NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND // 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 yesterday. England's last hope of avoiding becoming the first side to be swept 7-0 in a one-day series is on Sunday at Durham. "Six-nil is bad enough to be honest with you," the England captain Andrew Strauss said. "We've got one more opportunity to show our calibre as a side. We need to take that opportunity."
Australia won the toss for the first time in the series in the day-night game at Trent Bridge and racked up 296-8, then skittled England for 185 with nine overs to spare. Paine, the wicketkeeper and one-day opener, scored 111, reaching his century off 130 balls and hitting 14 fours and a six in his seventh match. He shared a third-wicket partnership of 164 with Mike Hussey, whose 65 included two sixes.
"I'm rapt," Paine said. "Obviously, I got a bit nervous out there so to get it (a maiden hundred) out of the way and for the team to win a sixth straight game is a great performance. "In the first few games I felt reasonably good but just didn't go on with it. I'm spending a bit more time at this level and getting comfortable with big crowds and all that sort of stuff. By pushing myself mentally and trying to bat for as long as I could I knew I'd score the runs I was after."
Under cloudy skies, Australia lost opener Shane Watson for 4 and captain 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 for a duck off the second ball when Lee's delivery came off his shoulder to Paine. 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 Mascarenas 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. *AP