Finch fires Aussies to classy win

Australia

Australia made light work of England's total in the first ODI in Melbourne on Sunday, winning by six wickets and with four overs to spare thanks to a century opening stand and a ton to Aaron Finch.

Australia made light work of England's total in the first ODI in Melbourne on Sunday, winning by six wickets and with four overs to spare thanks to a century opening stand and a ton to Aaron Finch.

England posted a wobbly 269 for seven in their 50 overs, thanks to half tons from Eoin Morgan and Gary Ballance, but it was not enough as Finch (121) and David Warner (65) did the damage early in the chase.

The visitors won the toss and chose to bat first, but were soon three down for very few as skipper Alastair Cook and Joe Root were both removed by CLint McKay. Cook was gone in the first over, nicking behind to Brad Haddin.

Root lasted more than 20 balls but only managed to score three runs, leaving Ian Bell to try and salvage the top order. He made a valiant 41 and shared a stand of 40 with Ballance, before being bowled by Xavier Doherty.

Ballance and Morgan then put on a stand of 83 over the next 14 overs, at a run rate of nearly six, and looked to be doing well in building a score of at least 300. But Morgan was out a few moments after scoring his 50, caught by Nathan Coulter-Nile off Glenn Maxwell.

The rookie Ballance made his way to a top innings score of 79 before falling to McKay, and Ben Stokes and Ravi Bopara soon joined him in the dressing room for unimpressive scores.

The decent target was brought about thanks to some swift hitting at the death by Jos Buttler, who made 34 not out, and Tim Bresnan contributed 16 off nine balls.

The chase got off to a flyer for the hosts, and they were helped along more than once by dropped catches, edges into gaps and misfields on the boundary. The most memorable moment though was when David Warner was out, and then not.

The opener edged Ben Stokes to Buttler with his score on 21, and the keeper took it low to the ground. Warner was happy with the catch, but the umpires wanted to make sure it carried. Replays showed the ball bouncing just into Buttler's gloves, but the umpires deemed it had brushed the grass first.

As such, a surprised Warner was recalled to the middle, and he went on to record his half century, and he and Finch put on 163 for the first wicket. Once he fell for 65, caught by Stokes off Root, Shane Watson was out for a duck.

This left Finch and skipper Michael Clarke to continue and they upped the rate with a stand of 67, during which time Finch made his century. He advanced to 121 before being caught by Ballance off Stokes in the 40th over.

Clarke made his merry way to 43 before being removed by Tim Bresnan, but it was already too late for England as Glenn Maxwell and George Bailey scored the remaining few runs in the 46th over.

Latest