Australia ease to 6-1 win
England’s disappointing Commonwealth Bank Series campaign ended on a low note as they slumped to a 57-run defeat in the seventh and final one-day international at the WACA.
Adam Voges and David Hussey starred with the bat to help Australia to a healthy total of 279 for seven from 50 overs.
Voges, who had earned a surprise recall in the absence of the rested Shane Watson and Michael Clarke, finished unbeaten on 80 from 72 deliveries, while Hussey looked in wonderful touch as he compiled an even 60.
England’s reply got off to near enough the worst possible start as openers Andrew Strauss and Steven Davies each departed for ducks and the tourists were unable to recover. Michael Yardy did his best to delay the inevitable with 60 not out, but they were eventually dismissed for 222 with six overs remaining.
Australia win the series 6-1 as a result, although it may be wise not to read too much into the fortunes of either side ahead of the upcoming World Cup given the number of players absent through injury.
England's bowling resources have been particularly depleted and they delivered an inconsistent performance in the field today as they combined periods of disciplined bowling with 19 wides and a host of dropped catches.
Yardy was the first to spurn an opportunity in the opening over of the match after Brad Haddin had edged James Anderson to second slip.
Liam Plunkett shared the new ball and initially struggled to find his radar. However, he enjoyed success in his second over when he rapped Tim Paine on the pad as the batsman looked to play across the line. Umpire Paul Reiffel rejected the initial appeal for lbw, but the decision was overturned on review.
Callum Ferguson departed for 15 as he failed to deal with a sharp bouncer from Anderson and fended the ball to Strauss at slip.
Haddin and stand-in skipper Cameron White attempted to rebuild the innings, but, although the former lofted Anderson over long-off for an impressive six, the duo were largely frustrated in their attempts to increase the run-rate.
Clearly annoyed by his side’s slow progress, Haddin responded to the introduction of Yardy with aggression, but succeeded only in throwing his wicket away as he picked out a back-pedalling Steven Finn at long-on. The Middlesex seamer showed excellent awareness to complete the dismissal, throwing the ball up in the air before stepping back over the boundary rope and returning to take the catch.
Both Hussey and White were fortunate to see Luke Wright put down return catches as England looked to press home their advantage.
White did not learn his lesson, however, and was soon caught and bowled by Yardy for 24 to leave Australia reeling on 103 for four with less than half of their innings remaining.
Hussey led a spirited counter-attack in the company of Voges and dot balls suddenly became a rarity as the duo put on 50 in just seven overs.
Hussey brought up his own half-century soon after, from 44 balls, and England appeared to be losing control as the closing overs approached.
There was an understandable sense of relief, therefore, when Plunkett returned to make a valuable breakthrough at the start of the 40th over. Hussey looked to turn an innocuous delivery into the leg side and a leading edge was well taken by a diving Ian Bell at point.
The dismissal failed to shake Voges and he moved past 50 for only the second time in his ODI career as runs continued to flow freely.
Anderson picked up the late wickets of Mitchell Johnson, caught superbly at deep midwicket by none other than Matt Prior, and John Hastings to finish with 3-48, but Australia had more than enough on the board.
The home side made immediate inroads with the ball as Strauss mis-judged Shaun Tait’s second delivery and was bowled as he prodded forward uncertainly.
Davies fell in the next over as a mis-cued pull off Doug Bollinger provided Haddin with the simplest of catches.
Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen staged a brief rally for England, but both departed to injudicious strokes.
Trott drove with minimal foot movement and edged to Hussey at slip before Pietersen aimed a wild drive at a wide delivery and picked out debutant Jason Krejza in the gully.
Johnson was the successful bowler on each occasion and picked up another scalp when Bell guided an upper-cut straight to Tait at third man.
Prior, batting at six following the inclusion of Davies, looked in good touch from the beginning of his innings and drove confidently through the covers on numerous occasions.
However, the same shot was to prove his undoing as he guided a flighted delivery from Krejza to Hussey, who dived to his right to take a fine catch.
Wright raced to 10 from his first four balls as Krejza followed up his maiden ODI wicket with a series of long-hops.
A further 11 runs came from the following over, bowled by Tait, but Wright’s cameo came to an end when he slashed Krejza to a diving Bollinger at short third man.
Plunkett added 20 before being caught behind by Tait and Finn was comprehensively bowled by the same bowler as Australia closed in on victory.
There was time for Yardy to pass fifty - and his previous ODI-best of 57 - but he was left stranded as Hastings had Anderson caught behind to bring the match and tour to an end.