England too strong for Prime Minister's XI

Australia

England's preparation for the second ODI against Australia enjoyed a solid boost on the back of a convincing 172-run triumph over the Prime Minister's XI at the Manuka Oval in Canberra on Tuesday.

England's preparation for the second ODI against Australia enjoyed a solid boost on the back of a convincing 172-run triumph over the Prime Minister's XI at the Manuka Oval in Canberra on Tuesday.

Whitewashed five-nil in the Test match series and outgunned by opener Aaron Finch's brisk century in the first ODI, the tourists enjoyed some nominal reprieve on the back of fine half-centuries from batsmen Gary Ballance and Jos Buttler and seamer Ravi Bopara's four key wickets.

Captain Alastair Cook's decision to bat first after winning the toss was followed by initial alarm, but Ballance and Buttler were prompt in undoing the wrongs of Cook and the right-handed Joe Root's cheap dismissals.

While fast bowler Brett Lee cherished the opening brace, leg-spinner James Muirhead was the destroyer in-chief through the middle-order, securing figures of three for 52.

Buttler's 61, Ballance's 56 – and 47 and 36 for opener Michael Carberry and all-rounder Tim Bresnan respectively – had the final say in a formidable total of 264 for eight.

The hosts' pursuit was feeble, slumping to just 92 all out in 26 overs. An English attack minus the services of the rested Steven Finn was superb, with Bopara and the lanky Boyd Rankin the pick of the bunch en route to figures of four for three and two for 39 respectively.

The Prime Minister's XI found some consolation in the veteran Brad Hodge's standalone 28, with skipper Brett Lee's late-order dozen rivalled by 11 extras. The second ODI will get underway in Brisbane on Friday.

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