Second one-day international, Lord's: Australia 249-8 beat England 210 by 39 runs Match scorecard
Mitchell Johnson was one of four Australians to take two wickets
By Oliver Brett
England threw away a strong position to lose the second one-dayer at Lord's and go 2-0 down in the seven-match series.
Cruising at 74-0 from 14 overs as they chased a target of 250, they lost four wickets for 23 runs and finally slid to 210 all out in the 47th over.
Australia bowled and fielded well but were helped by England delaying their final powerplay until the 46th over.
Paul Collingwood made 56 before he was last man out, yorked by Brett Lee, who took 2-22 from 8.1 overs.
The match followed a similar pattern to the first game at The Oval, with England winning the toss and fielding first, producing a decent performance with the ball and then falling short in the run-chase.
But this time they failed to threaten Australia's total and looked in desperate need of the kind of authoritative batting so often provided by Kevin Pietersen, who is still recuperating following Achilles tendon surgery and is expected to miss the Champions Trophy.
England had little excuse as Ravi Bopara and Andrew Strauss created a good platform for the middle order to take advantage of - but not for the first time they were found wanting.
England's bowlers did a tremendous job for 45 overs during Australia's innings, restricting them to 201-7, with the one fluent contributor to that total, Callum Ferguson, back in the pavilion.
But despite then losing number nine Lee in the subsequent over, the Aussies powered through the final powerplay - with Mitchell Johnson at the helm - to take 48 runs in all from the last five overs with Nathan Hauritz intelligently giving Johnson (43 not out from 25 balls) as much of the strike as possible.
England's catching remained good, but the ground fielding was patchy, with James Anderson and Graeme Swann conspiring to miss a golden opportunity to run Johnson out before he had scored.
Lee proved too hot to handle for England's batsmen
That was a crucial miss, as Johnson's late hitting proved. Anderson took some punishment, with 1-57 from nine overs.
Even though they were a bowler light with spinner Adil Rashid out of the side despite being England's star performer in the first match, the home team nevertheless produced a decent bowling effort.
Luke Wright bowled a full 10 overs, taking the wickets of Tim Paine (26) and Michael Clarke in figures of 2-52. And he had earlier got the ball rolling for England by diving in the covers to catch Shane Watson (34) off the bowling of Tim Bresnan.
Yorkshire all-rounder Bresnan was only playing in the absence of Stuart Broad, who was nursing a neck strain - but summed up England's economy with the ball, taking 1-25 from seven overs.
Until the late onslaught from Johnson, Australia had only produced two notable stands - Watson and Paine opening up with 62 from 15 overs before Ferguson and Cameron White (42) added 69 in 14.
With Australia clearly reluctant to use up their batting powerplay until the final few overs, White nicked Bopara's first ball behind before Swann (2-31) turned a nice off-break to bowl Michael Hussey and also trapped James Hopes for 11.
Paul Collingwood reached fifty, but lost a string of partners
The England chase began well, though Bopara - never as fluent as Strauss - was pinned down by Watson for four balls and then trapped lbw by a delivery that did nothing in the air or off the pitch with the Essex opener determined to attack, stepping across his stumps.
The wicket triggered a remarkable decline, remarkable in that England were tossing away wickets although they were keeping the required run rate comfortably in check.
Matt Prior nicked Watson, who took 2-1 from his first two overs, to wicketkeeper Paine to fall almost immediately and then Strauss, in an over interrupted by a fly-past from a World War II Lancaster bomber, scooped a return catch to Hauritz.
Owais Shah scored his first 12 runs at a run a ball, but responded slowly to Collingwood's urgent call for a quick single and was run out, with Strauss looking on dumbfounded from the dressing room balcony.
Eoin Morgan, who replaced Rashid, batted brightly until he got to 14, whereupon he shuffled across his stumps and was adjudged lbw to Johnson, a slightly harsh decision.
Wright then dominated a stand of 38 with Collingwood, taking advantage of continued attacking fields to hit three boundaries from 19 balls faced.
However Lee's pace did for him and then, for the first time, the required run rate went significantly above five - and quickly hit six.
When Bresnan feathered an edge behind off Johnson, England were seven wickets down and still 82 runs from their goal.
Swann helped knock off nearly half of those runs with Collingwood, reducing the equation to 46 wanted from 40 balls. But any hope was snuffed out by Nathan Bracken who bowled Swann, and two balls later also made a mess of Ryan Sidebottom's stumps.
Absurdly, Anderson was now expected to take advantage of the powerplay, when even Collingwood was struggling to get much bat on ball as Lee was finding reverse swing and pace to prove a real handful.
The defeat left England's batsmen with a lot to think about ahead of the third match, a day-nighter at the Rose Bowl on Wednesday.
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