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 Wednesday, 22 January, 2003, 18:39 GMT
England qualify despite loss
Michael Clarke (right)
Clarke had an excellent debut with a wicket and runs
VB Series, Adelaide:
Australia 153-6 (47.3 overs) beat England 152 (48.3 overs) by four wickets.

England qualified for the finals of the VB Series by picking up a vital bonus point despite losing to Australia in Adelaide.

Nasser Hussain's side nearly blew a golden opportunity against a weakened Australian side, making just 152 after winning the toss and batting first.

VB Series table
Australia P7 W6 L1 BP2 Pts32 RR0.60
England P8 W3 L5 BP1 Pts20 RR-0.02
Sri Lanka P7 W2 L5 BP1 Pts14 RR-0.57
Australia rested several key players, but their second string attack soon rolled England over.

But a half century from Paul Collingwood, three wickets from Ian Blackwell and a tight Jimmy Anderson spell clinched the bonus point by virtue of denying Australia victory within 40 overs.

Marcus Trescothick was caught behind aiming a lazy drive against Nathan Bracken and Michael Vaughan gave Adam Gilchrist his second catch off Brad Williams after making a sprightly 21.

Bracken deceived Nasser Hussain with a slower ball to take a return catch and Nick Knight top-edged an attempted pull to give the young bowler his third wicket.

Alec Stewart scratched around for 38 balls for just six runs before holing out to cover off Shane Watson and Blackwell was out for a duck to leave England reeling on 71-6.

Paul Collingwood
Collingwood kept his cool during England's innings

But Collingwood repaired some of the damage with an intelligent half century, putting on 45 with Ronnie Irani in the process.

Irani scored 20 before holing out to long-on to gift Michael Clarke his first international wicket on debut and England's tail did not last long.

Collingwood finished unbeaten on 63 off 106 balls, including a six and three fours.

Anderson took the wicket of Jimmy Maher in the first over of a remarkable spell that yielded five consecutive maidens and figures of 1-12.

They were the most economical limited-overs figures for an England bowler since Ian Botham's 2-12 against Pakistan in the 1992 World Cup.

Damien Martyn (59) and Michael Bevan (30) came together after Andrew Caddick had removed Adam Gilchrist.

And the pair were reduced to a crawl as they put on 91, before Blackwell removed Bevan.

Brett Lee, brought in to boost the run rate, fell to Vaughan for a duck and Australia had lost four wickets for eight runs when Blackwell accounted for Martyn and Andrew Symonds.

Collingwood took a spectacular catch to remove Martyn and Symonds was stumped playing no stroke for yet another duck.

England gained their bonus point, but Clarke kept his cool to hit the winning run, finishing on 39 not out off just 47 balls - a positively electric rate in the context of this match.

Australia: A Gilchrist (capt), J Maher, D Martyn, M Bevan, A Symonds, M Clarke, S Watson, B Hogg, B Lee, B Williams, N Bracken.

England: N Hussain (capt), M Trescothick, N Knight, M Vaughan, A Stewart, P Collingwood, I Blackwell, R Irani, A Caddick, J Anderson, M Hoggard.

 BBC Five Live's Pat Murphy
"Collingwood gave England some hope on a poor pitch"
 England captain Nasser Hussain
"We didn't judge a good score on this wicket"
 Australia captain Adam Gilchrist
"We're getting a bit of momentum up now"
England take on Australia and Sri Lanka


Group matches

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19 Jan 03 | Cricket
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