Chester-Le-Street: England coasted to an eight-wicket win over Australia in the fourth one-day international on Saturday led by Ian Bell's 69 and Steve Finn's four-wicket haul to take a 3-0 lead with one match left.
Bell hit nine fours in 94 balls to continue his solid series, having also scored 41 and 75. Jonathan Trott was 64 not out from 102 balls with four boundaries as England closed on 201 for 2, winning with 13 balls to spare at Riverside Ground.
Clint McKay, who claimed 29 for 2, was the only bowler in an injury-hit Australian attack to take wickets in a one-sided and at times tedious contest.
England outclassed Australia in the 4th ODI to win by 8 wickets and took an unassailable 3-0 lead.
"We probably had the best of the conditions today, but that doesn't count for anything," England captain Alastair Cook said. "We've still got to put in a good performance, and our bowlers set that tone beautifully at the top."
Earlier, Steven Finn twice took two wickets from two balls to finish with 37 for 4 and help restrict Australia to 200 for 9.
Finn failed both times to claim a hat trick but was outstanding throughout and was ably assisted by James Anderson who took 34 for 2 after England won the toss and chose to bowl.
Batting conditions were treacherous, but David Hussey top-scored with 70 from 73 balls and nine fours to help Australia recover from 6 for 2 and 96 for 6.
Australia captain Michael Clarke was the next highest scorer with 43.
After England had limited Australia to six runs from the first five overs, Finn claimed two wickets from the first two balls of the next over.
David Warner was initially given not out by umpire Nigel Llong, but a referral showed he was plumb lbw and the decision was reversed with the batsman out for 2 from 18 balls.
Finn's next ball trapped Peter Forrest lbw for a golden duck. Clarke only just survived the hat trick, the ball missing his bat by millimeters on its way to wicketkeeper Criag Kieswetter's gloves.
"They were great conditions for fast bowling," Finn said. "We realised we had to bowl that fuller length and challenge the stumps and challenge the edges, and we did that very well collectively as a unit."
Eoin Morgan dropped an easy catch off Bresnan at gully when Clarke was on 8, but Australia's batsmen were stifled until 14 came off the 14th over, Watson hitting a six and a four off Stuart Broad.
Watson (28) and Clarke put on 51 but that stand ended when Watson chopped a ball from Bresnan onto his stumps in the 19th over. Three overs later, George Bailey was clean bowled by Ravi Bopara for 9.
Clarke was also dropped by Anderson at first slip off Broad but his luck finally ran out in the 33rd over when Finn clattered his off stump.
Finn then had Matthew Wade brilliantly caught behind by Kieswetter for a golden duck, but Hussey and Brett Lee mounted a patient recovery.
Hussey was dropped off Bopara when Ian Bell failed to hold a difficult chance in the 42nd, and he reached his 50 from 62 balls with a glance for two off Samit Patel.
Lee flicked Anderson for six through square leg in the 46th over, but he was caught for 27 off the next ball by Broad at long on — giving Anderson his 500th international wicket.
In his next over, Anderson removed Clint McKay for 6 when Bresnan took a steepling catch at mid off.
Hussey then fell to Bresnan in the final over, caught on the long-off boundary by Anderson.
England started serenely until McKay missed a return catch off Cook in the 11th over.
Australia then wasted its referral on an lbw shout against Cook from a delivery from Pattinson that pitched outside leg stump.
The bowling attack was weakened when Watson and Lee were forced off with injuries, but the wicket Australia desperately needed came when Cook drove McKay to cover and was caught by sub fielder Steve Smith for 29 in the 17th over.
Bell played on to McKay and was bowled in the 33rd, but Trott and Bopara, who finished on 33 not out, patiently knocked off the runs needed in a chase almost entirely devoid of either tension or drama.
"Probably not enough runs and losing a couple of bowlers didn't help, but take nothing away from England," Clarke said. "They were outstanding once again and they continue to show us how to perform in this short form of the game. They've outplayed us so far."
The series concludes in Manchester on Tuesday.