If 'pathetic” is the word that describes England’s performance, “fortunate” is the word that should explain Australia’s win because all through the match, they had luck right in their hands.
From the dropped catch of Aaron Finch when on eight, to David Warner’s edge that almost travelled to Buttler’s hands, Cook could only see chances going down and eventually the match.
The dropped catches made England pay the price yet again as Finch went on to score 121, which was also the highest score by a Victorian at The MCG and Warner scored 65 to guide Australia to a comfortable six-wicket win and go up 1-0 in the five match series.
The match got off to the worst possible start for England, Cook departing in the very first over edging one to Haddin. Only a few overs later, a short of confidence Joe Root soon followed having never really got going in his inning and was out lbw to Coulter Nile.
Ballance who was playing only his second ODI then steadied the English ship somewhat along with Ian Bell who fell to Doherty for 41 trying to slog sweep the spinner. Next man in now was Morgan who looked busy from his very first delivery and started playing aggressively.
Together with Ballance, Morgan dominated an 83-run stand and reached his 50 in only 46 balls before giving a catch straight to Coulter Nile.
Bopara (17), Stokes (21) then chipped in with a few runs before leaving it to Ballance (79) and Buttler (34)* to finish it off. Though Ballance got out as he tried to accelerate, Bresnan made sure that England passed 250 and, together with the wicketkeeper, he scored 15* in an unbeaten 41-run stand to end the English innings on 269/7.
With a par score on the board, the Australian openers still had a job to do; early wickets were the key for England and they could have easily got the “Big Fish” had Ballance held onto a simple catch at mid-off.
It was Finch of course who was dropped when on eight and eventually he went onto score 121. Warner too gave a chance to Buttler but the dive just wasn’t enough and the ball fell short of his hands.
Many other numerous chances came but as I said earlier, England weren’t fortunate enough and they got a wicket after 163 runs and it would be right to say that the match was pretty much over by then.
There isn’t much to say about the Australian innings actually because they cruised all the way along. Finch was named man of the match for his match-winning century and England once again have a lot to think about before the second ODI at The Gabba on January 17.
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