London: A mesmerising spell of spin bowling by Graeme Swann helped England to avoid a humiliating whitewash in the ODI series against Australia.
Swann took 5-28 as England beat Australia by four wickets at Chester-le-Street in the seventh and final ODI. Victory also helped England to avoid the 'disgrace' of first country in the cricket world ever to lose a one-day series 7-0.
Batting first, Aussies were bundled out for 176 inside 46 overs, and England reached their target of 177 with 60 balls to spare for a four-wicket victory thanks largely to a half-century by opener Joe Denly.
Australia had to settle for a 6-1 series triumph after their bowlers failed to make the early breakthrough needed to defend such a small total, with Denly (53) and Andrew Strauss (47) putting on a 106-run stand for the first wicket.
Australian Captain Ricky Ponting was pleased with the character shown by his side, who dropped from first to third in the world rankings.
"We got off to a horrendous start with the ball, but the guys dug deep and kept trying their hardest right to the end," he said.