Brisbane: Australia are the Commonwealth Bank Series champions after defeating England by a resounding 51-runs at the Gabba on Sunday night to take an unassailable 4-1 lead with two games to play.
Chasing 250 for victory, the visitors registered only one meaningful partnership – Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell's 73-run stand - on their way to being bowled out for 198.
Although the hosts ran out comfortable winners, the final two wickets cost an embarrassing 70 runs, as the England tail wagged, taking some gloss off the performance.
The Australian bowlers were collectively solid, with Brett Lee the pick of the punch, setting the tone with an aggressive opening spell and finishing with figures of 2-21.
Pietersen was the best of the visiting batsman, scoring 40 from 51 deliveries, while Bell was the next best with 36, on another disappointing night for England in this one-day international series.
Though the Australians were far from their best in the largely uneventful contest, their continued dominance of England in the one-day format will provide the side with plenty of confidence as they build towards their World Cup defence.
Having made their way to 5-103 after 25 overs, England lost their potential saviour in the 26th over, as Bell, who had played with extreme patience, attempted a cramped glide to third-man and was out chopping on.
Chris Woakes joined Paul Collingwood at the crease, and the two showed resilience, refusing to throw in the towel despite the odds mounting impossibly against them.
Shane Watson received a hearty ovation from the Brisbane crowd when he came on to bowl in the 33rd over, and the big all-rounder didn't let anyone down, dismissing Collingwood with his first delivery.
Woakes, who claimed six wickets for the visitors earlier in the day, was unable to repeat his bowling heroics, falling to Watson from the final ball of the over to give the Australian a first-up double-wicket maiden.
James Anderson joined Ajmal Shahzad with the score at 8-128 and the pair were forced to withstand some heavy fire from an Australian attack relishing the chance to feed the England quicks a barrage of short-pitched head-hunters.
With the result a foregone conclusion, the match seemed to slow as Anderson and Shahzad retained their wickets without ever showing serious intent to score.
The Australian quicks were rotated through the attack as Clarke searched for the final two wickets, and in the end it was Doug Bollinger who broke the frustrating strand, with Brad Haddin taking a screamer to dismiss Shahzad.
Anderson and Steven Finn joined in a final wicket stand, trailing by more than 100, but they took full advantage of some ordinary bowling, swinging hard and cashing in while the Australians appeared to have clocked off early.
The pair continued to whirl away as the Australians inexplicably failed to close the show, and by the time Finn fell for 35, the deficit had been reduced to a far more respectable 51.
Australia 249 (Clarke 54, Woakes 6-45)
England 198 (Pietersen 40, Watson 3-25)
Results Australia won by 51 runs
MOM Chris Woakes (England)