London: Fast bowler Steven Finn led England’s attack in the absence of the injured James Anderson as Australia were held to 251 for seven in the second One Day International at The Oval here on Sunday.
Middlesex paceman Finn took an economical one for 36 in nine overs after Anderson was ruled out with a groin problem.
Australia, looking to level this five-match series at 1-1 after a 15-run defeat across London at Lord’s on Friday, saw opener Shane Watson top-score with 66 and middle-order batsman George Bailey make a career-best 65.
The tourists’ innings was often becalmed, with a mere 24 runs coming in a ten-over spell from overs 21 to 30.
But some late-order hitting from Brett Lee, dropped twice by Eoin Morgan off Jade Dernbach on his way to 20 not out, bolstered the total.
England had an early breakthrough when David Warner, who made a fifty on Friday, holed out after mistiming a pull off Finn.
But they missed a chance when Watson, on eight, aimed across the line at Dernbach, taking Anderson’s place, towards gully where a diving Jonathan Trott dropped the chance.
Peter Forrest, in for Steven Smith, had made just 12 in 30 balls when he was brilliantly caught one-handed down the legside at full-stretch by wicket-keeper Craig Kieswetter off Stuart Broad.
Watson came through two lbw reviews, one of his own and one by England, in the 40s.
Meanwhile Australia captain Michael Clarke was caught behind off medium-pacer Ravi Bopara’s third ball for 10.
Watson, whose fifty had come at a run-a-ball, spent 30 balls compiling his final 14 runs when, trying to break free, he hoisted off-spinner Graeme Swann to Finn, who held a low catch at deep mid-wicket.
But from 128 for four, Bailey helped rebuild the innings with a 72-ball fifty including six boundaries.
Excellent fielding saw the 6ft 7in Finn, having got done well to half-stop a David Hussey drive off his own bowling, then run him out for 29 with a direct hit to end a run-a-ball stand of 78.
Bailey, whose previous ODI best was the 59 he made against the West Indies in Kingstown in March, was out when clean bowled by seamer Tim Bresnan.