Australia's Michael Clarke celebrates reaching his century during the second one day international (ODI) cricket match between England and Australia at Old Trafford in Manchester. -AFP Photo
MANCHESTER: Michael Clarke led from the front with a century as Australia overwhelmed England by 88 runs in the second one-day international at Manchester's Old Trafford on Sunday.
Victory saw Australia take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series following Friday's washout in Leeds on the ground where they suffered a 4-0 ODI campaign loss to England last year.
Australia captain Clarke's 105, only his eighth hundred in 229 matches at this level, was the cornerstone of a total of 315 for seven and came after he'd made 187 at Old Trafford in the drawn third Test against England last month.
Man-of-the-match Clarke received good support from vice-captain George Bailey (82) in a fifth-wicket stand of 155 as Australia made their highest one-day international score against England in England, surpassing their 302 for six at Nottingham's Trent Bridge in 2009.
England, having only twice before made more than 300 to win an ODI, slumped to nine for two as Mitchell Johnson took two wickets in three deliveries and were dismissed for 227 with 34 balls to spare.
“It's nice to get a win and it's a good start to this series for us,” said Clarke at the presentation ceremony.
“To make over 300 was a really good score and all our bowlers executed.”
He added: “I'd like to play the next three one-dayers and every Test at Manchester, it's a nice batting wicket.”
Earlier, Ashes-winners England, resting James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann ahead of the return series 'Down Under' starting in November, appeared to be at least one bowler 'light'.
However, stand-in England captain Eoin Morgan said: “I don't think we were a bowler short... I'm not concerned by the balance of the side.”
Australia seemed set for a total well in excess of 300 but former Ireland paceman Boyd Rankin (two for 49) checked Australia's progress with two wickets in two balls including that of Clarke.
But the tourists made a determined effort to get after the often economical James Tredwell and the off-spinner's eight overs cost an expensive 60 runs.
England, after winning the toss, needed just four balls to reduce Australia to nought for one when fast bowler Steven Finn had Shaun Marsh edging to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.
Aaron Finch and Shane Watson kept the scoreboard ticking over before Bailey upped the tempo, completing a 47-ball fifty, and raising a century partnership too, with his third six, off all-rounder Ben Stokes (none for 66).
But Bailey fell when he pulled medium-pacer Ravi Bopara to Tredwell at short fine leg.
Clarke's largely stylish 102-ball innings, featuring 14 fours, ended in ugly fashion when he edged a swipe off Rankin to Buttler.
England, in the absence of rested opening duo Alastair Cook, their regular captain, and Ian Bell, entrusted first-wicket duties to Kevin Pietersen and Michael Carberry.
But Carberry had made just four when he cut left-arm fast bowler Johnson straight to Clarke at backward point.
Johnson then produced a brute of a rising delivery that Jonathan Trott could only nick to wicketkeeper Matthew Wade as he went for nought.
And when Joe Root was bowled by James Faulkner, England were 38 for three.
Morgan walked out, having rescued England from an even worse position of 25 for three with an unbeaten century in a six-wicket win against his native Ireland in Malahide on Tuesday.
Pietersen swept leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed for six.
But he exited for a 66-ball 60 after driving medium-pacer Watson to Faulkner at short extra-cover.
Bopara, who like Morgan also scored an unbeaten hundred against Ireland, was caught and bowled by left-arm spinner Adam Voges for one.
When left-hander Morgan holed out for 54 off Clint McKay (three for 47), England's already fading hopes of victory went with him at 154 for six.
Buttler made 75 off 65 balls, his maiden fifty in 16 ODIs, but he never threatened to alter the result, merely Australia's winning margin.
The series continues at Birmingham's Edgbaston ground on Wednesday.