Australia completed a hard fought 19 run victory over England in the opening ODI series against England. A century stand between Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell rallied the visitors from 123-5. Despite a career best limited over score of 118 from Sam Billings, the visitors drew first blood against the old enemy.
No Smith for Australia in opener
Australia were missing the influential figure of Steve Smith who had been hit on the head in the nets. England won the toss at Old Trafford and elected to put Australia in to bat.
David Warner(6) became the first batsman to be dismissed when he was bowled by Jofra Archer. Mark Wood had Aaron Finch(16) caught behind of his first delivery to leave the visitors 43-2in the tenth over.
Stoinis leads Australia recovery
It was down to Marcus Stoinis(43) to lead the fightback, but he was eventually trapped lbw off Adil Rashid. The Yorkshire leg spinner struck again to bowl Alex Carey(10) to put England in firm control.
Marsh and Maxwell dug Australia out of a big hole with a record sixth wicket partnership of 126. Archer was recalled back into the attack and was immediately hit for two six’s by Maxwell. The 31-year-old Victorian clubbed Archer over deep midwicket and deep square leg in successive balls.
Archer returns to stifle Aussies
Despite this setback, Archer made a good comeback when Maxwell(77) dragged on. The Sussex quickie then had Ryan Cummins(9) caught to leave Australia struggling to reach 300.
Marsh(77) continued to punish the England attack and was eventually trapped lbw by Wood. A late cameo innings from Mitchell Starc of 19 ensured Australia posted an imposing 294-9.
The pick of the England attack was the pace pairing of Archer(3-57) and Wood(3-54).
England chase record run chase in Manchester
Chasing a record run chase for England at Old Trafford the home side lost Jason Roy(3) to Josh Hazlewood. England’s problems mounted when Joe Root(1) nicked behind to give Hazlewood his second scalp.
The Australian new ball attack of Starc and Hazlewood bowled superbly and had the hosts in all sorts of trouble. Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler tried to repair the damage, but Australia’s leg spinner Adam Zampa had other ideas.
Zampa ties England up in knots
With his fifth ball Morgan(23) picked out mid wicket. Zampa struck two deliveries later when Buttler(1) was brilliantly taken low down at long off by Marnus Labuschagne.
England needed a substantial partnership and they got it with Billings and Bairstow. The pair added 115 for the fifth wicket before Bairstow(84) holed out to long on off Zampa.
Hazlewood and Zampa strike late for the visitors
Hazlewood returned back into the attack and had Moeen Ali(6) caught at extra cover. The equation was down to a stiff 82 from 48 balls when Zampa had Chris Woakes(10) caught in the deep. The leg spinner finishing with the impressive figures of 4-55.
Rashid(5) perished to Pat Cummins to make Australia strong favourites for victory. England’s only hope of victory lied with Billings, but the target was just to much for the hosts.
Superb innings from Billings not enough for England win
Billings magnificent innings of 118 was ended off the last delivery of the match by Marsh. The Kent batsman’s total was his highest ever ODI score, beating his previous best of 67.
On the day Australia deserved their victory. Their overall bowling and fielding was outstanding. Aside from Zampa’s excellent figures, special mention must go to Hazlewood who finished with 3-26.
England will be looking for quick revenge with the second ODI on Sunday at the same venue.