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Flintoff 'trick propels England

ALLROUNDER Andrew Flintoff's hat trick in a career-best 5-19 piloted England to a 26-run win over the West Indies and victory in the one-day international series in Castries, St Lucia, on Friday.

England earned its first one-day series triumph in the Caribbean by 3-2 from 1-2 down.

In a rain-shortened match, England, on the back of a top score of 48 from Kevin Pietersen, totaled 172-5 off 29 overs.

Opener Ravi Bopara contributed 44 while Paul Collingwood with 35 not out and Matt Prior on 25 not out beefed up the innings toward the end.

Left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn took 2-23 and medium pacer Kieron Pollard claimed 2-31.

Once West Indies lost captain Chris Gayle for a duck, the host was always under pressure. It eventually folded for 146 all out off 28 overs.

Dwayne Bravo top-scored with 33 and fellow allrounder Pollard contributed 30 but they both departed in successive deliveries to end West Indian hopes.

Man of the match Flintoff supplied late drama with a hat trick, bowling Denesh Ramdin, trapping Ravi Rampaul leg before wicket and then rattling the stumps of Benn. His haul of 5-19 off five overs was the third best figures for England in one-dayers. James Anderson claimed Gayle on his way to 2-34.

In Durban, offspinner Nathan Hauritz snapped up four wickets to steer Australia to an emphatic 141-run victory over South Africa in the first ODI on Friday.

Hauritz's career-best figures of 4-29 helped the Australians to skittle out the host for a mere 145 after just 33.1 overs.

Chasing 287 for victory, South Africa lost its last nine wickets for just 54 runs as Hauritz and medium-pacer James Hopes (2-24) ran through the order.

Australia had earlier posted a total of 286 for seven, with Michael Hussey returning to form with 83 not out. Brad Haddin added 53.


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