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Watson powers Australia to victory

By Dave Clark

Shane Watson’s 143 was the catalyst as Australia beat England by 49 runs to clinch a 2-1 NatWest Series victory in the fifth one-day international at the Ageas Bowl.

The all-rounder hit six maximums in his 107-ball knock, three of them in one Joe Root over that went for 28, as Australia made 298 all out.

That looked no better than a par score on a batsman-friendly pitch, and at the interval Eoin Morgan’s side may have felt they held the momentum after reining the tourists in superbly in the last 20 overs of their innings.

But Kevin Pietersen was run out in the first over and, bar a spirited 92-run partnership between Ravi Bopara and Jos Buttler, England never seriously threatened to hunt down what would have been the highest successful run chase at this venue in an international.

Australia had looked on course for a mammoth total as Watson and Michael Clarke – both of whom plied their trade here for Hampshire previously - shared a partnership of 163 runs in just 22 overs.

But they lost their last seven wickets for only 97 runs as England’s seam trio of Ben Stokes, Boyd Rankin and debutant Chris Jordan restored control.

Stokes had dismissed Aaron Finch and Matthew Wade in successive balls, and he eventually accounted for Watson en route to finishing with 5-61, his first five-wicket haul in international cricket.

Jordan took 3-51 on a promising first showing in England colours, while Rankin was the pick of the bowlers and was unlucky to end with only one scalp – his 9.1 overs going for just 26 runs.

England’s reply got off to the worst possible start as Pietersen was run out for a duck after a mix-up with opening partner Michael Carberry, who took the score to 50 with Root before falling lbw to James Faulkner.

Root and Morgan both struggled to get going before falling for 21 and 30 respectively, with Luke Wright brilliantly run out for a duck by George Bailey in between.

Bopara and Buttler rebuilt steadily before taking 30 from the first three overs of the batting powerplay, but when the Somerset keeper – who earlier in the day affected five dismissals – was clean bowled by Faulkner, his partner fell a short time later trying to drive Mitchell Johnson, with Adam Voges taking a smart catch.

Ben Stokes and Chris Jordan put up a fight with a stand of 39, but when they fell within five balls of each other the game was up for England, with Fawad Ahmed dismissing last man Rankin to wrap up the series.

Left-arm seamers Faulkner and Johnson were the pick of the Australia attack with figures of 3-38 and 2-21 respectively.

Ball-By-Ball Commentary

Match Scorecard

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England Innings

Watch highlights of England's reply

10:18pm – WICKET AND AUSTRALIA WIN BY 49 RUNS! Rankin b Ahmed 4; Eng 249 all out - Rankin is dropped by Aaron Finch in the deep, but Ahmed takes the fielder out the equation by bowling him next ball. Australia win the game and take the NatWest series 2-1.

10:13pm - WICKET! Stokes c Clarke b Faulkner 27; Eng 240/9 – Stokes, who played nicely, had to try and up the rate but loops the ball straight to Clarke at point attempting a reverse hit into the off-side.

10:10pm - WICKET! Jordan c Bailey b Watson 14; Eng 236/8 – Jordan and Stokes have given this a real go, but the former is caught on the midwicket boundary trying to dispatch Watson over the ropes.

9:53pm – Stokes and Chris Jordan have added 13 for the eighth wicket without too much fuss, but the required rate is now touching 12 an over. Stokes then clears the ropes off the last ball of Watson’s 43rd over to leave 80 required from 42 balls.

9:37pm - WICKET! Bopara c Voges b Johnson 62; Eng 197/7 – Bopara’s vigil comes to an end thanks to a fine catch by Voges. The Essex man attempts to launch Johnson over cover but Voges reacts well to cling on.

9:33pm – REVIEW! Faulkner raps Ben Stokes on the pad, but his leg-before shout is turned down. Clarke sends the decision upstairs but that has hit the left-hander outside off stump and remains not out.

9:29pm - WICKET! Buttler b Faulkner 42; Eng 195/6 – England were rattling along in the powerplay with 30 coming off the first three overs, but Buttler has been cleaned up by Faulkner’s first ball since rejoining the attack.

9:22pm – England take the batting powerplay, and Buttler pulls out the ramp to get four from McKay. Several well-run twos see him and Bopara take 16 from the first two overs.

9:12pm – FIFTY! Bopara (66b 5x4) - The Essex batsman is keeping England in this as he takes a single off Ahmed to bring up a 56-ball half-century.

9:02pm – England’s mini-revival continues as Bopara pulls Faulkner to the boundary for four to bring up the 150 just before the drinks break. These two have added 49 from just 47 balls, with another 147 required.

8:42pm – Jos Buttler crashes Voges through the covers for four, and two overs later Bopara gets his first boundary with a sweep behind square.

8:34pm - WICKET! Morgan st Wade b Voges 30; Eng 103/5 – After more than eight overs without a boundary, Morgan attempts to give Voges the charge but is beaten in the flight and Wade reacts well to dislodge the bails.

8:30pm – Bopara and Morgan nudge and nurdle England to the 100-mark. Clarke responds by bringing Watson into the attack for the first time.

8:19pm – REVIEW! Bopara is given lbw to Adam Voges, but successfully reviews as Hawkeye shows the ball to be missing leg stump.

8:13pm – Morgan and Ravi Bopara produced plenty of heroics to get England over the line against Ireland, but this is an even bigger ask. It’s steady going for the moment as they focus on not losing any more wickets.

7:56pm - WICKET! Wright run out (Bailey) 0; Eng 68/4 – Luke Wright, drafted into the side as a late replacement for the injured Jonathan Trott, has been run out without scoring. It’s a good bit of fielding from George Bailey, whose throw catches just enough of the stumps to dislodge one of the bails.

7:55pm – CHANCE! Morgan edges Faulkner on 15, but Watson at first slip spills it diving to his right.

7:50pm WICKET! Root b Johnson 21; Eng 64/3 – England’s rebuilding effort comes unstuck as Root goes after a wide one from Johnson, but a lack of footwork leads to him playing on.

7:38pm WICKET! Carberry lbw Faulkner 30; Eng 50/2 – A good review it is too, with Carberry caught bang in front. England captain Eoin Morgan is next in and he is somewhat fortunate to get off the mark with a boundary after an inside edge charging Fawad Ahmed.

7:36pm - REVIEW! Faulkner hits Carberry on the pads, the umpire says no but Michael Clarke has called for a review.

7:27pm – Carberry and Root seem content to rotate the strike for the time being. Michael Clarke has brought James Faulkner into the attack to try and find a breakthrough.

7:11pm – Better from Carberry, who pierces a drive through the covers for four. Joe Root is still quietly playing himself in at the other end. Mitchell Johnson is firing the ball down in excess of 90mph on a regular basis.

7:02pm – CHANCE! Carberry gets away with not one edge but two off McKay. The first narrowly evades second slip, while a ball later he perfectly bisects keeper Matthew Wade and first slip Shane Watson to bring up consecutive boundaries.

6:55pm – First boundary for England as Carberry feathers one fine down the leg side off McKay.

6:45pm – WICKET! Pietersen run out (Hughes) 0; Eng 1/1 - England could have done with a good start but, after Michael Carberry - who has been involved in plenty of successful run chases at this venue with Hampshire - gets them off and running with a single to square-leg, Kevin Pietersen is run out. The ball thumps into his pad and, after the lbw appeal was refused, Carberry arrives at the striker’s end for a leg bye before his partner has set off. Pietersen is barely in the frame as bowler Phil Hughes removes the bails.

Australia Innings

Watch highlights of Australia's innings in the deciding NatWest Series one-day international

6:04pm – WICKET AND END OF INNINGS! McKay c Root b Rankin 5; AUSTRALIA 298 ALL OUT – Rankin fully deserves a wicket, and McKay obliges by heaving the first ball of the final over high into the leg side leaving Root to take a straightforward catch. England have done well to keep the visitors to under 300 on a belter of a pitch, but will still need to chase well to pull off the series win.

6pm – WICKET! Faulkner c Buttler b Jordan 10; Aus 294/9 – Hot spot shows a faint edge, and that’s enough to send Faulkner back to the pavilion. That was a great catch down the leg side for Buttler’s fifth dismissal – a fine performance from the Somerset keeper.

5:59pm – REVIEW! Jordan thinks he has Faulkner caught behind, but the Australian has referred it.

5:55pm – Stokes completes his 10 overs with figures of 5-61, and Rankin has Clint McKay and James Faulkner struggling to get bat on ball as the visitors limp towards 300. They need seven runs from the last two overs to get there.

5:42pm - WICKET! Johnson c and b Stokes 2; Aus 284/8 – Mitchell Johnson offers a tame return catch to Stokes, and the Durham man has his first international five-for.

5:38pm - WICKET! Watson c Buttler b Stokes 143; Aus 282/7 – Watson tees off once too often, edging Stokes through to Buttler after making 143 off just 107 balls, with six maximums.

5:37pm – Australia go a three overs without a boundary so Watson responds by smashing Joe Root around the park. After clearing long-on, he hits a one-bounce four behind square before offering some catching practice to the crowd at midwicket with consecutive sixes. A four through the same region means 28 come from the over.

5:22pm - WICKET! Voges c Buttler b Stokes 8; Aus 244/6 – Adam Voges doesn’t hang around too long either. Stokes gets one to nibble away and find the outside edge, with Buttler taking a tumbling catch.

5:10pm – CENTURY! Watson (87b 8x4 3x6) – Watson completes a happy return to the Ageas Bowl, cutting Bopara behind square for a single to bring up his ton. This has been a tremendous innings from the all-rounder.

5:05pm - WICKET! Bailey st Buttler b Root 4; Aus 221/5 - George Bailey never really got going on the ground where he plied his trade for Hampshire earlier in the season. A confident appeal for a stumping from Jos Buttler, and the third umpire review shows why, with his foot on the line rather than behind it.

5pm – Australia have just finished their batting powerplay, and it’s fair to say England have had the better of it. Just 27 runs and two boundaries came from it, as well as the wicket of Clarke. Considering the carnage that preceded it that is a top effort from Rankin and Jordan.

4:48pm – WICKET! Clarke c Pietersen b Jordan 75; Aus 211/4 - Clarke fails to make the most of his reprieve, as an unsightly heave at Jordan’s last ball of the over is skied straight to Kevin Pietersen at mid-off. That is the breakthrough England were in desperate need of.

4:45pm – CHANCE! Rankin shells Clarke at mid-off on 72 off Jordan. It’s even more of a travesty as the Warwickshire seamer has just finished a brilliant over that saw him beat Clarke’s outside edge twice and had Watson playing at thin air as just one run came from it.

4:39pm – Again Stokes comes into the attack after a break – this time for drinks – but he cannot repeat his wicket-taking heroics from earlier. Instead Clarke picks up boundaries on both sides of the wicket to bring up both the 150 stand and Australian 200 within 30 overs.

4:25pm – FIFTY Clarke (58b 6x4 1x6) – Still no sign of this run-fest abating, as Clarke smashes a glorious drive over mid-off for four off Bopara, then tickles one fine off his pad for another boundary. Joe Root comes into the attack, and Clarke nudges his third ball to deep square-leg for a single that brings up his half-century.

4:13pm – Another teaser for long-on as Watson just about clears the ropes with a big heave off Tredwell to bring up the century stand off just 87 balls.

4:09pm – Watson swipes a pull off Bopara which just about evades the leaping Jordan on the fence for another maximum as 12 runs come from the 23rd over. The run rate is now above six an over.

4:04pm – FIFTY! Watson (49b 6x4 0x6) – With everyone bar long-off up on the off-side, Watson squirts a cut past third man off Tredwell for four, then reaches his half-century by whipping the next ball to deep midwicket for a single. The all-rounder finishes the over with a big six over long-on as 17 come from it.

3:51pm – Clarke hits Stokes back over his head for the first six of the match, and in doing so brings up the Australia 100 midway through the 18th over.

3:47pm – Ravi Bopara comes into the attack as Australia continue to rebuild, and just three runs come from his first over. Clarke and Watson are starting to get into their stride here as the captain hits Stokes for four down the ground, before Watson unfurls a glorious drive to the midwicket fence.

3:31pm - The Australia skipper, having been troubled by some short stuff, is off to a frenetic start featuring three early boundaries.

3:14pm – Clarke keeps it out, but you get the impression Australia are on the ropes here. Full credit to Stokes and Rankin, who are bowling beautifully.

3:11pm - WICKET! Wade c Buttler b Stokes 0; Aus 48/3 – Stokes has two wickets in two balls! What a momentum shifter that interval has proved to be. The Durham all-rounder, who waited nine ODIs for his first wicket, has Matthew Wade caught behind attempting an ill-advised hook shot. Skipper Michael Clarke to face the hat-trick ball...

3:09pm - WICKET! Finch c Morgan b Stokes 26; Aus 48/2 – The first ball back after the break sees Ben Stokes have Finch caught by skipper Eoin Morgan at point as the opener plays a loose drive. That's a huge wicket for England.

3:08pm – Again the rain is only a temporary problem, and the players are now coming back out. No overs have been lost as yet.

2:42pm – RAIN STOPS PLAY! - Another of those pesky showers drifts over the ground, with Australia on 48 for one after 9.3 overs. This looks a cracking pitch to bat on, so let’s hope the covers are swiftly off again this time.

2:36pm – Rankin reels Finch in with a maiden over, but Australia score nine from the next with Watson pulling Jordan over midwicket for four before Finch unleashes a superb late cut that beats third man to the fence.

2:25pm – Finch is flying again, the opener pulling Rankin and Jordan for boundaries behind square in consecutive overs. He has 18 from 19 balls already. Jordan is generating decent pace – touching 90mph at times – but the radar is slightly off, with three wides in as many overs.

2:14pm - WICKET! Hughes c Carberry b Jordan 2; Aus 13/1 – Jordan finds the perfect response to conceding eight from his first over as Phil Hughes top-edges an attempted pull straight to Michael Carberry at midwicket. England have the early breakthrough they were looking for,as Shane Watson strides out at the ground where he used to represent Hampshire to join Finch.

2:06pm – Aaron Finch provides Chris Jordan with a brutal welcome to international cricket, crunching his first ball in England colours to the cover boundary and repeating the trick three balls later. Finch, of course, struck 156 in the t20 international at this ground last month.

Pre-Play News

1:59pm – Australia had one forced change, with Marsh being injured, so Boyd Rankin will open the bowling to Aaron Finch and Hughes. Play to start on time at 2pm despite the earlier shower.

1:58pm - Here are the teams in full:

England: Kevin Pietersen, Michael Carberry, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (captain), Ravi Bopara, Luke Wright, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Ben Stokes, James Tredwell, Chris Jordan, Boyd Rankin.

Australia: Aaron Finch, Phil Hughes, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke (captain), George Bailey, Adam Voges, Matthew Wade (wicketkeeper), James Faulkner, Mitchell Johnson, Fawad Ahmed, Clint McKay.

1:43pm - AUSTRALIA WIN THE TOSS AND BAT – England have indeed handed a debut to Jordan, who comes in for Steven Finn. Luke Wright also comes in for Jonathan Trott, who has a back injury. Australia had concerns over skipper Clarke, but he has been passed fit. The tourists bring in Phil Hughes and Fawad Ahmed for Shaun Marsh and Nathan Coulter-Nile.

1:37pm – Luckily that was just a passing shower, and the covers are making way already. Sussex seamer Chris Jordan was presented with a cap on the outfield shortly before that downpour and looks set to make his England debut, while Australia captain Michael Clarke went out to partake in the toss, which presumably means he has been passed fit.

1:29pm – Really shouldn’t have mentioned the weather. With the captains out for the toss, rain begins to fall, the covers come on, and a number of umbrellas spring into action in the stands.

1:09pm – The good news is that the weather is currently fair here in Hampshire. A few scattered showers are forecast for later, but fingers crossed for a full day’s play after England set-up a series decider with victory in Cardiff to level the series 1-1.

1pm - Hello and welcome to’s live text commentary from the Ageas Bowl on the deciding NatWest Series one-day international between England and Australia.

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