Watson's 143 lifts Australia to 298

By Oliver Haill

(Reuters) - Shane Watson smashed a brilliant 143 to lead Australia to an imposing total of 298 in the deciding fifth one-day international against England in Southampton on Monday.

Watson struck six sixes and 12 fours, sharing a fourth-wicket partnership of 163 with captain Michael Clarke who made a fluent 75 after recovering from a back injury.

England fast bowler Ben Stokes claimed two early wickets to put the touring side under pressure at 48 for three but Watson and Clarke took full advantage of a typically good batting wicket.

Watson reached his eighth one-day international century, clubbing 28 runs from one Joe Root over before he edged Stokes to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.

Stokes took two further wickets to complete figures of five for 61 and pace bowler Chris Jordan chipped in with three wickets on his debut.

The five-match series is level at 1-1 after two games were washed out.

(Reporting by Oliver Haill, editing by Ed Osmond)

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