England Deaf slump on tour finale
England Deaf ended their impressive tour Down Under in disappointing fashion by slumping to a nine-wicket defeat in their Tri-Nations ODI trophy final with Australia.
England were unbeaten on the trip going into the clash but, after being dismissed for a paltry 68, were comfortably beaten.
Matt Shenton starred for Australia, taking 6-16 to restrict England, before Liam Trudgett struck an unbeaten 42 to see his side home with two overs to spare.
After Australia won the toss and elected to bowl, England found themselves in difficulty from the off as Umesh Valjee pushed at a seaming Shenton delivery and was caught at short-cover.
The batsmen continued to struggle on the slow surface, with James Schofield and Andrew Wood departing in similar fashion to the impressive seamer.
Unwilling to take their foot off the gas, Australia and, in particular, Shenton pressed home their advantage.
Paul Allen was next to go, driving straight to Paul Welch at mid-off before Matt Everett, who had hung around admirably, fell similarly to leave England 15 for five.
The experienced Stefan Pichowski remained, though, and he, along with George Greenway, managed to scramble a few singles before the latter struck the tourists’ first boundary.
But it was not long before Greenway offered up another simple catch off Shenton as he perished for seven.
James Dixon joined Pichowski and the duo stuck around for a painstaking 12 overs.
Dixon was bowled by Aussie skipper Kym Daley for five but Pichowski continued his vigil.
Four overs later Pichowski's innings came to an abrupt end as Daley took out his middle stump.
He made just seven, but was at the crease for 97 minutes, facing 78 balls.
Stephen George and Darrell Sykes did not last much longer, falling to Shenton and Ben Skinner respectively as England were bundled out for 68.
In reply, Australia lost Welch early as the opener dragged on to give England the smallest glimmer of hope.
However, Grant Thompson, who made a 45-ball 13, combined with Trudgett to see Australia to a comfortable victory.
In the six limited-overs matches and one three-day Test played, today was the only time England ended up as the losing side in the tour - an achievement that should not be understated.