Sat, Jan 27, 2007 - Page 20 News List

Dismal England sink to new low in Adelaide

AFP , ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA

England's horror tour of Australia hit rock bottom yesterday when the home side routed them for just 110 and beat them by nine wickets in their triangular one-day series match at the Adelaide Oval.

Australia cruised to the victory target, finishing on 111 for one from just 24.3 overs and claiming a bonus point in the process.

It was unbeaten Australia's fifth win and they are already guaranteed a berth in the tri-series finals, while the mentally shattered English are anchored at the foot of the table with just one win from five games.

With recalled paceman Mitchell Johnson claiming 4-45, the embattled English weren't even able to match their paltry score of 120 against New Zealand at the same venue on Tuesday, despite Australia resting first choice bowlers Glenn McGrath and Nathan Bracken.

The insipid effort equalled England's fourth-lowest score in one-day internationals and continued their alarming recent history of being unable to bat out their full complement of overs.

In their past three one-day innings, they have managed just 155, 120 and 110 in a worrying trend.

The English lasted just 34.3 overs, enabling Australia to face 12 overs before the scheduled break in play, which is meant to separate the two innings.

Had it not been for the uncertain form of Australian opener Matthew Hayden, who also ran out Adam Gilchrist, the match might well have been over by the time the break came.

Former Australian captain Bill Lawry summed up England's plight well.

"Their fielding is sub-standard, their bowling is ordinary and their batting is shocking," he said in a grim assessment.

At the same venue where they infamously blew the second Ashes Test last month with a last-day batting collapse, interim England captain Andrew Flintoff won the toss and elected to bat.

His side looked to be doing okay when they were 72-2 and Ian Bell was in his best form of the one-day series.

However, Bell's dismissal for 35 triggered another ugly collapse by the English, who were embarrassingly inept at the crease.

The English have just eight wins in their last 32 one-day internationals as the World Cup looms.

At one stage, England lost 4-4 to slump to 9-107 as Johnson created havoc.

While Johnson was damaging, Brett Lee also continued his fine tri-series with 2-8 from eight overs.

Lee claimed the wickets of recent debutant Mal Loye (9) and Tuesday's top-scorer Ed Joyce (11).

To make matters worse for England, they were without opening bowlers James Anderson and Jon Lewis, the pair joining Vaughan and Kevin Pietersen on the injured list.

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