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Updated: September 16, 2009 03:10 IST

Ponting inspires Aussie romp

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Ricky Ponting scored his 26th ODI hundred to guide Australia to a four-wicket win over England.
Ricky Ponting scored his 26th ODI hundred to guide Australia to a four-wicket win over England.

Ricky Ponting hit 126 from 109 balls to give Australia a four-wicket win and a 5-0 lead over England in the teams’ ODI series.

Although England reached its highest total in five matches with 299 all out, Ponting smashed 14 fours and three sixes to lead Australia to 302-6 with 10 balls remaining.

Mitchell Johnson hit the winning runs with the fourth six of the innings.

The loss again exposed England’s shortcomings in limited-overs cricket, with poor fielding and loose bowling undoing what was ultimately only a reasonable score on a helpful wicket.

Tim Bresnan dismissed both openers but that only brought Ponting to the crease and he set about dismantling the English attack.

Michael Clarke also hit 52 and Ponting stayed out until his team was on 261, when he was caught by Owais Shah off Stuart Broad.

Cameron White and Johnson then guided the tourists to victory and continued to extract revenge for the loss of the Ashes.

The next match is set for the same ground on Thursday.

But England had been hopeful of victory after recovering from a slow start of 4-0 off four overs to keep scoring despite the loss of key wickets.

Even so, every batsman down to No. 10 got a start without going on to get a truly big score.

Captain Andrew Strauss set an example with 35 at almost a run a ball after he again won the toss, but Eoin Morgan was the true engine with a top score of 58 from 41 balls.

Adil Rashid smashed 14 of the 18 runs to come off the last over, with three boundaries off the expensive Johnson, before he was run out on the last ball trying to push the score past 300 for only the second time in 28 matches.

The spinner finished with 18 from nine balls, Matthew Prior scored 37 and Joe Denly chipped in with 45 from opener.

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