• Hosts get perfect starts

    Australia and New Zealand confirmed their status as favourites to win the World Cup as both teams claimed emphatic victories in their opening matches on Saturday.

    In the first game in Christchurch, New Zealand brushed aside Sri Lanka by 98 runs before Australia embarrassed England with a 111-run victory at the MCG in Melbourne in front of 85 000 fans.

    England, chasing a winning target of 343, were bowled out for 231 after Mitchell Marsh took 5-33.

    The game ended with James Taylor unbeaten on 98. He was deemed run out but in controversial and confusing circumstances. The umpire had given James Anderson out lbw but he was also ‘run out’ trying to get through for the single. Taylor immediately requested a DRS review and the ball showed to be missing leg stump, so he was given a reprieve. However, the square leg umpire spotted the run out opportunity, and the third umpire ruled Anderson to be out of his ground. However, the question is: can a player be run out after another has already been given out? Many would feel it’s a dead ball situation.

    Earlier, Aaron Finch cashed in after being dropped before he had scored to plunder the first century of the World Cup as Australia scored their highest ODI total against England of 342/9.

    Steven Finn (5-71) took the 2015 World Cup’s first hat-trick with the last three balls of the innings but that was a meagre consolation for Eoin Morgan’s side.

    England rued Chris Woakes putting down Finch before he’d scored at mid-wicket off the fifth ball of the innings, from James Anderson, as the dynamic opener went on to score 135 off 128 balls.

    On the flip side, Morgan is having a torrid time with the bat after he was dismissed by Mitchell Marsh for his fourth duck in five innings as England were bowled out for 231 in 41.5 overs.

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