England v Australia: Clarke says Australia were outplayed

Michael Clarke
Michael Clarke

Captain Michael Clarke refused to blame losing the toss for Australia's eight-wicket defeat by England in the fourth one-day international in Durham.

Put in to bat in conditions helpful for seamers, Australia slipped to 68-4 en route to a modest total of 200-9.

England overhauled it with 13 balls to spare, thanks to Ian Bell's 69 and an unbeaten 64 from Jonathan Trott.

"We have no excuses; we're just getting outplayed. We've got to perform better," Clarke told BBC Sport.

"The toss didn't help but we have to scratch out more than 200 and certainly bowl better than we did.

"It was tough batting first but it's tough when you play against good opposition in whatever conditions you face.

"We were prepared; our preparation has been outstanding and as good as it needed to be. We just didn't perform as well as we needed to."

Australia were hindered by injuries to bowlers Brett Lee and Shane Watson, who managed just 3.2 overs between them.

By contrast, Clarke's opposite number Alastair Cook was left to celebrate a ninth successive win, an England record in one-day cricket. They are unbeaten in 2012 after series wins against Pakistan and West Indies.

He said: "It's great to win nine in a row. It was a solid performance. Clearly it was a good toss to win but that doesn't mean you're guaranteed to win.

"We bowled really well and never let them off the hook and it was quite an easy chase in the end."

Victory also wrapped up the five-match series for England with a game to spare, Tuesday's day-night encounter at Old Trafford.

"Australia have been a good side so to win 3-0 and to win quite comfortably is a credit to us," said Cook.

He praised the efforts of pace bowler Steven Finn, who took 4-37 to enhance his claims for a return to the Test side.

Cook said: "We've got good strength in depth and he's been outstanding in this one-day team now for about 12 months. He's doing all he can do to get in that Test team."

Man of the match Finn, who has 14 Test caps compared to 20 ODI appearances, added: "I'm not really thinking about it. I'm trying to be consistent in one-day cricket first and foremost.

"The guys who've been playing in the Test matches before me and ahead of me have done fantastic and don't deserve to lose their places."