Magnificent Watson hauls down England

Melbourne, January 16 (AGENCIES): A world-class Shane Watson century and some vital pinch hitting from Michael Hussey and Cameron White has helped Australia to a six-wicket win over England in the first one-day international at the MCG.
With Australia bogged down by extremely tight bowling, Hussey (21 off 15) joined centurion Watson (161 not out) after the English bowlers had pinned down the out-of-form Michael Clarke (36) and quickly dismissed pinch hitter Steve Smith (5).
Hussey made immediate inroads by taking the attack to Tim Bresnan with a four and a six in consecutive balls to seize the initiative in a match that was beginning to slip away for the hosts. A change of pace from Bresnan eventually fooled Hussey who spooned it to square leg, but his quick innings looked to have put his side back in the driving seat. There was bad news for the hosts as Hussey limped off the field after his dismissal with a suspected strained hamstring. After initially seeing off Michael Yardy's tight spinners, White (25 off 23) joined in the charge with quick singles and big hits.
Going for the big hit, White escaped after Jonathan Trott dropped his top-edge, before lobbing an on-drive for a vital boundary the next ball off Chris Tremlett.
Watson, with his eye in, runs on the board and wickets in hand, pulled for four to reach an emphatic 150 off 142 balls. White flashed a Bresnan full toss for four to put victory in sight, before Watson, fittingly, smashed Ajmal Shahzad for six to win the match with five balls remaining.
Clarke out of form
The required run rate had begun to climb before Hussey's introduction as Graeme Swann, Yardy and Shahzad hemmed in Clarke as well as Watson in the nervous 90s. But Watson, reticent to offer a big shot to pass the century mark, reached his ton with quick singles to celebrate an unblemished, excellent innings.
It was the precursor to a huge over for Watson and Australia as the centurion smashed two consecutive sixes over the leg side off Yardy to relieve the pressure. But the crowd had begun to boo Clarke for a slow strike-rate; the Australian captain finally registered his first 'boundary' after a farcical fielding display when first Kevin Pietersen, then Andrew Strauss registered overthrows in the same play. Clarke attempted some big shots afterwards but could only loft the ball just short of the boundary for two off Tremlett before just passing short fine leg with a top edge off Swann.
A recall for Bresnan paid immediate dividends for England as the struggling Clarke drove straight to Shahzad at covers to end an out-of-sorts innings.
Smith came up the order as pinch-hitter, but made little impact before forcing a sharp catch from Yardy off Shahzad.
Earlier, Australia had gotten off to a rocketing start thanks to a 110-run opening partnership between Watson and Brad Haddin (39), but the brakes were put on the chase after Haddin lofted a sweep off Swann straight to Shahzad at deep square leg.
Scrappy innings
A quickfire 90 off 12 overs from England's opening pair of Strauss (63) and Steve Davies (42 off 35) looked to have put the visitors on course for a big innings. Ultimately reaching 294 all out, England needed Pietersen's sturdy 78 off 75 balls to recover from a mid-innings slow down after Smith snared the wickets of Ian Bell (23) and Eoin Morgan (8). Pietersen and Bresnan (28 off 27) looked to keep the scoreboard ticking over, only for a brilliant runout by Mitchell Johnson snared the vital wicket of Pietersen.
Bresnan looked for a quick leg bye single but Pietersen was caught by Johnson's snappy footwork, kicking the ball straight onto the stumps for a run-out to expose England's tail.
Bresnan then top-edged to Doherty at third man off Brett Lee's bowling before Doherty caught Swann at mid-on after the tail-ender was fooled by a Johnson slower ball. With the home side bowlers sniffing a chance to prematurely shut out England's innings, tail-enders Tremlett and Shahzad smashed Lee and Johnson out of the ground with a six a piece, before Tremlett top-edged to Haddin.