Australia sink sorry England in Hobart
Australia clinched a 46-run victory over England in a low-scoring second one-day international at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart as the hosts assumed a 2-0 lead in the seven-match series.
In a match marred by what appeared to be serious injuries to Shaun Tait and Nathan Hauritz, Michael Clarke's side were inspired by an imperious 110 from the previously overlooked Shaun Marsh.
England's target of 231 seemed eminently gettable, but the tourists faltered badly throughout as Doug Bollinger, who had smashed an improbable run-a-ball 30 with the bat, finished with four for 28.
The hosts were indebted to Marsh, a replacement for the injured Mike Hussey, as he hit his second one-day century before combining with Bollinger (30) in a record Australia stand for the ninth wicket of 88 to help them post a score of 230.
Marsh combined with Cameron White, who racked up 45 himself, for a 100-run partnership that steadied Australia after they plunged to 33-4, but England believed they were in the money with the hosts eight down later in the innings, only for Bollinger to confound their confidence to surpass his previous best of just three not out.
England were the favourites at the turn of the two innings, with Australia's effort seemingly paltry, but the tourists lacked conviction from the outset in the face of some potent and pretty impeccable pace bowling from Bollinger et al.
Matt Prior had already fallen for a duck on his highly-publicised recall at the top of the order, before Bollinger removed skipper Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen with successive deliveries.
Jonathan Trott then swatted a Steve Smith long-hop to short mid-wicket after a 47-run stand with Ian Bell to leave England needing to score at just over 5.5 an over to claim victory.
Tim Bresnan required a runner and the almost inevitable miscommunication led to the run-out of James Tredwell, while Eoin Morgan failed to shoulder the weight of his side's expectation, looking to seize the initiative as the tourists employed a relatively early batting powerplay.
The joy of impending victory for Australia was tempered due to the injuries to Hauritz and Tait as first the spinner, who was named in Australia's World Cup squad earlier this week, badly injured his right shoulder chasing a shot from Michael Yardy out to the boundary when he slid to gather the ball, rolled over and collapsed in obvious pain.
Fast bowler Tait also walked off the field shortly afterwards with one ball to bowl in his sixth over with what appeared to be a groin strain as the paceman grimaced in his follow through and handed the ball to captain Clarke to bowl the last ball of the over. With the hosts eyeing their fourth successive World Cup crown from February 19, it was a second major blow.
England's resistance petered out tamely, and the inept run-out of Ajmal Shahzad for the final wicket epitomised the lack of the ruthless, resilient edge which coach Andy Flower is so keen to nurture within the camp.
Andrew Strauss's side were eventually bowled out for a paltry 184 in just the 45th over, and the tourists now trail 2-0 in the series ahead of the third ODI at the SCG in Sydney on Sunday.