AUSTRALIA TOUR OF ENGLAND, 2018
Cricbuzz Staff •
Moeen Ali picked up three crucial wickets to script the downfall of Australia in the opening ODI. © Getty
In a bid to put behind the whole ball-tampering saga in their first series since, Australia got off to a poor start against England in the first of five One-Day Internationals at the Kennington Oval in London. Opting to bat, they couldn’t manage to even bat their entire quota of overs, being bowled out for 215 in 47 overs after a top-order failure.
Glenn Maxwell, at No. 6, along with Ashton Agar at 7, offered some resistance with respective 62 and 40 to rescue Australia after they found themselves reeling at 90 for 5, with the pair adding 84 runs for the sixth wicket, which eventually helped take their side over the 200-run mark. But it wasn’t ever going to be enough against an England side whose batting ran deep, as Tim Paine, the Australian skipper, conceded.
“England’s batting line is really deep, a hard side to bowl, but our bowlers did a terrific job. Let down as a batting group,” Paine said on Tuesday (June 13) after England picked up a three-wicket win. “A lot of those guys have good white-ball skills. They played our spinners much better than we played theirs.
“We gave a few wickets away. Our top four or five didn’t get the job done. Maxi has been hitting the ball well in the nets and nice to see him translate that to the middle. Thought it was simple today, our top order didn’t get the job done.”
While Paine was left ruing the batting failure, Eoin Morgan, the English skipper, was pleased with England’s ability to hang in there to pull off a win despite having lost quick wickets in the middle. A half-century from him (69) and a fifty from Joe Root helped the hosts take a 1-0 lead after England themselves were in trouble at 38 for 3. The pair, however, added 115 for the fourth wicket to revive their chase and put them on track for a win. Despite that, England saw a collapse, losing four in quick succession, before David Willey’s calm 35 saw them through with six overs to spare.
“The big positive from today is that we were way off the mark with our batting but managed to win the game,” Morgan said. “It was nice to bat with Joe and get the momentum going, but more importantly we won. We can improve with the ball and with the bat… building partnerships is crucial.”
Morgan, however, was even more pleased with how his bowling unit fared, after having conceded 371 just a few days ago against Scotland. “The Scotland game kicked us into touch and helped us hone our skills,” the skipper noted. “Very pleased, particularly with the bowlers, thought they did amazingly well. The spinners turned the momentum in our favour.”
Moeen Ali returned 3 for 43, scalping Aaron Finch (19), Shaun Marsh (24) and Paine (12), as Australia collapsed to 70 for 4, and Adil Rashid later sent back Marcus Stoinis (22) and Agar. “Moeen had a few left-handers to bowl at. He always gives you options, like Ben Stokes. He’s had a great day,” Morgan said.
The second ODI will be played on June 16 in Cardiff.