England 257 (T T Bresnan 80) v Australia 258-1 (S R Watson 136 no, R T Ponting 111 no)
Australia beat England by 9 wkts
Ricky Ponting and Shane Watson both smashed unbeaten centuries as Australia cruised into the ICC Champions Trophy final with an emphatic nine-wicket victory over England at Centurion.
The pair put on a record unbroken 251-run stand for the second wicket, Watson cracking a career-best 136 and Ponting caressing an unbeaten 111 as Australia powered past the 257 target with 8.1 overs remaining.
Ponting became only the third player to reach 12,000 one-day international runs during his 115-ball knock, joining Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya in the elite list to have achieved the feat.
The inspirational Tasmanian is now the leading run-scorer in the competition and his side await the winners of Pakistan and New Zealand in Monday's final.
After winning the toss, England failed to capitalise on ideal batting conditions, crashing to 101-6 as Australia snatched the early initiative.
Captain Andrew Strauss and Owais Shah both perished in the opening powerplay as Australia's pace attack proved too hot to handle once again.
Strauss was expertly snaffled at square-leg by the diving James Hopes and Shah, who made a match-winning 98 against South Africa earlier in the competition, edged Brett Lee through to Tim Paine shortly after.
Joe Denly and in-form Paul Collingwood steadied the England innings with a counter-attacking 55 partnership, however further wickets put the Aussies firmly in command.
A searing short ball from Mitchell Johnson caught the glove of a hooking Collingwood and his breezy 34 from just 30 balls came to a frustrating end.
Denly became Peter Siddle's second victim 20 runs later, the Kent opener driving loosely outside off stump through to Paine who gobbled up his third catch of the afternoon.
At 91-4, England were forced to pin their hopes on left-handers Eoin Morgan and wicketkeeper Steven Davies, in the side in place of Matt Prior (illness), to post a challenging total.
But their plight quickly worsened, Davies chopping Watson on to his stumps for just five and Morgan edging the same bowler through to Paine shortly after.
With England in turmoil, Tim Bresnan - only playing due to an injury to Stuart Broad - mounted a sensational fightback in partnership with Luke Wright to reignite hopes of the most unlikely of victories.
The pair put on 107 runs in 19 overs to take their side over 200. Bresnan cracked 80 - his highest score in one-day cricket, and Wright bludgeoned 48 as Ponting watched his bowlers toil in disbelief.
The Yorkshireman smashed 11 boundaries in his 76-ball knock, nullifying the pace of Lee and Johnson and the guile of Nathan Hauritz with relative ease.
But just as England threatened a daunting total, Wright snicked Siddle through to Paine and Graeme Swann ran himself out to leave Bresnan with the tail and a powerplay still in use.
Bresnan's brave knock was brought to an abrupt end by Lee (2-46), however England still managed a respectable 257, a score they could not have dreamed of after a disastrous start to their innings.
Aspirations of a shock win gathered more pace when Paine, who caught beautifully behind the stumps and finished with five catches to his name, edged Graham Onions through to Davies in the second over of their chase.
But that was as good as it got for England, Watson and Ponting showing just how to play on the surface with a destructive array of strokes either side of the wicket.
The pair batted with great patience, picking off the appetising bowling on offer as Strauss chopped and change his field with little reward.
Ponting struck 12 fours and one towering six and reached his 28th ODI century in the 37th over with a crisp four through the covers.
Watson followed him shortly after, flaying Collingwood over midwicket in what was his fourth of seven huge sixes at SuperSport Park.