Superb Ponting dashes England hopes

England 299 v Australia 302-6 (Australia won by four wickets)

In a long-forgotten but marvellous spoof disaster movie called The Big Bus the flawed hero hides the obligatory dark secret from his past. When it transpires that in a previous accident which left the passengers stranded he inadvertently consumed some stew made from human remains he says: "You eat one lousy foot and they call you a cannibal – what a world."

It is like that with England's one-day cricket team. You lose one lousy limited overs series, the team probably surmise, and they call you useless. Unfortunately, losing, like feet eating, allows people to draw conclusions.

England did it again yesterday for the fifth consecutive time against Australia before another packed house. They were playing, as they say in professional-sportsman-speak, for pride, as well as desperately seeking some form before the Champions Trophy.

They found it as well (no more) and in making 299, their highest 50 over score against Australia, there were some encouraging performances. Joe Denly made 45 at the top of the order before giving his wicket away and Eoin Morgan made an improvised maiden fifty for England before reverse sweeping himself out. These were causes for hope rather than dancing in the streets.

Unluckily for England they then ran into Australia's captain, Ricky Ponting, at the top of his form, which is a very considerable peak indeed, especially on such a lovely batting surface. With consummate style shorn of post-modern methods of making runs (such as reverse sweeps) and depending on timing, placement and power he scored his 27th ODI hundred. Though he was caught on the boundary for 126 from 109 balls he had left his side plenty of leeway and they won by four wickets with 10 balls to spare.

England bowled adequately, but fielded less so. All England have won so far in this series is the toss. By Sunday, the sides will have met nine times in limited overs matches this year (not to mention five Tests) and Australia will be back next year for another five one-dayers. No doubt if they can fit in a Twenty20 or two they will because, well, why not? Whatever else matches between England and Australia have going for them it is not rarity value.

It long since became clear that the England and Wales Cricket Board has no truck with the old showbiz mantra: "Leave 'em wanting more" and the policy can end only in everybody wanting less.

The plan this year, if there was a plan as opposed to grabbing a calendar and shoe horn to see what could be shoved in, was presumably to stage the NatWest Series as a kind of victory parade. Had the Ashes not been recaptured of course, it would have been been scuppered from the start.

It always looked suspect and has failed, partly because England have been found so dreadfully wanting but partly also because the Tests were the most important part of it. Playing a series of seven one-day matches after the Ashes is like expecting to hang around for the B movie after the main show – Gone With The Wind followed by The Big Bus, if you like.

England seem to be playing too much cricket and yet in the past year at they have played fewer one-day matches (18) than all the major countries except South Africa who have had a long rest during the English summer. Nobody, however, has felt deprived.

One-day scorecard: Trent Bridge

Fifth one-day international

England won toss

England

*A J Strauss lbw b Hauritz 35

J L Denly c Hussey b Johnson45

R S Bopara c Hauritz b Watson 18

†M J Prior st Paine b Hauritz 37

O A Shah c Paine b Johnson 31

E J G Morgan c Siddle b Bracken 58

D Mascharenas c Johnson b Watson 19

S C J Broad run out 22

A U Rashid run out 18

T T Bresnan c Bracken b Siddle 4

R J Sidebottom not out 3

Extras (lb1 w6 nb2) 9

Total (50 overs) 299

Fall: 1-61, 2-95, 3-105, 4-165, 5-192, 6-230, 7-267, 8-272, 9-278.

Bowling: Siddle 10-1-50-1; Bracken 8-1-43-1; Johnson 10-0-80-2; Watson 10-0-60-2; Hauritz 10-0-54-2; Clarke 2-0-11-0.

Australia

S R Watson c Mascharenhas b Bresnan 36

T D Paine c Rashid b Bresnan 16

*R T Ponting c Shah b Broad 126

M J Clarke c Clarke b Rashid 52

M E K Hussey c S'bottom b Mascarenhas 6

C J Ferguson lbw b Broad 58

D Mascharenas c Johnson b Watson 17

C L White not out 24

M G Johnson not out 18

Extras (w6 nb5 pens 0) 11

Total (6 wkts, 48.2 overs) 302

Fall: 1-45, 2-76, 3-209, 4-226, 5-255, 6-261.

Did not bat: N M Hauritz, P Siddle, N W Bracken.

Bowling: Broad 9-0-57-2; Sidebottom 9.2-0-43-0; Bresnan 10-0-76-2; Mascarenhas 10-0-49-1; Rashid 7-0-55-1; Bopara 3-0-21-0.

Umpires: Asad Rauf (Pak) and R A Kettleborough.

Australia lead seven-match series 5-0

Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
Sport
Steven Gerrard had to be talked into adopting a deeper role by his manager, Brendan Rodgers
sportThe city’s fight for justice after Hillsborough is embodied in Steven Gerrard, who's poised to lead his club to a remarkable triumph
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
News
The energy drink MosKa was banned for containing a heavy dose of the popular erectile dysfunction Levitra
news
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
Environment
People are buying increasing numbers of plants such as lavender to aid the insects
environmentGardeners rally round the endangered bumblebee
Sport
Australia's Dylan Tombides competes for the ball with Adal Matar of Kuwait during the AFC U-22 Championship Group C match in January
sportDylan Tombides was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011
Arts & Entertainment
Customers browse through Vinyl Junkies record shop in Berwick Street, Soho, London
musicBest exclusives coming to an independent record shop near you this Record Store Day
News
Ida Beate Loken has been living at the foot of a mountain since May
newsNorwegian gives up home comforts for a cave
Extras
indybest10 best gardening gloves
Arts & Entertainment
tvIt might all be getting a bit much, but this is still the some of the finest TV ever made, says Grace Dent
Arts & Entertainment
Comedian Lenny Henry is calling for more regulation to support ethnic actors on TV
tvActor and comedian leads campaign against 'lack of diversity' in British television
News
Posted at the end of March, this tweeted photo was a week off the end of their Broadway shows
people
News
peopleStar to remain in hospital for up to 27 days to get over allergic reaction
Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
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