An English batting collapse saw Australia win by 59 runs in the first ODI in Southampton on Thursday.
Australia had Matthew Wade and Mitchell Marsh to thank for posting 305-6 with some quality batting at the death, and while England threatened to chase the total down, all their hard work in the first 30 overs became unstuck with regular wickets, before they were eventually bowled out for 246.
The ODI series is all Australia have left to salvage from their tour of England after losing the Ashes and the one-off T20 international, and after winning the toss in the first of five matches, they chose to have a bat.
Joe Burns, playing in his second ODI, looked solid at the top of the order with David Warner and they put together a 76-run stand, but they started to get bogged down and Adil Rashid eventually forced the error from Burns, hitting one straight back to the leg spinner for 44.
New ODI skipper Steve Smith then added 57 runs with Warner, but Rashid kept plugging away, removing both Warner and Smith for 59 and 44 respectively as they tried to play big shots.
There was nothing fortunate about his fourth wicket however, as he trapped George Bailey lbw for 23, while Glenn Maxwell perished two overs later for 15. The regular wickets pegged the visitors back and the run-out of Shane Watson for six put them in a position where 250 would have been respectable.
Wade and Marsh were having none of it though and peppered the boundary. A combination of poor death bowling from Mark Wood and Chris Woakes and crafty batting from the Aussie pair saw them smash 92 runs in the last 10 overs, as they remained not out on 71 and 40 respectively, to lift their side to 305-6.
In response the exciting opening pair of Alex Hales and Jason Roy got the English going with a brisk fifty stand. That then increased to 70 inside 11 overs, before Hales would be the first one to perish, mistiming one straight into the hands of Shane Watson for 22.
Durban-born Roy pushed on and notched up his maiden ODI fifty, as he kept the scoreboard ticking with James Taylor. Roy would then fall in similar fashion to Hales, trying one big shot too many to fall for 67. It was at this stage that the England run-rate stagnated, as Eoin Morgan couldn’t build any momentum. Taylor attempted to bring down the required run-rate, but he was bowled one short of his fifty off Watson.
They were still well in it mathematically, but Ben Stokes also failed to get going, and when he departed for 13, a collapse ensued. Three wickets fell with England on 194, as Morgan gloved one for 38, while Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes went cheaply.
Moeen Ali and the tail were left with too much to do, with Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Nathan Coulter-Nile all picking up two wickets apiece to bowl England out for 246.
1-0 to Australia, with the second of five ODIs taking place at Lord’s on Saturday.
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