Skipper Eoin Morgan’s 121 lifted England to 234 all out in the opening match of the One-Day International (ODI) tri-series against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) in Sydney Friday. Australia bowled with discipline to put the visitors in trouble from the outset. Left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Starc removed opener Ian Bell (0) and James Taylor (0) early with fellow pacer Pat Cummins inflicting further damager by dismissing the talented Joe Root (5).
Morgan, who replaced Alastair Cook at England’s helm, walked in when the score read 12 for three in 3.4 overs. Opener Moeen Ali (22) also lost his wicket to James Faulkner before Xavier Doherty made further inroads into the English batting line-up by removing right-hander Ravi Bopara (13). However, Morgan first stitched a 67-run partnership for the sixth wicket with Jos Buttler (28) before the wicketkeeper offered a catch to David Warner off the bowling of Faulkner.
Even though he was running out of partners, the 28-year-old took his time to settle down before going for expansive shots. His judicious shot selection saw him score 11 fours and three sixes as he recorded his seventh century. Chris Jordan (17) supported the new skipper with a 66-run partnership for the eighth wicket. For Australia, Starc emerged as the most successful bowler, picking up four wickets for 42 runs while Faulkner took three for 47. Doherty, Glenn Maxwell and Cummins picked up a wicket each.
Brief Scores: England 234 all out in 47.5 overs (Eoin Morgan 121, Jos Buttler 28; Mitchell Starc 4/42, James Faulkner 3/47) against Australia. (IANS)