England beat Australia to hit back in series

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The Independent Online

Jonathan Trott scored his second one-day international century as England kept alive the seven-match series against Australia with a 21-run win in Adelaide.

Trott hit a typically composed 102 from 126 balls to build on Matt Prior's quickfire 67 at the top of the order as a vastly-improved batting performance yielded 299 for eight.



The 29-year-old Trott then completed an all-round performance as he claimed two wickets, his first in one-day cricket, to help restrict the hosts to 278 for eight and deny them a victory which would have sealed the seven-match series on Australia Day.



England welcomed the return of Jimmy Anderson following his post-Ashes break while Kevin Pietersen returned from a groin injury in a team top-heavy with seven batsmen.



It proved an astute selection as England posted their highest score against Australia on their home soil, beating the 294 they managed in the opening match in Melbourne, and could have been even better but for career-best figures for part-time spinners David Hussey (four for 21) and Steven Smith (three for 33).



Australia were then always battling the asking rate after the loss of early wickets as England's new-ball bowlers maintained their knack for taking early wickets in the series.



Chris Tremlett (one for 62) had Brad Haddin caught by Andrew Strauss at cover before Anderson (two for 57) accepted a return catch from Shaun Marsh inside the first seven overs.



Australia's under-fire stand-in skipper Michael Clarke made an unconvincing 15, from 27 balls, when he played around a Paul Collingwood delivery and was bowled - but Shane Watson loomed as a dangerman as he reached 50 from 54 balls, including a towering six off Tremlett.



Watson's career-best unbeaten 161 had steered Australia's chase in Melbourne, but there was no repeat as he edged Ajmal Shahzad through to Prior on 64.



Cameron White (44) and David Hussey (28) put on 60 as Australia looked to gather themselves for a late push but Trott (two for 31) removed both, to catches in the deep, snuffing out Australia's hopes despite an unbeaten 46 from Smith.



Earlier, England marked their intent to attack with the safety of seven batsmen in their order.



Skipper Strauss fell in the third over, when he edged the expensive Brett Lee (one for 68) behind, but the early wicket failed to deter Prior's from an all-out assault.



The wicketkeeper-batsman had been under some pressure after scoring successive ducks since his surprise World Cup call-up but some muscular strokeplay was rewarded with his first half-century since May 2009, when he pulled Lee over the midwicket fence.



At the other end Trott, who survived a couple of run out chances, played with enough fluency to ensure he kept the rate ticking over, sprinkling his stay with the odd boundary, as the duo brought up their 100 stand from 103 balls.



England threatened a wobble when they lost three for 22 in the middle overs with leg-spinner Smith grabbing all three.



Prior's aggressive 58-ball stay, which included eight fours and a six, was ended when he cut Smith to Xavier Doherty at backward point.



Pietersen (12) then paid for trying to maintain the assertive start by holing out in the deep, before Ian Bell (duck) edged behind from his second ball.



But an unflustered Trott proceeded at his own metronomic pace to avert any alarm as he reached a century, from 117 balls and including six fours, he probably also deserved in Sydney on Sunday when a poor batting display left him stranded on 84.



The right-hander was unable, however, to go on when he chopped on to the part-time spin of Hussey and with 10 overs to go Eoin Morgan (24) reverse swept the same bowler to Lee to raise some concern the good work may be undone.



But Collingwood (27) and Michael Yardy (39 not out) ensured that was not the case in a 61-run stand from 41 balls.



Collingwood gave a glimpse of the form that has deserted him on this tour when he deposited Lee over the midwicket fence before becoming the first England batsmen to reach 5,000 one-day runs when he was dropped on the boundary by White.



And while Hussey took two more late wickets to claim his career-best figures and keep England just below 300, it was enough to keep England in the series heading into Sunday's fifth match in Brisbane.



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