Eoin Morgan’s brilliant unbeaten 89 led England to a 15-run victory over Australia in an entertaining first one-day international at Lord’s on Friday.
Morgan struck 89 off 63 balls to lift the hosts to a total of 272 for five and the touring side always threatened to reach their target thanks to fluent half-centuries from David Warner and captain Michael Clarke.
“For Eoin to score at a strike rate of 130 or 140 is an incredible innings,” England skipper Alastair Cook said.
“It was hard work to start with at the top of the batting order, the ball was nipping around a bit, but what was pleasing is that we didn’t panic. We kept wickets in hand ... and it worked well,” he added.
Clarke won the toss on a rainy morning and England’s innings was built around a solid opening partnership of 74 between Alastair Cook and Ian Bell in tricky conditions.
The players were forced off three times due to rain, but Cook made 40 and Bell 41 to give their team a good platform.
Jonathan Trott contributed a useful 54 off 70 balls before the fireworks were provided by Morgan.
The diminutive left-hander struck four sixes and five fours in a fierce late assault on the Australian bowlers to lift England to an imposing total.
Australia lost the wicket of Shane Watson early in their chase, but Warner made 56 off 61 balls to give them momentum.
However, he edged a catch to wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter off James Anderson and George Bailey, David Hussey and Steve Smith fell cheaply to leave the Australians struggling on 147 for five.
Clarke then found a useful ally in wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade and the pair added 57 for the sixth wicket to give Australia hope.
Wade was run out for 27 when he failed to respond to Clarke’s call.
The captain smashed a huge six off Graeme Swann to reach his half-century before falling LBW to Tim Bresnan for 61.
Brett Lee made a defiant unbeaten 29, but Clint McKay and Pat Cummins fell cheaply and England’s experienced bowling attack maintained control in the closing overs to seal victory.
Clarke said Wade’s run-out was a turning point.
“It probably played a big part in us not winning the game,” the skipper said.
“If Matthew and I were there at the end, we were confident that we had a chance. Run-outs tend to do that, don’t they? They tend to cost you the game,” he said.
The second contest in the five-match series is due to be played at The Oval today.