Australia outclass England in first ODI despite Malan 134

Former captain Steve Smith made his first 50+ score across formats in more than two months as Australia brought Twenty20 World Cup champions England down to earth with a six-wicket win in the first of three one-day internationals in Adelaide on Thursday.

Dawid Malan scored a magnificent 134 as England recovered from a poor start to post 287/9.

But a combined effort from Smith, who made an unbeaten 78-ball 80, and openers David Warner (86 off 84) and Travis Head (69 off 57) guided Australia to their destination with 19 deliveries to spare.

Smith hit nine fours and a six en route to his 28th ODI half century after the opening batters laid the platform brilliantly with a 147-run stand.

Both Warner, with a fifty less than Smith overall in ODIs, and Head, who posted his 13th half-century, struck an identical 10 boundaries and a maximum each.

They brought up the century partnership in just 88 balls, with only Olly Stone able to contain the two left-handers.

Neither looked in any danger until Head pulled a short ball from Chris Jordan straight to Phil Salt at deep square leg to fall for 69.

Warner appeared headed for his first century in almost three years until, on 86, he pulled David Willey in the air and was well caught by Sam Billings at deep backward square.

The world’s second best Test batter Marnus Labuschagne (four) soon followed, along with Alex Carey (21), but Smith and the other unbeaten batsman Cameron Green (20) ensured the home side would go into Saturday’s second ODI in Sydney with a 1-0 lead.

Earlier, England, current holders of both the ODI and T20I world titles, were in trouble at 20/2 inside five overs when Malan strode to the crease after captain Pat Cummins won the toss and chose to bowl.

When he departed, they were 259/8 with the next highest score Jos Buttler’s 29.

Malan’s 134, his second ODI century after the 125 he scored against the Netherlands in June, came off 128 deliveries, including a dozen fours and four sixes.

Cummins, playing his first match as captain following Aaron Finch’s retirement, would have been delighted by Australia’s start to the innings.

They tied down the English opening pair with some tight line and length bowling, then made a double breakthrough.

Cummins had Phil Salt caught at second slip by Steve Smith on the last ball of the fourth over and two balls later Mitchell Starc bowled the recalled Jason Roy with a beautiful delivery that swung back late.

The Australian skipper then put his side on top when James Vince edged to wicket-keeper Alex Carey.

At 31/3 England were struggling but Malan stayed calm, starting slowly and then picking up the pace as the shine went off the ball.

He remained composed as he lost a string of partners who made starts but couldn’t go on with it.

Sam Billings fell for 17, Buttler for 29 and Liam Dawson for 13, but each shared valuable partnerships with Malan.

Malan eventually fell trying to hit leg-spinner Adam Zampa out of the ground, but some late hitting from David Willey, who made 34 not out, ensured England set a competitive total.

Zampa was the pick of the bowlers with 3/55.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button