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.
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.
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