Bopara calmly gets the job done after Australia panic

Australia 145-7 England 138-3 - England win by seven wickets (D/L Method)

Old Trafford

Some observers may be keen to point out that this was a weak Australia side who gave themselves little time to prepare for a superfluous series which was played in horrid conditions. No matter. No matter at all.

They succumbed last night to a 4-0 defeat in the NatWest Series, an unprecedented margin against any opposition. England beat Australia 3-0 in a limited-overs series in 1997 but this has been a comprehensive outplaying of the oldest rival to the point of being a dismantling.

England have bowled and batted better than Australia throughout - though the same could not be said of their catching - and the fifth match was merely a continuation of same. Reduced to 32 overs a side by rain, England's target was then slightly cut further by another shower.

They made light of the interruption as they won by seven wickets with 11 balls to spare. The key partnership was between their captain, Alastair Cook, and Ravi Bopara who put on 96 from 92 balls. Bopara has matured before our eyes in the past fortnight, given the responsibility of batting at No 4 and grabbing it. The selectors have yet to decide the matter but he may have resurrected his Test career.

He finished unbeaten on 52 while Cook who does this sort of thing as matter of routine was out just before the end, caught blazing away, but not before having made his fifth ODI fifty in 10 innings this year.

In some ways, it has been an unsatisfactory series because the feeling was never quite eradicated that it had been plonked into the middle of the season with no good reason. The poor weather blighted it and never relented.

There were times yesterday when it seemed the match never took place but there was a full house to see it start three and a half hours late at an Old Trafford ground that is a building site. The charming old pavilion has been stripped bare.

Australia's early batting was hapless. True, England's bowling was no less oppressive than it has been throughout the season but the tourists' main difficulties on this occasion arrived from an unlikely quarter.

Their batsmen seem to have got it into their heads that the English bowlers are coming to get them. Somehow they had negotiated the initial overs, if only because England put down three catches, continuing a sloppiness that has afflicted them in the series.

But then on came James Tredwell, the unsung Kent off spinner. He was in the side only because Tim Bresnan had sore elbow and only for his second one-day international at home. He struck with his fourth ball when David Warner, who was proceeding along his merry way despite getting away with murder with some of his strokeplay, swept and was beaten by the turn.

Panic then swept through the tourists' ranks as if they knew and understood only one thing: that there was to be no relief. In the fourth match they had been 96 for 6 and now they soon became 86 for 6. If England could catch it might have been much worse.

This element of their game has been a constant blemish. Before Australia had settled last night three chances of varying difficulty – to Jimmy Anderson, Tredwell and Samit Patel – had come and gone. Against this backdrop, wickets tumbled. There were two eminently avoidable run outs as if to show that England's ground fielding remained intact, another wicket for Tredwell and two for Bopara.

Never can an Australian touring side have been quite so continuously off the pace in this country. Apparently a happy and well-ordered bunch, they have come up short in almost department of the game.

Back home, their chairman of selectors, John Inverarity has conceded that Australia's batting resources are slender and insisted that this bunch is the best. But in exposing them to England's formidable bowling now – not least "because we don't want them making their international debuts at Lord's in a Test match" – the risk is that they are undermined for good. Still, at least they know what to expect if they make it as far as Lord's next year.

Nothing summed up matters more than the crazy run which their captain, Michael Clarke, embarked on. He guided the ball to point, set off for a single and was well short when Eoin Morgan hit the stumps with a direct throw. Clarke was determined to assert control but took no real account of the position his side were in.

They managed to salvage much by taking 25 from their last two overs. George Bailey, who had tended to misjudged the tempo in earlier matches, gauged it correctly here by smashing 46 from 41 balls with three fours and two sixes.

But if 145 for 7 represented comparative riches in the circumstances it was probably 20 short of what they had in mind when England won another important toss.

Steve Finn has been the most incisive of England's bowlers in this series and finished with seven wickets. Craig Kieswtter had 11 catches. It was not perfect but it was overwhelming.

 



Old Trafford scoreboard

England won toss

Australia

Runs/6s/4s/Bls/Min

†M S Wade st Kieswetter b Tredwell 12/0/0/41/60

D A Warner lbw b Tredwell 32/1/4/32/44

P J Forrest run out 3/0/0/14/12

*M J Clarke run out 1/0/0/2/7

S P D Smith c Kieswetter b Bopara 21/0/2/20/19

D J Hussey c Kieswetter b Bopara 9/0/0/11/20

G J Bailey not out 46/2/3/41/52

J L Pattinson c Kieswetter b Finn 13/0/1/28/34

C J McKay not out 5/0/1/3/7

Extras (lb1 w2) 3

Total (for 7, 32 overs): 145

Fall 1-43, 2-49, 3-49, 4-55, 5-77, 6-86, 7-120.

Did not bat B W Hilfenhaus, X J Doherty.

Bowling J M Anderson 5-1-22-0, S T Finn 6-0-35-1, S C J Broad 7-0-39-0, J C Tredwell 7-1-23-2, S R Patel 3-0-17-0, R S Bopara 4-0-8-2.

England

Runs/6s/4s/Bls/Min

*A N Cook c Clarke b Hilfenhaus 58/0/4/78/116

I R Bell c Bailey b McKay 4/0/0/4/0

I J L Trott b Clarke 10/0/2/20/50

R S Bopara not out 53/0/5/56/72

E J G Morgan not out 9/0/1/5/7

Extras (w4) 4

Total (for 3, 27.1 overs): 138

Fall 1-5, 2-34, 3-126.

Did not bat †C Kieswetter, S R Patel, J C Tredwell, S C J Broad, S T Finn, J M Anderson.

Bowling C J McKay 6-0-28-1, B W Hilfenhaus 5.1-0-19-1, J L Pattinson 6-0-34-0, M J Clarke 3-0-14-1, X J Doherty 5-0-34-0, S P D Smith 2-0-9-0.

Umpires Aleem Dar and I J Gould.

Arts & Entertainment
Schwarzenegger winning Mr. Universe 1969
arts + entsCan you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
Sport
Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez celebrate during Liverpool's game with Norwich
football Another hurdle is out of the way for Brendan Rodgers' side
Arts & Entertainment
The star of the sitcom ‘Miranda’ is hugely popular with mainstream audiences
TVMiranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
News
Portrait of Queen Elizabeth-II by David Bailey which has been released to mark her 88th birthday
peoplePortrait released to mark monarch's 88th birthday
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Life & Style
The writer, Gerda Saunders, with her mother, who also suffered with dementia before her death
healthGerda Saunders on the most formidable effect of her dementia
Sport
Manchester United manager David Moyes looks on during his side's defeat to Everton
footballBaines and Mirallas score against United as Everton keep alive hopes of a top-four finish
Sport
Tour de France 2014Sir Rodney Walker on organising the UK stages of this year’s race
Arts & Entertainment
Jessica Brown Findlay as Mary Yellan in ‘Jamaica Inn’
TVJessica Brown Findlay on playing the spirited heroine of Jamaica Inn
News
YouTube clocks up more than a billion users a month
mediaEuropean rival Dailymotion certainly thinks so
Arts & Entertainment
The original design with Charles' face clearly visible, which is on display around the capital
arts + ents The ad shows Prince Charles attired for his coronation in a crown and fur mantle with his mouth covered by a criss-cross of white duct tape
Arts & Entertainment
‘Self-Portrait Worshipping Christ’ (c943-57) by St Dunstan
books How British artists perfected the art of the self-portrait
Sport
Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring in Liverpool's 3-2 win over Norwich
Football Vine shows Suarez writhing in pain before launching counter attack
News
People White House officials refuse to make comment on 275,000 signatures that want Justin Bieber's US visa revoked
News
Sir Cliff Richard is to release his hundredth album at age 72
PEOPLE
Sport
Lukas Podolski celebrates one of his two goals in Arsenal's win over Hull
football
Arts & Entertainment
Quentin Tarantino, director
film
News
The speeding train nearly hit this US politican during a lecture on rail safety
news As the saying goes, you have to practice what you preach
Sport
Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain (front) drives ahead of Red Bull Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia during the Chinese F1 Grand Prix at the Shanghai International circuit
sport
Arts & Entertainment
Billie Jean King, who won the women’s Wimbledon title in 1967, when the first colour pictures were broadcast
tv
News
Snow has no plans to step back or reduce his workload
mediaIt's 25 years since Jon Snow first presented Channel 4 News, and his drive shows no sign of diminishing
Life & Style
food + drinkWhat’s not to like?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit