Posted by Gareth Parry Added on: July 10 2012
England 138 for 3 (Cook 58, Bopara 52*) beat Australia 145 for 7 (Bailey 46*, Bopara 2-8) by seven wickets (D/L Method)
England win series 4-0
The 5th and final ODI of the series looked unlikely to start with torrential rain once again making life difficult for both sides. The Old Trafford ground staff did a wonderful job in preparing the pitch with only 18 overs a side lost.
The Australian side was severely depleted due to injury which meant Wade would open the innings with Warner and Xavier Doherty replaced Brett Lee. The conditions once again favoured the bowlers and when he won the toss Alastair Cook, the England captain, chose to field.
The new ball pairing of Anderson and Finn found plenty of assistance in the conditions and made life extremely difficult for the Australian openers. In spite of the tricky conditions Wade and Warner were able to put on 43 and managed to survive the first 10 overs. However this was almost a false indication of how they were playing with England dropping three straightforward catches in that period.
England's poor fielding in the first ten overs was quickly forgotten when Tredwell came into the attack. He took the wicket of Warner in his first over with a delivery that turned prodigiously and trapped the batsmen lbw as England continued to pile the pressure on the visitors.
Once the first wicket fell Australia imploded with two run outs and a stumping in the space of a few overs. Tredwell again was in the middle of the action; affecting the run out of Forrest with an excellent pick up off Samit Patel's return throw and completely deceiving Wade with the next ball to have the Australian wicket keeper stumped by half the length of the pitch. Tredwell finished with excellent figures of 7-1-23-2 with his performance demonstrating the depth of England's playing reserves even in the spin department.
Clarke, Smith and Hussey followed in quick succession to leave the visitors floundering at 86 for 6. Ravi Bopara once again picked up wickets and his figures of 4-0-8-2 highlighted his effectiveness as a bowler in addition to his batting ability.
George Bailey was unperturbed by the wickets falling and with Pattinson steadied the visitors innings. He finished with 46 from just 41 balls and helped added 25 to the Australian total in the last two overs. This performance took Australia to 145 which, whilst below par, could still be a challenging total for England to chase especially given the still bowler friendly conditions.
England made a shaky start to the chase; losing two wickets in the first ten overs. This, along with a rain delay which reduced the target to 138 in 29 overs, made the game a much closer contest that many predicted at the half way stage.
However, such has been England's form and confidence in ODI cricket, that even in difficult conditions they found a way to control the game. Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara were the key men in the chase and together put on a partnership of 92 as each man scored well earned half centuries. Cook fell just before the end but with only 12 runs required when he edged to slip the match was virtually won. It was fitting that Bopara, who was the top scorer in the series, finished not out and his performances in this series were likely to result in a recall to the England Test side.
The Australians were much more competitive in this game and fielded to a much higher standard than in previous matches. Clint McKay was once again the pick of the visitors bowling attack and even though he only picked up one wicket looked dangerous throughout. Nevertheless England were comfortable and worthy series winners and leave the Australian selectors a number of headaches before the 2013 Ashes.