ENGLAND v AUSTRALIA
At The Oval, June 21. Australia won by eight wickets. Toss: England.
A tournament that began badly and faded for England was completed with arguably their worst performance of the series, prompting an inquest into their one-day strategy following 11 successive defeats. Australia coasted to victory with nearly 20 overs to spare, despite resting Gillespie and Warne; even a change of signature tune from The Great Escape theme to the bizarrely appropriate "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life", from Monty Python's Life of Brian, could not change England's fortunes. Having slipped into trouble once again at 81 for five, they needed Hollioake, Croft and Caddick to save face. But for the eighth time in their last 11 innings England failed to pass 200. Once Gilchrist and Ponting joined forces, adding 124 in 137 balls, it was no contest.
© John Wisden & Co