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September 6, 2009

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Aussies grab close victory in first ODI

AUSTRALIA repulsed a spirited late charge to record a four-run win over England at The Oval in London on Friday in the first of seven one-day internationals.

Luke Wright (38) and Adil Rashid (31 not out) added 46 in 34 balls for the seventh wicket before Ryan Sidebottom hit two consecutive fours off Brett Lee's final over in the day-night match followed by a cracking cover-drive to the boundary from Rashid.

However, 13 off paceman Nathan Bracken in the last over proved too much for England which ended on 256 for eight at the ground where it regained the Ashes last month, in reply to Australia's 260 for five.

Callum Ferguson, who has made a promising start to his international career after breaking into the one-day side this year, top-scored with 71 not out off 75 balls in Australia's innings.

The Australian batsmen found it difficult to time the ball fluently against the spin of Rashid and Graeme Swann while Paul Collingwood picked up a couple of wickets with his slow-medium cutters. Rashid was the pick of the bowlers with his bustling leg-spin, conceding only 37 from his 10 overs.

For England Ravi Bopara made 49, at last finding some form after a dismal Ashes series, while Owais Shah played a somewhat frenetic innings of 40, frequently threatening to run either himself or his partner out, before he was out hit wicket.

In Colombo, New Zealand won the second Twenty20 international against Sri Lanka by 22 runs to clinch a 2-0 series victory on Friday.

New Zealand followed its thrilling three-run victory on Wednesday night with an impressive all-round display, following the disappointment of a 0-2 test series defeat.

The tourists won the toss and piled on 170 with Jess Ryder scoring a 37-ball 52 that included three huge sixes. Brendon McCullum scored 49 from 34 balls.

Sri Lanka made a poor start, collapsing to 11 for 3 before Mahela Jayawardene (41) and Kumar Sangakkara (69) repaired some of the damage with a 67-run partnership.


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