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September 11, 2009

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England flops again as White slams ton

CAMERON White hit his first one-day century on Wednesday to lead Australia to a six-wicket win over England and a 3-0 lead in the series.

Chasing England's 228 for nine wickets, White led Australia through the early loss of openers to hit 105 in a total of 230-4.

Australia reached its target with nine balls to spare and now needs only to win tomorrow's match at Lord's to clinch the seven-match series with three games to spare.

"It was a case of Groundhog Day," England captain Andrew Strauss said. "We didn't get enough runs on the board and our top six batters didn't score highly enough, which is something we'll have to address."

England added fielding mistakes to the inadequate scoring rate it had exhibited in the previous two matches but a third-wicket stand between White and Michael Clarke meant Australia was already heading for victory when White was dropped on 92.

James Anderson, who had trapped Shane Watson LBW with the score on just 16, confused White with a slower ball who skied an easy catch to Tim Bresnan who grounded it.

White took two runs and then another off the last ball of the over before reaching his century with a four and quickly run single in the next. He had needed 116 balls.

"Cameron White batted amazing out there," Clarke said. "The wicket was a little two-paced and another 20 runs we'd have struggled to chase."

England's troubles again stemmed largely from an inability to up its scoring to suit the one-day game. Ravi Bopara and Matthew Prior fell within the space of six balls to slow an uncharacteristically quick start and, although captain Andrew Strauss hit 63, the home side's efforts to translate its test success into limited-overs cricket continued to fail.

Australia will be boosted by the return of skipper Ricky Ponting. "He can have it," stand-in captain Clarke said. "I need a good night's sleep."


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