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Clarke sets up Australia ODI win over England

After the first game of the series was washed out, Australia took a 1-0 lead with an 88-run win

Michael Clarke's century steered Australia to an 88-run win against England in the second One-Day International at Old Traffordon Sunday (September 8). Australia now takes a 1-0 lead after the first game of the series in Leeds was washed out. 

Clarke's 105, only his eighth hundred in 229 matches at this level, was the cornerstone of a total of 315 for 7 and came on the same ground where he made 187 in the drawn third Test against England last month. Clarke received excellent support from George Bailey, the Australian vice-captain, with an 82 in a fifth-wicket stand of 155 as Australia made its highest ODI score against England in England, surpassing its 302 for 6 at Nottingham's Trent Bridge in 2009.

England, having only twice before made more than 300 to win an ODI, slumped to 9 for 2, as Mitchell Johnson took two wickets in three deliveries, and was dismissed for 227 with 34 balls to spare.

"It's nice to get a win and it's a good start to this series for us," said Clarke at the presentation ceremony. "To make over 300 was a really good score and all our bowlers executed."

He added: "I'd like to play the next three one-dayers and every Test at Manchester, it's a nice batting wicket."

Earlier, England -- resting James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann ahead of the return Ashes Down Under starting in November -- appeared to be at least one bowler light. But Boyd Rankin, the former Ireland bowler, checked Australia's progress with two wickets in two balls including that of Clarke in an innings where James Tredwell's eight overs of off-spin cost an expensive 60 runs.

However, stand-in England captain Eoin Morgan said: "I don't think we were a bowler short... I'm not concerned by the balance of the side."

England, after winning the toss, needed just four balls to reduce Australia to nought for one when Steven Finn had Shaun Marsh edging to Jos Buttler, the England wicketkeeper. Bailey lofted Tredwell straight for six before completing a 47-ball fifty -- and raising a century partnership too -- with his third six, off Ben Stokes (none for 66). But Bailey fell when he pulled Ravi Bopara to Tredwell at short fine leg.

Clarke's 14 fours included several well-struck drives, cuts and pulls. Yet his 102-ball innings ended in ugly fashion, when he edged a swipe off Rankin to Buttler.

England, in the absence of rested opening duo Alastair Cook, its regular captain, and Ian Bell, entrusted first-wicket duties to Kevin Pietersen and Michael Carberry. But Carberry had made just four when he cut Johnson straight to Clarke at backward point. Johnson then produced a brute of a rising delivery that Jonathan Trott could only nick to Matthew Wade, the Australian wicketkeeper, as he went for nought.

And when Joe Root was clean bowled by James Faulkner, Johnson's fellow left-arm paceman, England were 38 for 3.

Eoin Morgan, the stand-in captain, walked out, having rescued England from an even worse position of 25 for 3 with an unbeaten century in a six-wicket win against his native Ireland in Malahide on Tuesday.

Pietersen, one of three changes to the team that played Ireland, swept leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed for six. But he exited for a 66-ball 60 after driving Watson to Faulkner at short extra-cover.

And 97 for 4 became 103 for 5 when Bopara, who like Morgan also scored an unbeaten hundred against Ireland, was caught and bowled by Adam Voges.

When Morgan holed out for 54 off Clint McKay (three for 47), England's already fading hopes of victory went with him at 154 for 6.

Buttler made 75 off 65 balls, his maiden fifty in 16 ODIs, but he never threatened to alter the result, merely Australia's winning margin.

The series continues at Birmingham's Edgbaston ground on Wednesday (September 11).

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