4-0 to Australia as Lee grabs five
Ricky Ponting could not have hoped for a better return to international cricket, as Brett Lee ran through the middle and lower order of England to give the Aussies an unbeatable 4-0 win. Lee grabbed 5/49 as the English capitulated from 146/3 to 220 all out and hand back the advantage to the Aussie side. >
Earlier, Joe Denly was back in the side after having missed the first three games in the series due to his injury. He did not score too many, but that at least pushed Ravi Bopara to the number three position and out of the firing line. In fact, the Andrew Strauss-Bopara partnership took the score to 96/1 in the 19th over, with the captain smashing 63 – again! >
However, bereft of too much support the lower order, except probably a sedate 39 by Owais Shah, the English side found the pace of Lee too hot to handle as they tried to accelerate at the same time in the end overs. Nathan Hauritz was the other bowler who impressed with his spell of 2/23 in the ten overs.
In reply, the Aussies scored the required runs too easily. Shane Watson scored 26, but Tim Paine kicked on for his maiden half century and then Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke added an invaluable 60 for the third wicket. Ponting hit 48 while looking good for more, but it was Clarke who top-scored with 62 and propelled the Aussie side to a series win.
Lee was the obvious choice for Man-of-the-Match award. With the series lost, England will hope for some divine intervention to prevent a 7-0 loss in the series.
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