Sam Billings’ maiden hundred went in vain as Australia registered a fairly narrow win by 19 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the series. England lost the grip after taking command in the first innings and the top order failure hampered their cause during the run chase.
Opting to bowl first after winning the toss, England sent back David Warner after a brilliant delivery by Jofra Archer. Promoted to No.3 in the absence of Steve Smith, who did not feature due to an injury, Marcus Stoinis justified the move with a bright inning of 43 off 34 deliveries.
However, the loss of skipper Aaron Finch brought over a collapse which saw the visitors lose 3 wickets for 45 runs, leaving them at a precarious state at 123-5 after 24 overs.
All-rounders Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell forged a 126-run stand for the sixth wicket to rescue the side out of trouble. Australia eventually ended up with a formidable total of 294-9 after their 50 overs.
England’s failure attributed to their top order disaster
Josh Hazlewood’s spell was too hot for the English batting line-up to handle with Jason Roy being the first victim in the third over after a stunning reflex catch by the pacer. Joe Root’s horrid time at the crease continued with yet another failure with only a single run against his name.
Adam Zampa’s introduction in the middle over was rewarded with two quick dismissals. Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler were dismissed in the space of 7 deliveries to leave the hosts at 57-4.
Jonny Bairstow, who took his time out in the middle cranked up the scoring rate with Sam Billings at the other end. The duo scored 113 runs for the fifth wicket before Bairstow’s dismissal for 84.
Sam Billings waged a lone battle and registered his maiden ODI ton. But with the rapidly increasing required run rate and minimal support from the other side, England fell short by 19 runs to hand Australia a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Here is what skipper Eoin Morgan had to say after his side’s defeat at Old Trafford.
Australia bowled outstandingly well. We felt we could chase it down if we could establish a few partnerships. Jonny and Billings kept us in the game for very long. Full credit to Australia. They played well, we did everything to get into that position but we let them recover. Sam’s opportunity has been limited and sporadic, but coming and getting a score today is outstanding. Showed a lot of resilience. Batting at 5 and 6 is an area that we need to improve.