Cricket

Australia thrash England in tri-series final

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Australia completed a resounding 112-run victory over England to clinch the tri-series tournament in Perth.

Both sides were looking to gain an advantage ahead of their World Cup clash on the 14 February but it was Australia who left with the bragging rights after a comprehensive display in a game where England rarely competed.

Good start for England

Having won the toss and elected to field first, England made a perfect start by removing Australia's dangerous top order, with James Anderson taking the prize wickets of Aaron Finch (0) and David Warner (12).

Stuart Broad then took the wicket of captain George Bailey (2) to leave Australia on 46-3. Once Steve Smith departed for a well-made 40, England were on top at 60-4.

However, Australia are not favourites for the World Cup for no reason and their middle order proved why.

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Australia recovery

Firstly Glenn Maxwell (95) led the recovery with a fantastic run-a-ball innings and then Mitchell Marsh (60) and James Faulkner (50) finished the innings in style. Faulkner was particularly brutal as his half-century came off just 24 balls with four sixes and four fours.

Australia closed on a competitive 278-8 and would have been satisfied with their final total after being inserted by England on a helpful pitch early on.

James Anderson (2-38) and Stuart Broad (3-55) were England's leading wicket-takers.

Disastrous chase

England then suffered a disastrous reply and were never in the hunt for victory after losing wickets on a regular basis.

The surprise in the Australia bowling attack was that England's nemesis Mitchell Johnson did not open the bowling, but it was his replacement Josh Hazlewood who made the crucial early breakthrough removing Ian Bell (8) in just the third over.

When Australia did introduce Johnson he did the inevitable damage with his pace, despite being out of action for a month.

Top order slump

He decimated England's top order as they slumped from 35-1 to 46-4 with James Taylor (4), Moeen Ali (26) and captain Eoin Morgan (0) departing. Morgan disappointingly departed first ball having shouldered arms.

Wickets continued to fall with Glenn Maxwell accounting for England's middle and lower order. His slow off-spin dismissed Jos Buttler (17), Chris Woakes (0) and Stuart Broad (24).

Once Buttler departed the result was never in doubt and despite Broad's entertaining cameo, and Ravi Bopara's patient innings of 33, Australia finally wrapped up victory when Steven Finn was dismissed by Josh Hazlewood (2-13) leaving England on 166 all out.

Maxwell MOTM

Man-of-the-match Maxwell was Australia's leading wicket-taker with figures of 4-46 but Australia will also be pleased to see Johnson returning to form with figures of 3-27.

The one concern for Australia will be the injury sustained to all-rounder James Faulkner whilst bowling, which will now mean he is in a race to be fit for the World Cup.

Both sides will now concentrate on final preparations before they clash on the opening day of the World Cup, but Australia have the advantage heading into that game as England will look to find some consistency.

Progress for England

England will be reasonably happy with their progress in this tournament, particularly their victories over India, but they will still need to make vast improvements if they are to challenge for the World Cup in the next few weeks.

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Topics:
Australia cricket
Cricket
England cricket
ODI World Cup

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