A magnificent century by new England One Day International skipper Eoin Morgan was in vain as Australia cruised to a three wicket win, largely thanks to a century of their own by opener David Warner.
The hosts even managed to win with a bonus point after a late charge meant Australia reached 235 inside 40 overs, meaning they go top of the tri-series with a five point victory after the first game of the tournament.
Despite losing seven wickets in their chase of 235 the result was never in doubt and four of those wickets were given away in the closing stages as George Bailey’s men upped the tempo in a bid to take the bonus point which they achieved when James Faulkner hit the winning runs in the 40th over.
England were on the back foot from the very first over of the match after Morgan won the toss and elected to bat with Mitchell Starc trapping Ian Bell and James Taylor lbw inside the first three balls.
Joe Root then followed just three overs later which brought captain Morgan to the crease and he was already in his second partnership by the end of the ninth over as Moeen Ali was dismissed for 22.
Morgan then batted through the innings with expertise to show why the selectors kept faith with him following a difficult year with the bat in 50 over cricket by handing him the responsibility of captaining the country.
The Middlesex man then managed to forge partnerships with Ravi Bopara, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes and Chris Jordan but Buttler was the only other player to pass 20 in the innings as Morgan went on to reach his seventh ODI century.
Morgan was the ninth wicket to fall, finally departing for 121 off 136 balls which included 11 boundaries and three maximums as England set Australia a victory target of 235 following Steven Finn's golden duck.
Woakes and Finn opened the bowling for England who were without James Anderson due to some stiffness in his groin while Jordan was also preferred to spinner James Tredwell. The tourist’s did struggle to claim early wickets with Aaron Finch the only victim inside the first 10 overs, bowled by Woakes for 15.
A 38 run partnership then followed between Warner and Shane Watson until Jordan had Watson caught by Woakes for 16 which brought Steve Smith to the crease and the biggest partnership of the match then followed.
An 87-run partnership took the game away from England despite Morgan doing his best to utilise his six man bowling attack and it was Warner who held the innings together with Smith departing for a well-made 37 with Ali bowling him.
By the time captain Bailey joined Warner on his home ground Australia were already on 158-3 and it wasn’t long until they decided to try and reach their target of 235 inside the 40 overs meaning they would claim an extra point.
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En-route to their new target of 40 overs the hosts played unselfishly as Bailey, Glenn Maxwell, Warner and Brad Haddin relinquished their wickets and once again it was Faulkner who hit the winning runs against England.
Woakes was by far England’s standout bowler finishing with four wickets in his eight overs while only conceding 40 runs as Australia sit on top of the table ahead of their fixture against India on Sunday.
Morgan will next lead his country against India in Brisbane on Tuesday where they will be boosted by the return of Anderson which will help their cause to bounce back and get their first win on the board.
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