Birthday boy Broad doubles lead
Stuart Broad celebrated his 24th birthday with four wickets as England took a 2-0 lead in the NatWest Series courtesy of a second four-wicket win over Australia in as many one-day internationals.
Man-of-the-match Broad picked up their first three wickets and returned to collect another late on as the tourists, who chose to bat first, could only muster 239 for seven at a sunny SWALEC Stadium in Cardiff.
In reply, Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen combined to get England off to a flyer before Paul Collingwood and the hero of Tuesday’s opening victory, Eoin Morgan, made the result all but certain. The hosts eventually got home with 28 balls to spare.
In the course of Collingwood’s innings, he became England’s highest scorer in one-day internationals by overtaking Alec Stewart’s total of 4,677.
Ten years Collingwood’s junior, Broad’s 4-44 from 10 overs was just reward for an aggressive first spell that tempered Australia’s rollicking start.
The seamer struck twice in the bowling powerplay to have Tim Paine and Ricky Ponting caught behind. He then had Michael Clarke held at short-leg and returned in the batting powerplay to remove Steven Smith.
Smith, one of Australia’s two changes along with Clint McKay in place of the injured Ryan Harris and dropped Josh Hazlewood, shared an 84-run sixth-wicket alliance with Cameron White, who top-scored with 86 not out from 98 balls.
White held the innings together, having arrived at 77 for three, and ensured an unchanged England would be made to work reasonably hard to double their series lead.
Still smarting from Tuesday’s defeat at the Rose Bowl, Watson and Paine picked up regular boundaries early on without taking undue risks, including three driven Watson fours in the first over - bowled by James Anderson.
With Australia taking 51 from the first 10 overs Strauss was forced into juggling his bowlers, but first-change Broad broke through immediately after England took their powerplay at the earliest opportunity.
Broad strangled Paine down leg for 16, including three fours, and Ponting followed to an outside edge four overs later for 13 as they managed only 16 from the powerplay.
Strauss continued to attack and Broad rewarded his captain’s adventure with a vicious bouncer that Clarke could only glove to Graeme Swann close in for one.
Broad gifted White a life on three when he overstepped as wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter clung on to an outstanding catch diving to his right.
Watson went to fifty at better than a run-a-ball, but he top-edged a pull on 57 and Kieswetter took a sprawling catch on the leg side. His 59-ball innings contained eight fours.
Strauss turned to spin for a time, but Anderson returned to castle Mike Hussey for 14 in a wicket-maiden.
White and Smith rebuilt in the face of more tight bowling and the former struck Swann for the first six of the game, over wide long-on.
They reached a half-century alliance from 64 balls and White arrived at his personal milestone from 72 deliveries shortly before Australia enforced the batting powerplay after 43 overs.
Smith perished for 41 as they sought to push on, getting a leading edge to Broad and looping an easy catch to Collingwood at cover as 33 came from the powerplay.
White, who hit seven fours, dispatched Anderson’s miscued full toss over the long-on boundary in the penultimate over before James Hopes sacrificed his wicket, run out by bowler Tim Bresnan for eight, to get White back on strike for the final ball.
Strauss lifted McKay free hits for six and four in the second over of England’s chase.
But Kieswetter paid the price for slashing at Doug Bollinger, who took 3-46, on eight and Strauss was fortunate to top-edge the seamer for six, which took him to 25.
With 63 on the board after 10 overs, Ponting chose not to take the bowling powerplay and was rewarded when he leapt to hold a brilliant right-handed catch at midwicket off Smith to remove Pietersen for 33, ending a 68-run stand.
Ponting immediately took the powerplay, during which Strauss’ fifty arrived at a run-a-ball and England’s 100 from 17 overs.
Strauss perished for 51 trying to take advantage of the final over of restrictions, offering Nathan Hauritz a simple caught and bowled, as the powerplay yielded only 21.
Collingwood upped the ante with a pulled six off Bollinger as he and Morgan added fifty in 66 balls.
Collingwood’s innocuous single off McKay then took him past Stewart’s milestone before he pulled the same bowler for a maximum.
A loose drive from the 34-year-old saw him play on to Bollinger, halting an 83-run stand, but Morgan simultaneously heralded his fifty and England’s 200.
Wright got an under edge onto his stumps against Hopes on 10 and, when Morgan was caught behind off Bollinger for 52 from 64 balls, there were two scoreless batsmen at the crease.
However, Bresnan and Swann dispelled any thoughts of a wobble to finish on 12 and 19 respectively as Swann ended the contest two balls into the batting powerplay by depositing McKay over long-off for six.