although the boundaries dried up he placed the ball well to ensure 34 came off the last three overs, but Australia were helped by England's waywardness. That was symptomatic of a team not fully focussed and the batting effort was further evidence that minds were elsewhere. If they want to perform at the World Cup there isn't much time to refocus, but Australia can leave for the subcontinent this week in good spirits.
Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Andrew McGlashan
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