The new-look Australian team under Tim Paine were exposed by the spin of Moeen Ali and the pace of Liam Plunkett to lose the first ODI by three wickets to England.
For a while, when England were 38-3 chasing an underwhelming 215 to win, the Australians, without the banned ball-tampering pair of David Warner and Steve Smith, may have held a hope they they too could conquer the side that went down to Scotland in a historic loss a few days earlier.
But the experience of Eoin Morgan (69) and Joe Root (50) restored order in the first of five ODIs.
The fourth-wicket stand of 115 in 21 overs managed to combine defensive accumulation with calculated aggression in a manner that Australia’s own middle order had been unable to replicate. By the 29th over, they were 153-3 and cruising; three overs later, they’d lost both of their set batsman plus the dangerous Jos Buttler.
It was left to David Willey to haul England over the line with a gritty knock of 35 from 41 balls, securing victory with six overs remaining.
Earlier, Glenn Maxwell returned to form with a 69 which helped flesh out an insipid offering of 90-5, aided by Ashton Agar’s 40 in an innings where no other batsman bettered Shaun Marsh’s 24. Ali and Punkett took three apiece.
Photo: Dave Hunt / EPA/BackpagePix
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