Australia defeats world champions England by six wickets in ODI series opener

Home Sports Australia defeats world champions England by six wickets in ODI series opener
Australia defeats world champions England by six wickets in ODI series opener

Pat Cummins’s reign as Australia’s ODI captain has begun with a commanding six-wicket win over England at Adelaide Oval.

Adding the ODI captaincy to his Test duties following Aaron Finch’s 50-over retirement last month, Cummins made an impressive start on Thursday as Australia went 1-0 up in the three-match series.

After winning the toss and electing to field first, Australia kept the world champions to 9-287, despite a majestic century from Dawid Malan.

England’s total always appeared below-par as Australian pair David Warner and Travis Head came out blazing with a 147-run opening stand.

The search is on for a new opening partner for Warner after Finch’s retirement, and Head did his case no harm with his impressive knock.

“I think we both play quite similar, we take the game on,” Warner said of his partnership with Head.

“We like to go aerial, that’s the way we play.

“It’s coming off at the moment, which is great and hopefully we can continue that success.”

After being left out for all but one match of the recent Twenty20 World Cup campaign, Steve Smith made a welcome return to form with an unbeaten 80 to allow Australia to cruise home with 19 balls to spare.

Smith’s innings came at better than a run-a-ball as the star batter built on the good foundations set by Warner (86) and Head (69).

Emerging allrounder Cameron Green pressed his case for a regular ODI spot, finishing unbeaten with Smith on 20.

An Australian male batter plays a shot to the leg side against England.
David Warner set the tone early for the hosts with an innings of 86.(AAP: Matt Turner)

Warner appeared set to score his first international century since January 2020 but was caught in the deep.

Last week he indicated he could retire from the Test arena after the Ashes, but last night said is determined to play as long as possible in the shorter formats.

“The goals are winning World Cups,” Warner said.

“We’ve got a World Cup next year then in four years time when I’ll be 41.

“My goal at the moment is to get to that World Cup, play as well as I can, and go from there.”

Earlier, Malan responded to missing England’s T20 World Cup final triumph by smashing a career-best 134.

The 35-year-old’s second ODI century helped England to a respectable total after the visitors found themselves in early trouble at 4-66.

England opted not to risk Malan for Sunday’s T20 World Cup final against Pakistan at the MCG as the left-hander recovered from a groin injury.

But Malan played a lone hand for England against an Australian attack determined to bounce back from a disappointing early T20 World Cup exit.

An England male batter holds his bat up with his right hand after scoring a century.
Dawid Malan was outstanding with the bat for England.(AAP: Matt Turner)

Malan offered a chance when he was on 33, smashing a cut shot, but a diving Ashton Agar put down what would have been a classic catch.

Having reacted quickly to run out Liam Dawson on 11, Agar had another highlight late in the innings, stopping what looked a certain six when he dived over the boundary and flung the ball back into play.

Malan was out two balls later when he skied a shot off Adam Zampa (3-55) and was caught at long-on by Agar.

Cummins (3-62) had earlier removed opener Phil Salt (14) and James Vince (5) in quick succession to have England reeling, while Mitchell Starc bowled Jason Roy with a terrific in-swinger.

But Malan was able to drum up enough support to rebuild England’s innings.

The three-match ODI series started just four days after England’s T20 World Cup win against Pakistan.

England captain Jos Buttler was one of only three players to back up from that decider on Thursday, along with Salt and quick Chris Jordan.

The star of England’s second T20 World Cup triumph, Ben Stokes, will not be playing in this series after his shock call in July to retire from ODIs.

AAP

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