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Last Updated:  Saturday, 25 January, 2003, 13:01 GMT

England fall short
Vaughan was joint top scorer
Michael Vaughan plays a sweep
England skipper Nasser Hussain was left to reflect on what might have been after his side snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in Melbourne.

Australia's five-run win saw them take the VB Series final by a 2-0 margin, but Hussain acknowledged that his side should have taken them to a third game, which was scheduled for Monday.

"To work so hard and not win was a blow. We were desperate to be in Adelaide and win this tournament," he said.

"Our inexperience at getting a yorker in at the end of their innings and their experience at getting a yorker in was the difference between the sides.

The last five to 10 overs of each innings proved crucial
Nasser Hussain

"It's a big area of the game. In the last few overs, they were better than us today.

"Brett Lee bowled well at the death, but we'll also get that kind of bowling when we play Pakistan and the other top sides."

England's performance was, however, a massive improvement on their effort in the first game when they were bowled out for 117 and Australia passed their target in only the 13th over of their reply.

"I was very proud of my team today and for 90% of the game we played better than Australia," added Hussain.

Stewart plays a lofted drive
Stewart was undone by old rival Warne

Victory would have been a certainty had Michael Vaughan or Alec Stewart remained at the crease until the end, but both fell to Shane Warne for 60.

It was Warne's final one-day appearances at the MCG, having decided to retire from one-day cricket after the World Cup.

"It wasn't the best delivery he's (Warne) ever bowled. It looped too me - lack of pace - and I chipped it up to short third man," said Stewart.

"I'm pleased with the way I played, but if I'd walked off with 80 not out, we'd have won the game."

He added: "We got in a great position to win it, the last four overs just proved too much. Brett Lee reverse swung the ball at great pace and we weren't quite up to the task."

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