Finch ton secures Australia win, more misery for England

MELBOURNE, (Reuters) – Aaron Finch struck his second 50-over hundred as Australia maintained their dominance over England with a six-wicket victory in the first one-day international yesterday.

Aaron Finch
Aaron Finch

Finch (121) and fellow opener David Warner (65) dazzled while captain Michael Clarke contributed 43 brisk runs as the hosts eased to a victory target of 270 with 4.2 overs to spare.

Earlier, half-centuries from Gary Ballance (79) and Eoin Morgan (50) helped England put behind a wobbly start and post 269 for seven wickets after captain Alastair Cook had opted to bat first.

The 163-run stand between Finch and Warner in 28 overs laid the foundation for Australia’s comprehensive win which prolonged England’s misery Down Under after their test series whitewash.

Australia’s openers enjoyed their share of luck with Finch dropped by Ballance on eight and Warner, when on 22, called back from the boundary line after replays could not establish conclusively Jos Buttler had taken a clean catch behind the stumps.

Warner eventually holed out in the deep off Joe Root to depart after a 72-ball knock that included five boundaries and a six off Chris Jordan.

Jordan dismissed Shane Watson for a two-ball duck in the next over but Clarke and Finch scored freely to kill the contest.

David Warner
David Warner

Balance eventually caught Finch in the 40th over off Ben Stokes, ending his 128-ball blitz.

England suffered an early blow when Cook edged the fourth ball of the day to perish caught behind for four.

Clint McKay (3-44) claimed his second victim in Root (three) to reduce the tourists to 22 for two before Ian Bell and Ballance steadied the ship.

Bell reverse-swept Xavier Doherty for a boundary and slog-swept Glen Maxwell for a six to reach 41 before attempting a repeat of the same shot only to be clean bowled by Doherty.

Morgan joined Ballance in the middle for England’s most productive partnership, adding 83 runs from 14.1 overs with some cheeky shots and sharp running between the wickets. Maxwell dismissed Morgan for 50 off 47 balls while Ballance fell in the 46th over, having justified his call-up with his maiden ODI fifty.

England won the toss and decided to bat
A. Cook c Haddin b McKay                                         4
I. Bell b Doherty                                                         41
J. Root lbw b McKay                                                    3
G. Balance c Doherty b McKay                                         79
E. Morgan c Coulter-Nile b Maxwell                            50
R. Bopara c Haddin b Coulter-Nile                                   17
B. Stokes b Faulkner                                                  21
J. Buttler not out                                                       34
T. Bresnan not out                                                        16
Extras (lb-1, w-3)                                                       4
Total (7 wickets; 50 overs)                                         269
Did not bat: C. Jordan, B. Rankin
Fall of wickets: 1-4 2-22 3-62 4-145 5-173 6-206 7-228
Bowling: McKay 10-0-44-3 (w-1) Coulter-Nile 10-0-51-1 (w-1), Maxwell 8-0-40-1, Doherty 7-0-29-1, Faulkner 10-0-68-1 (w-1), Watson 5-0-36-0.

A. Finch c Ballance b Stokes                                        121
D. Warner c Stokes b Root                                          65
S. Watson b Jordan                                                         0
M. Clarke c Cook b Bresnan                                          43
G. Bailey not out                                                           17
G. Maxwell not out                                                        8
Extras (lb-6, w-10)                                                      16
Total (4 wickets; 45.4 overs)                                        270
Did not bat: B. Haddin, J. Faulkner, N. Coulter-Nile, C. McKay, X. Doherty.
Fall of wickets: 1-163 2-165 3-237 4-247.
Bowling: Rankin 8-0-53-0(w-2), Jordan 10-0-50-1(w-5), Bresnan 9.4-0-56-1, Stokes 10-0-65-1(w-1), Bopara 6-0-30-0, Root 2-0-11-1(w-2).

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