Captain Michael Clarke’s misery mounted with another batting bomb as England kept the one-day series alive with a 21-run triumph over Australia on Wednesday.

Chasing 300 to win, Australia managed 7-278 as England’s breakthrough victory took the ledger in the seven-game series to 3-1 in favour of their hosts.

Clarke made just 15 from 27 balls as Australia’s batsmen spluttered in reply to an England total underpinned by Jonathon Trott’s composed 102 from 126 balls.

Trott built the platform for England’s 8-299 which, despite career-best bowling by David Hussey (4-21) and Steven Smith (3-33), was enough to stifle Australia Day celebrations for 34,393 fans at Adelaide Oval.

Clarke and Australia’s top order again faltered, with Shane Watson (64 from 72 balls) the exception.

Watson received scant support from Brad Haddin (20), Shaun Marsh (one) and Clarke in a wobbly top order display.

Clarke has made just 70 runs in the four one-dayers at the paltry average of 17.50, with a strike rate of 56.

When the struggling stand-in skipper was bowled by a Paul Collingwood seamer, Australia slumped to 3-87 in the 17th over.

Watson tried to engineer a recovery but the powerful opener fell seven overs later to leave Australia in the mire at 4-116.

Victorian pair Cameron White (44 from 64 deliveries) and Hussey (28 from 34 balls) attempted a rescue mission and put on 59 runs in a promising fifth wicket union.

But both were caught in the deep from Trott’s bowling in a five over span which eroded any Australian winning chance, despite the doomed late efforts of Smith (46 not out) and Brett Lee (39 not out).