Tim Paine scored his first one-day international century and Ricky Ponting pulled off two brilliant run outs as Australia beat England by 111 runs to lead the seven-game series 6-0 on Thursday.
England’s only hope of avoiding a 7-0 sweep hangs on a victory at Durham on Sunday.
Paine, the wicketkeeper, scored 111 in a day-night game at Trent Bridge, reaching his century off 130 balls and hitting 14 fours and a six. He shared a third-wicket partnership of 164 with Mike Hussey, whose 65 included two sixes in Australia’s total of 296-8.
With captain and opener Andrew Strauss out second ball for nought, England again folded to 185 all out with nine overs still to play.
The Australians won the toss for the first time in the series and batted first under cloudy skies. They lost opener Shane Watson for 4 and Ponting for 6, both to the recalled Jimmy Anderson.
But Paine and Hussey moved Australia from 40-2 to 203 before Hussey was caught just inside the boundary. Paine followed three runs later in a similar way and Callum Ferguson made only 6 before he was bowled by Anderson.
Cameron White and James Hopes raced to a partnership of 53 off 27 balls before White lofted a catch to Joe Denly and Anderson collected his fourth wicket to finish with 4-55.
The England paceman then ran out Brett Lee for 0 and Hopes was caught for 38 in Australia’s late flurry of runs.
Strauss was unlucky to be given out when the ball came off his shoulder to Paine off Lee. Although the second wicket put on 45, England lost three wickets for 15 runs, two of them from brilliant run outs by Ponting.
After Denly lofted a catch to Lee and departed for 25, Ponting ran out Matthew Prior for 6 and Ravi Bopara for 24 with direct throws, and England slumped to 60-4 in the 15th over.
Despite modest contributions from Eoin Morgan and Owais Shah, who each made 23, England gave easy catches to the fielders and, when the normally big-hitting Dimitri Mascarenhas was bowled off his thigh pad by Hopes for 11, England’s struggle was ominous at 125-7 in the 30th over.
Tim Bresnan defied the bowlers with an unbeaten 31. Hopes finished with 3-32 and Lee and Bracken took two wickets each.