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Sep 5, 2009

Australia rises from the Ashes with ODI win

Australia skipper Michael Clarke praised two of the newcomers to the tour of England as his side put their Ashes defeat after them with a anxious four-run win in the first one-day international.

Callum Ferguson won the man-of-the-match award for an unbeaten 71 here at the Oval on Friday and Cameron White with 53 as Australia, returning to the scene of their 197-run fifth-Test Ashes losing defeat, went 1-0 up in this seven-match series.

Ferguson's innings was the centerpiece of Australia's 260 for five, a total that just proved too much for England to renovate as they finished on 256 for eight.

The 24-year-old South Australian's score was his best in 15 matches at this level and took just 75 balls.

"We've got a lot of new players in our team that didn't take part in the Ashes," Clarke, deputising for the resting Ricky Ponting, told reporters.

"One-day cricket is a lot different to Test cricket, I'm taking a lot of positives out of tonight.

"Callum Ferguson played beautifully," Clarke added ahead of Sunday's 2nd match at Lord's.

"But for Cameron Wright get chance at No 3 and play the way he did was fantastic. It shows he's a good all-rounder and can bat in any position."

Clarke, whose 45 was passive by his normally fluent standards, admitted: "I thought we were maybe 15, 20 runs short but that was mainly down to my batting. I took too many balls to score the runs I did.

"But the way we bowled and fielded was very good. We were very disciplined," he said after seeing left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Johnson take three wickets for 24 runs.

England fell just short with Ryan Sidebottom unable to score the six required off the last ball from Nathan Bracken.

However, things must not to have been so tight.

Ravi Bopara, who was drop for the Ashes finale after averaging just 15 in the first four Test. He made 49 but take 88 balls and hit only three fours before he was stumped after off-spinner Nathan Hauritz beat his forward defensive stroke.

The experienced Paul Collingwood also couldn't grab the initiative, his 23 taking 39 balls and featuring a solitary boundary.

Owais Shah (40 in 48 balls) and Luke Wright (38 in 27 Balls) upped the tempo but by then England were behind the required run-rate.

"When you're chasing 260-odd you need one of your batters to get a big score," said England skipper Andrew Strauss, himself out for 12.

"There were bounty of contributions but no one made a sizeable enough one to turn the game in our favour."

One comfort for England was the form of 21-year-old Adil Rashid.

"We've always known Adil was a very talented individual with ball and bat," said Strauss. "Today, in a big game for him, I thought he was exceptional with the way he bowled.

"That's encouraging. He's got the capability to be a genuine all-rounder."

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