SYDNEY, Feb 2 (AFP): Australia conjured up their biggest ever successful run chase to beat England by two wickets in a thrilling sixth one-day international at the Sydney Cricket Ground today.
After a Jonathan Trott century helped England post their highest ever ODI score against Australia of 333-6, the home side batted their way into contention, needing six to win off the final over with two wickets in hand.
Tailender John Hastings edged a boundary off the second delivery from youngster Chris Woakes to hand Australia victory with four balls to spare, the home side making 334-8.
It was Australia�s record run chase in an ODI and extended their lead over the tourists in the seven-match series to 5-1 with one game to play.
Captain Michael Clarke�s late season return to form continued as he smashed 82 from 70 balls to lead the unlikely chase, with late support from David Hussey, who made 38.
The match seemed to be England�s to lose with Australia needing 70 off 48 balls, but the pair took 16 off James Anderson�s eighth over � the 44th of the innings.
They followed it up by notching 14 off Anderson�s ninth as the England bowler went on to finish with a disastrous 91 runs from his 10 overs.
Shane Watson, with 51 off 34 balls, got the home side off to a flying start in reply to what had the look of a match-winning total by England, before falling to the spin of Michael Yardy.
Mitchell Johnson was promoted to number four and made 57 before being stumped from the bowling of Kevin Pietersen, while the recalled Callum Ferguson was run out for 46.
An Australian win seemed unlikely after Trott�s second century of the series helped England post what was also their highest ODI score in Australia.
Trott continued his superb series by making 137, taking his haul for the series to 361 runs at 72.20, the English number three the leading scorer for either side despite his team�s indifferent form.
Before falling to the second-last ball of the innings Trott was offered good support by captain Andrew Strauss, who made 63 from just 69 balls, and Ian Bell, with 45 from 32 deliveries.
Trott, was earlier given out lbw on 82 to Shaun Tait but handed a reprieve after a review of the decision, reached triple figures for the fourth time in ODIs from exactly 100 balls, having hit seven boundaries.
In an outstanding game for the England man he took a brilliant catch to remove Brad Haddin (20), and bowled during the Australian innings.
England: Andrew Strauss c Hussey b Smith 63, Matt Prior b Johnson 18, Jonathan Trott c&b Tait 137, Kevin Pietersen c Smith b Lee 29, Ian Bell c Clarke b Tait 45, Eoin Morgan c Tait b Watson 21, Paul Collingwood not out 7, Chris Woakes not out 0. Extras: (B-1, LB-3, W-6, NB-3) 13. Total: (For six wickets; 50 overs) 333. Fall of wickets: 1-41, 2-121, 3-189, 4-293, 5-319, 6-330. Bowling: Brett Lee 9-1-66-1, Shaun Tait 10-0-60-2, Mitchell Johnson 6-0-43-1, John Hastings 7-0-48-0, David Hussey 4-0-25-0, Steve Smith 7-0-40-1, Michael Clarke 1-0-7-0, Shane Watson 6-0-40-1.
Australia: Shane Watson c Strauss b Yardy 51, Brad Haddin c Trott b Anderson 20, Callum Ferguson run out 46, Mitchell Johnson st Prior b Petersen 57, Michael Clarke run out 82, Cameron White c Morgan b Finn 20, David Hussey c Prior b Finn 38, Steve Smith run out 0, John Hastings not out 7, Brett Lee not out 2. Extras: (W-11) 11. TOTAL: (For 8 wkts in 49.2 overs) 334. Fall of wickets: 1-71, 2-87, 3-166, 4-194, 5-224, 6-314, 7-317, 8-327. Bowling: Chris Woakes 9.2-0-72-0, James Anderson 10-0-91-1, Steven Finn 10-0-51-2, Michael Yardy 10-0-47-1, Kevin Pietersen 6-0-43-1, Jonathan Trott 4-0-29-0.