ON an evening when the silent ‘W’ in the ECB was far from quiet in the stands, it was England that got the all important ‘W’ at Cardiff’s Swalec Stadium.

The home side took the spoils in Wales, easing to a target of 240 for the loss of six wickets with 28 balls left to go 2-0 up in the five-match NatWest series.

A fiery bowling spell by Stuart Broad (4-44) and useful knocks by Andrew Strauss (51), Paul Collingwood (whose 48 also made him the leading English run scorer in ODIs) and man-of-the-moment Eoin Morgan (52).

Australia managed a solid if unspectacular score but their bowling attack was inexperienced and unable to defend it, leaving captain Ricky Ponting with a face as long as Italy coach Marcelo Lippi’s.

There was no winner despite 2,357 balls being bowled in last year’s Ashes opener in Cardiff, even though Australia were the dominant team.

England were just as supreme last night, despite a late wobble. They have have found their way in one-day cricket and they were backed to the hilt by the crowd in Cardiff.

There were songs lauding hapless goalkeeper Rob Green at Glamorgan’s Twenty20 game the day after England's World Cup opener but the words ‘Deutschland, Deutschland uber alles’ didn’t boom from the stands last night.

The St George’s cross on the flag above the pavilion and those in the stands were tolerated in Cardiff for a day.

Delilah and Bread of Heaven may have been belted out loudest but it was all about backing England against the Australians.

And Swalec Stadium chief would have been delighted that the build-up to the game wasn’t about the location in the English-based press, Cardiff is recognised as deserving international cricket thanks to the success of the Ashes opener.

It was the hosts that prospered on an excellent pitch after getting their reply to Australia’s 239-7 off to a flier.

But Craig Kiewetter’s luck ran out in the third over when he was caught behind off Doug Bollinger and the Aussies had Kevin Pietersen in their sights.

However, he was able to play calmly while Strauss was going terrifically, the pair helping England cut down the runs required while batting well above the rate.

It was all going swimmingly at 91-2 before skipper Ponting pulled off a full-stretch leaping catch at midwicket to bely his 35 years off Steven Smith to end Pietersen’s innings on 33.

Strauss had become the key man and he moved past his fifty but then threw away his wicket, a leading edge going straight back to off-spinner Nathan Hauritz.

Collingwood and Morgan worked the target down with ease before Doug Bollinger gave the visitors a sniff when he bowled Collingwood off the inside edge.

And they definitely had hope when Luke Wright played on to James Hopes and Morgan edged Bollinger behind, leaving England needing 29 with four wickets in hand.

But Strauss’ side made it home, leaving the Australians to rue falling short with the bat.

The visitors made a dashing start to their innings but England slowly reeled them in and birthday boy Stuart Broad struck three times within 22 hostile balls from the Cathedral Road End. Tim Paine and Ricky Ponting were both caught behind by wicket-keeper Kieswetter before a third scalp came courtesy of some brilliant captaincy by Strauss. He gave notice of some short stuff by placing Graeme Swann at short leg, but that didn't stop Michael Clarke from gloving a steepling Broad delivery straight to him. Great plan, great bowling.

At 77-3 the Australians were struggling and they were thankful to opener Shane Watson, who went past 50 off 49 balls.

But another short ball brought another wicket – Luke Wright banged it in and found Watson's top edge then Jimmy Anderson, expensive at the start of the innings, bowled Mike Hussey to leave Australia in deep, deep trouble at 118-5.

The hosts continued to take wickets at important times and Broad took his fourth when he ended Smith's excellent innings at 41, a leading edge finding Paul Collingwood at cover.

The Aussies ended on a modest 239-7 and that was down to White, whose superb unbeaten 86 from 98 got them out of jail.

But a not-bad score was never going to be enough with a weak attack against a buoyant England.