THE end of the ODI series can’t come quickly enough for England’s cricketers after suffering a morale-sapping defeat despite making their biggest total ever against Australia.
Their cause wasn’t helped when Paul Collingwood became the latest injury victim after hurting his back and this left skipper Andrew Strauss a bowler short.
It was probably crucial as Australia chased down England’s 333-6 and got home with two wickets and four balls to spare in Sydney thus completing their highest-ever run chase.
Jonathan Trott hit a career-best 137, from 126 balls, to play the lead role in stifling heat but Australia got away to a flier before 82 off 70 balls from captain Michael Clarke put them in sight of victory late on. Collingwood suffered his back injury attempting to heave the final ball of the innings and he is doubtful for the final game in Perth on Sunday.
Trott and Kevin Pietersen - who also briefly left the field after rolling his ankle - had to make up his 10 overs and conceded 72 runs.
Trott added 100 with Andrew Strauss, 68, and 103 with Ian Bell, 45, but Shane Watson’s 51 off 34 balls set Australia off perfectly.
Mitchell Johnson was moved up the order and responded with 57 from 59 balls.
Ajmal Shahzad (hamstring) and Chris Tremlett (side) fly home today for treatment joining Graeme Swann (back/knee) and Tim Bresnan (calf) back home. Liam Plunkett flies out to plays in the last match with Australia leading 5-1.