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Last Updated: Friday, 19 January 2007, 10:44 GMT
England make Aussies work for win
One-day series, Brisbane: Australia 156-6 (38.4 overs) beat England 155 (42 overs) by four wickets

By Martin Gough

Bracken celebrates
Bracken took three wickets, including Loye for 36

Australia completed a four-wicket one-day win over England but an early collapse made them sweat in Brisbane.

Despite debutant Mal Loye's 36, England were bowled out for 155, Glenn McGrath taking 3-24 and Nathan Bracken 3-21.

But Jon Lewis and James Anderson shared the early wickets to leave the home side in trouble on 48-4 at one point.

After a stand of 45 with Michael Clarke (36), Mike Hussey survived a caught behind appeal on 19 to hit the winning runs in the 39th over and finish on 46.

Needing just 3.12 runs per over at the start of their innings, Australia had their sights on an early night.

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But they did not count on the effectiveness of Lewis and a fired-up Anderson, who revived memories of his international one-day debut in Australia four years ago.

Lewis fed left-handers Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden hoicks over midwicket, while Anderson lurked in the deep to collect a couple of high-pressure catches.

Lewis also had Andrew Symonds wafting at a wide delivery to get an edge behind and then had Clarke caught behind with the second ball of his second spell for figures of 4-36.

Anderson's opening eight-over spell cost just 19 for the wicket of Brad Hodge (in the side with Ricky Ponting rested) and he accounted for Cameron White on his return.

But he was unlucky not to have claimed the wicket of Hussey, as TV replays showed a thin edge behind in the 30th over, with Australia still 52 short of victory.

Back as captain, Andrew Flintoff used his four front-line bowlers in an attempt to bowl Australia out - England's only real hope of victory.

But Hussey's survival was key as Australia claimed a bonus point for completing victory in less than 40 overs.

By the end of the day, McGrath's stuttering arrival in the attack, when his first ball was pulled by Loye through midwicket and his second slog-swept for another boundary, was well behind him.

Loye gets after Lee
Loye slog-swept Lee for six and took two boundaries off McGrath

Loye, aged 34, was flown in from New Zealand, where he was playing state cricket, to play in his 264th one-day match when Michael Vaughan injured his hamstring.

His front-foot shot off Lee in the fifth over would not have looked out of place in any of the previous 263, played for Northants and, for the last three years, Lancashire.

While Lee, returning after a bout of bronchitis, took a while to find his feet, left-armer Bracken was a model of consistency, his opening six-over spell costing just 14.

The wicket of Loye was a just reward, as he shaped the ball away to gain an edge to a wide first slip and end an opening stand of 52 - the highest by England against Australia all winter.

Andrew Strauss's edge over slip off Lee for six indicated his luck might be turning after a difficult tour but an athletic diving, one-handed catch by cover fielder Hodge proved to the contrary, punishing an uncontrolled pull shot.

It was downhill from there for the tourists, denied singles by the accuracy of McGrath, Bracken and then Mitchell Johnson on his home ground.

Ed Joyce endured another failure, getting an inside edge behind with a loose push, and Paul Collingwood edged his first ball behind in McGrath's next over to force Paul Nixon to avoid the hat-trick.

In-between, England's disastrous season was summed up by the run out of Ian Bell, initially ignoring non-striker Collingwood's call for a single to backward point then caught out of his ground trying to make his mind up.

Flintoff, on 27, was just beginning to open up when another outstanding catch from Hodge, at deep square leg, stopped him abruptly.

Jamie Dalrymple made his demotion to eight below keeper Nixon look ill-advised with a gritty innings before he was the last man out for 31 - the second-highest score of the innings.

SEE ALSO
Flintoff laments batting failure
19 Jan 07 |  England


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