STUART BROAD took four wickets on his 24th birthday to inspire England to a seventh successive one-day victory and a 2-0 series lead over Australia.
Broad’s 4-44 restricted Ricky Ponting’s tourists to a modest 239-7 in Cardiff, and also ensured he became the youngest England bowler ever to take 100 one-day wickets.
Eoin Morgan and captain Andrew Strauss both struck half-centuries in reply as the hosts reached their target with four wickets and 28 balls to spare.
Strauss’ men are desperate to avenge last summer’s 6-1 defeat to the Aussies and victory in Sunday’s third ODI at Old Trafford will hand them an unassailable 3-0 lead with two matches to play.
Australia raced to 51 without loss before Broad came to life, sniffing out the first three wickets, including that of Ponting and dangerman Michael Clarke. Luke Wright accounted for opener Shane Watson, who added 57, but it was Cameron White who kept the innings flowing, smashing seven fours and two sixes in a classy unbeaten 86, while Broad and James Anderson struck at the other end.
Even the loss of Craig Kieswetter in the third over to Doug Bollinger didn’t deter England as Strauss (51) and Kevin Pietersen (33) put on 68 from 76 balls for the second wicket before the latter was brilliantly caught by Ponting at short mid-wicket.
Strauss swiftly followed, leaving Paul Collingwood and Morgan at the crease and the pair put on 84 for the fourth wicket, in which time Collingwood surpassed Alec Stewart’s mark of 4,677 to become the top English run-scorer in ODIs.
He eventually fell two short of a his half-century before chopping Bollinger onto his stumps before James Hopes trapped Wright the same way for just 10.
Morgan didn’t last much longer, but impressed again with his 52, leaving Tim Bresnan
(12no) and spinner Graeme Swann (19no) to wrap up victory – Swann finishing the game off with a lofted off-drive six off Clint McKay.