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September 8, 2009

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Australia races to 2-0 against England

AUSTRALIA exploited England's lack of power hitters on Sunday to beat the hosts for the second time in three days and take a 2-0 lead in the seven-match one-day series.

England steadily fell off the pace chasing Australia's modest 249 for eight at Lord's and was bowled out for 210 with 23 balls remaining to give the world 50-overs champions victory by 39 runs.

A robust 43 not out off 23 balls from Mitchell Johnson revived the Australian innings but its total still looked well within England's reach when Andrew Strauss and Ravi Bopara put on 74 for the first wicket. But four wickets then tumbled in 31 deliveries, starting with Bopara's dismissal for 27.

Matt Prior was caught behind for one off an airy waft, Strauss (47) hit a soft return catch to spinner Nathan Hauritz and Owais Shah (12) was once again involved in a run-out after confusion with Paul Collingwood.

By coincidence or not, three of the wickets fell soon after a Lancaster bomber flew across the ground to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the date the Royal Air Force returned Lord's to its original authorities after taking over the ground as a recruitment center during World War II.

Collingwood fought a dour battle to score 56 from 84 deliveries but neither he nor his partners could lift the run-rate sufficiently to seriously challenge the Australians.

Callum Ferguson, man-of-the-match for his unbeaten 71 in Australia's narrow win in the opening match at the Oval on Friday, again impressed with 55 from 58 balls after Strauss elected to field first for the second time.

Ferguson added 69 from 86 balls for the fourth wicket with the aggressive Cameron White (42) after Australia had lost three wickets in 11 balls following a brisk opening stand of 62 between Shane Watson (34) and Tim Paine (26).

The victims included captain Michael Clarke, who was out for four when an attempted hook off Tim Bresnan resulted in a thin edge to Prior behind the stumps.


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