Australia put on a fine all-round display to beat England by 46 runs at Hobart and go 2-zip up in the 7-match ODI series. After being in deep distress at 33/4and 142/8, the hosts rallied to crawl back into the match, courtesy a defiant recovery led by Shaun Marsh who ended up making 110. In reply, England's innings progressed in a worse manner, as the tourists lost 5 wickets for 96 runs, before the latter order attempted to wrest back control but failed to do so and fell short of Australia's total by 46 runs.
England's innings, like Australia, also started on a tentative note. Comeback man Matt Prior was out for a duck when he was snapped up by Shane Watson at slip off Brett Lee. The score was 12/1 in 2.5 overs. But in the very next over, new batsman Jonathan Trott and surviving opener Andrew Strauss, each took a four off Shaun Tait.
But in the 8th over, Doug Bollinger struck back to first trap Strauss in front for 19 and then bowl Kevin Pietersen for a first-ball duck. England were 36/3 in 8 overs with Ian Bell, the new man at the crease. Then Bell stabilised things with Trott and took a four off Watson to bring up England's 50 in 12.4 overs.
Just as it looked like Trott and Bell were taking England to a strong position, legspinner Steven Smith had Trott caught by David Hussey at midwicket for 32 off 58 balls. England had slumped to 83/4 in 23.2 overs, with Eoin Morgan, the new man at the crease.
Bell didn't last very much longer and was out to Brett Lee when he was caught at backward point for 32 off 61 balls. England were in dire straits at 96/5 in 27.2 overs. One over later the visitors crossed the 100-run mark, but were looking very precarious with two new men in the middle.
But the duo of Eoin Morgan and Michael Yardy was not going to give in meekly. In the 31st over, the pair took a four and six off Hauritz, while Morgan followed up with another four off Lee in the following over. In the 34th over, Bollinger bwoled 5 wides as England's deficit fell below 100. At the end of that 11-run over, the tourists needed 94 off 96 balls.
With the score at 140/5, Engalnd lost Morgan to Watson for 21 off 31 balls, when he was caught at mid on. Then just a couple of overs later, Yardy was run out to leave the tourists at 148/7. But Tim Bresnan counter-attacked from the other end, lopping two fours off Lee in the 38th over. Then in the 40th over, James Tredwell got into the act, hitting a four off Watson to reduce the equation to 61 required off 56 balls.
But Bollinger picked up his third wicket when he had Bresnan caught by Watson at the boundary, for 19. At that point, England still needed 53 runs from 40 balls with just wickets remaining. Just 3 balls later, Bollinger trapped Tredwell in front for 16 as the score read a dismal 180/9 in 44 overs. Ajmal Shahzad was then run out for 2 and it was game over for England.
Being put into bat, Australia got off to an unsteady start. English medium pacer Ajmal Shahzad struck early, removing Aussie opener Shane Watson for 5 in the 3rd over and then cleaning up Brad Haddin for the same score as Australia slumped to 15/2 in 7 overs.
Battling poor form, captain Michael Clarke was the next to go when Tim Bresnan had him caught by Ian Bell at point, for 10. The hosts were in serious distress at 21/3 in 9.3 overs.
There were two new batsmen at the crase in Cameron White and David Hussey. They tried launching a recovery, but Chris Tremlett nipped their plans in the bud when he had Hussey caught by captain Anderw Strauss at gully for 8. Australia had slumped to 33/4 in 12.3 overs with Shaun Marsh the new man in. Marsh and White took their side to over 50 in the 18th over after which they each struck four. Australia proceed to bat very slowly indeed, reaching a mere 86/4 at the half-way stage.
But then Marsh and White began to pick up the rate a tad with Marsh smacking off-spinner James Tredwell for a four to bring up Australia's 100 in the 28th over. In the next over, Marsh took two boundaries off Yardy as the momentum gradually started to shift the hosts way.
Looking to follow Marsh's aggression, White slapped Yardy for a four in the 33rd over, but was out next ball, caught and bowled, for 45 off 76 balls. The hosts had slipped to 133/5, but there was more trouble in store shortly after, when Steven Smith, Nathan Hauritz and Brett Lee departed in quick succession, leaving Australia in shambles at 142/8 in 36.5 overs.
But then Doug Bollinger came to the rescue, joining forces with an ever-stable Shaun Marsh, to take Australia to 150 in the 39th over. With just over 10 overs remaining in their innings, the two began to up the run-rate with a few boundaries. In the 43rd over, Bollinger and Marsh teamed up to take a four and six off Yardy.
Then, in the 45th over, March got stuck into Yardy again, knocking off two fours and a six off him, thus taking Australia well over 200. and reaching his 100 in the process. In the 49th over, Chris Tremlett got rid of Bollinger for 30 and Marsh for 110 in successive deliveries. Thus Australia had been bowled out for 230 in 48.2 overs.