Tuesday, 24 April, 2018

Aaron Finch century leaves England chasing 305 in first ODI against Australia

Returning Hales and skipper Morgan help England to tour victory Alex Hales has learnt his lesson, says skipper Eoin Morgan
Sammy Stanley | 14 January, 2018, 17:45

Opener Jason Roy blasted 180 runs off just 151 balls as England chased down Australia's target of 305 runs in the first one-day worldwide of the five-match series at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday.

As England tomorrow embark on the first of five one-day internationals against Australia, looking not only to get that Ashes result out of their system but also to continue preparations for next year's World Cup, Bayliss is in a unusual position.

On Sunday, Roy went past Hales' 171 to finish with 180 as England powered to victory in the series opener against Australia at the MCG. His previous highest was 162 against Sri Lanka at The Oval in 2016.

The year 2019 was always the natural point to break with him in any event, given the significance of his white-ball remit, while the man himself does not believe in staying anywhere beyond a four or five-year period, arguing that a coach's voice might otherwise grow stale.

England still required 24 runs but the warm applause of the 37,000 crowd acknowledged not just a job superbly done but a match settled in England's favour.

Australia captain Steve Smith said his team's total was nearly 40 runs short of expected, and the early bowlers came under attack from England's top order.

Roy was given out lbw to Adam Zampa on 91 but immediately called for a review, and the decision was overturned after replays showed it was pitching outside the line. "They got off to an absolute flyer", Smith said. The ball looped up, Joe Root jogged in from slip and pouched a simple catch to send Australia's most unsafe white-ball batsman packing.

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Limited-overs skipper said: "Joe is good and should be fit to play tomorrow".

England captain Eoin Morgan said the return of Roy, who missed selection in the Champions Trophy past year, and Root's shift down to No. 4 had really lengthened the batting lineup. That gave a chance to the previously sidelined Jason Roy, who closed out the series with scores of 84 and 96 alongside the prolific Jonny Bairstow.

Earlier, Australia scored 304/8 with Finch, Mitchell Marsh (50) and Marcus Stoinis (60) contributing handsomely. I didn't go out there thinking I'm going to go all guns blazing, I went out there and started as I've started every other net session since I've been in Australia, trying to play the ball late, playing strong shots and all these cliches, but it was just a case of finding the gaps.

When Finch reached 75 he surpassed 3,000 ODI runs and went on to a century from 112 balls, raising the milestone with a six off legspinner Adil Rashid, the third of his innings.

Brisbane will host the second match of the series on Friday.

Finch brought up a century after England won the toss and elected to field.

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