Aaron Finch struck his second 50-over ton as Australia maintained their dominance over England with a six-wicket victory in their first one-day international yesterday.
Finch (121) and fellow opener David Warner (65) dazzled, while captain Michael Clarke contributed 43 brisk runs as the hosts eased to a victory target of 270 with 4.2 overs to spare in Melbourne, Australia.
Earlier, half-centuries from Gary Ballance (79) and Eoin Morgan (50) helped England put behind a wobbly start and post 269 for seven wickets after captain Alastair Cook opted to bat first.
The 163-run stand between Finch and Warner in 28 overs laid the foundation for Australia’s comprehensive win, which prolonged England’s misery Down Under after their Test series whitewash.
Australia’s openers enjoyed their share of luck, with Finch dropped by Ballance on eight and Warner called back from the boundary line on 22 after replays could not establish conclusively if Jos Buttler had a clean catch behind the stumps.
Warner eventually holed out in the deep off Joe Root to depart after a 72-ball knock that included five boundaries and a six off Chris Jordan.
Jordan dismissed Shane Watson for a two-ball duck in the next over, but Clarke and Finch scored freely to kill the contest.
Balance eventually caught Finch in the 40th over off Ben Stokes, putting an end to his 128-ball blitz.
England suffered an early blow when Cook edged the fourth ball of the day to perish caught behind for four.
Clint McKay (3-44) claimed his second victim in Root (three) to reduce the tourists to 22 for two, before Ian Bell and Ballance steadied the ship.
Morgan joined Ballance in the middle for England’s most productive partnership, adding 83 runs from 14.1 overs.
Maxwell dismissed Morgan for 50 off 47 balls, as Ballance fell in the 46th over, having justified his call-up with his maiden ODI fifty.