MANCHESTER, England, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Australia captain Michael Clarke blasted a magnificent 105 as the touring side set England a challenging target of 316 to win the second one-day international at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Clarke's 155-run third-wicket partnership with George Bailey (82) was the driving force behind Australia's imposing total of 315 for seven wickets against below-par bowling from the hosts.
England won the toss and chose to bowl on a sunny early morning start after the first one-dayer at Headingley was rained off but did not put up much of a fight as Australia piled on the runs.
The tourists got off to a bad start, losing Shaun Marsh for a duck to the fourth delivery of the day, and Shane Watson almost went first ball before surviving after a review on an lbw decision.
Watson was not so lucky second time round when England called a review of their own and he was given out for 38.
The Hotspot technology did not show any contact between the bat and Ravi Bopara's delivery, caught by Jos Buttler, but the loud woody noise that accompanied Watson's swipe was enough to change the umpire's original call.
Opener Aaron Finch made 45 off 45 balls before Joe Root caught him at long on and Bailey's fine innings ended when he was caught by James Tredwell off Bopara as the clouds gathered over Old Trafford.
England's bowlers finally made an impression when Boyd Rankin took the wickets of Clarke, who made his eighth one-day century, and Matthew Wade (0) with successive deliveries. James Faulkner was out for 18 in the final over.
England, who won the Ashes 3-0 last month, lost the last two post-Ashes one-day series in 2009 and 2010-11. (Reporting by Sonia Oxley; Editing by Ed Osmond)