Trott ton inspires England win
Adelaide - Inspired by a Jonathan Trott century, England secured a 21-run victory over Australia on Wednesday, keeping alive their hopes of winning the one-day series after trailing 3-0.
The tourists needed a win to claw their way back into the seven-match series and a fine century by man-of-the-match Trott helped them to 299-8, the first time they have lasted their full allotment of overs in the series.
Australia never looked comfortable in reply at the Adelaide Oval and their chances all but evaporated with the fall of opener Shane Watson for 64, caught behind of Ajmal Shahzad, to leave the hosts on 116-4.
Captain Michael Clarke's season-long woes with the bat deepened when he was clean bowled by Paul Collingwood for just 15 as the home team fell short with 278 for seven.
England captain Andrew Strauss welcomed the improved performance from his side in the one-day game after they earlier crushed Australia to win the Ashes.
"It was a far better performance all round than in the first three games," he said. After being three-nil down in the series, it was a must-win game for us.
"We came here determined to play well and we're delighted to have won."
Clarke said the Australians paid the price for a poor start with the ball.
"England got off to a good start and 299 was a few too many on that wicket," he said, playing down his own struggles with the bat.
"I didn't get as many runs as I would have liked, but felt like I hit the ball OK," he said.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, the tourists looked poised for a huge score when they brought up their century for the loss of one wicket in the 15th over.
But the middle order stuttered and the innings lost its way, regaining momentum through a late flourish from Michael Yardy, who hit 39 not out from 27 balls.
Trott (102 from 126 balls), who also picked up two wickets in the Australian innings, set up the win with his second ODI century while opener Matt Prior belted 67 from 58 balls.
The pair set England on course for a big score, piling on 113 in quick time for the second wicket.
They were helped by poor bowling from Australia's pacemen, with Brett Lee conceding 68 runs from eight overs and Doug Bollinger 55 from nine.
Lee's wayward bowling helped the English get off to flyer, his first delivery resulting in five wides in an opening over that cost 12 runs.
However, the loss of Prior in the 23rd over slowed the innings.
Prior, who was coming off successive ducks, brought up his 50 with a six off Lee, but fell to Steve Smith in the spinner's second over, top-edging an attempted cut.
The English middle order struggled with Kevin Pietersen making just 12 and Ian Bell going for duck, the pair both falling within three balls in one Smith (3-33) over.
Eoin Morgan's indifferent form continued when he fell to part-time spinner David Hussey attempting a reverse sweep for 24.
Hussey bowled just four overs, but picked up 4-21, also removing centurion Trott, who dragged a ball onto his stumps, Paul Collingwood (27) and Ajmal Shahzad (4).
England were forced to leave out spinner Graeme Swann and all-rounder Tim Bresnan, both sent home early because of injury in a bid to have them fit for next month's World Cup.
Swing bowler James Anderson returned for his first game of the series at the expense of youngster Chris Woakes, while Pietersen was recalled for Luke Wright.