Australia defeated England by eight wickets
The Australian arrogance is back and England will do well to recover from the thrashing handed out here yesterday before the first Test at Lord's in eight days' time.
The final victory margin of eight wickets with 15 overs to spare was even more impressive than England's ninewicket margin at Headingley last week because conditions changed so much up there whereas, as usual at The Oval, the pitch, skies and lightning quick outfield were in favour of batsmen all day.
Adam Gilchrist has seldom played a more devastating innings than his 11th one-day international century - he reached three figures off 81 balls and had then hit 70 in boundaries - but it was his arrogant approach, together with that of Matthew Hayden and captain Ricky Ponting, which signposted the Australians' determination to rub England's nose in it, and claim the psychological high ground before next week.
They were always going to win, anyway, after another inept England top-order performance meant Michael Vaughan had to use supersub Vikram Solanki after 27 overs when the score was a pitiful 93 for six.
Solanki did well to score an unbeaten 53 off 63 balls, and help top scorer Kevin Pietersen (74 off 84) post a total of 228 for seven. It was respectable but inadequate and secured only at too high a price.
Par for the day was at least 260 - and that against a full attack. Against one short of a top fast bowler, Vaughan had a hopeless task, unless Steve Harmison and Darren Gough could get him three or four early wickets.
The obvious tactic was for Gilchrist and Hayden to play through the first ten overs and then cruise home. That is when the famous Australian arrogance - rarely seen this summer - took over and it was pure carnage.
Gough has taken only four wickets in his opening spells in the last 14 ODIs and he was clobbered by Gilchrist for 21 in his first two overs and 16 more in his second spell.
Harmison suffered even more with four fours hammered in his third over, and the 50 came up in the eighth over with 40 in boundaries. Only Andrew Flintoff of the pace trio commanded any respect and Ashley Giles also put the brake on for half an hour before Gilchrist found another explosive gear.
Ponting was stumped off Giles for 43 at a run a ball but the early finish was never in doubt, leaving Vaughan and his players to put on as brave a face as possible as they trooped off looking as though they had just suffered a cricketing whirlwind - which they had.
Harmison was savaged for 81 off his ten overs, which meant the new-ball pair disappeared for 118 off 13. Replaced Simon Jones must have thanked his lucky stars he was pulled out of the match.
Vaughan lost another toss which has become even more important because of the trial substitute rule. It resulted in England being a bowler short against an opposition who had the luxury of specialist batsman Simon Katich able to come in at number eight if needed.
The England innings was woeful from the third over when Marcus Trescothick uppercut Brett Lee to third man for a duck and Vaughan gambled and lost to the arm of Ponting who ran him out by a foot.
Australia contrived to drop three catches but still tightened their vice-like grip by taking out Andrew Strauss, Flintoff and Paul Collingwood in eight overs.
Strauss was done from around the wicket - not for the first time in his brief career - before Flintoff and Collingwood perished to rash off- side strokes. Glenn McGrath was brilliant, opening with four successive maidens, and has never bowled better. Even Jason Gillespie finally came good and outbowled Mike Kasprowicz in what is likely to be a personal duel for one place next week.
And so to Pietersen, coming in at 44 for two in the 13th over and seventh out at 186 for seven. It was an innings of two distinct parts. Against the proper bowlers he dropped anchor for 18 overs in which he managed 25 runs against a tight off-stump line which gave him little chance to work the leg side.
He knew that make-up bowlers had to be used and he cashed in with Solanki with the seventh-wicket pair scoring 51 off the next eight overs. His power was brutal but the sort of bowling on offer from Andrew Symonds and Michael Clarke will never be served up in the Tests.
It could be that he can make a fist of five-day cricket but it will not be as a swashbuckler against this pace attack backed up by Shane Warne. He was yorked by Gillespie to bring in Giles whose 25 off 19 balls came from pure improvisation in a stand with Solanki of 42 from 39 balls.
A seemingly endless round of one-day cricket is over. Many highs and lows for both sides but, ominously for home supporters, the peaks for Australia have all come in the last two weeks. It is rather like constructing a jig-saw. Get the corner pieces right and the rest rapidly falls into place.
Their " corners" were McGrath, Lee, Gillespie and Ponting, with Gillespie finally slotting into place and leaving one central piece to be inserted. It is the one carrying two words: Shane Warne.