The Pat Cummins-led Australia had a perfect start to the ODI series against England as they won the first match of the series by six wickets. England’s Dawid Malan hit a stylish 134 as England made 287-9, but it never looked enough on a flat batting track that offered nothing for the bowlers. Australia were largely untroubled as they reached the target with 3.1 overs remaining. “It was a fantastic performance, a team performance,” Australian captain Pat Cummins said. “We came in here really fresh and keen to get back into it.”
An interesting incident happened during the match as a young fan could be seen on air holding a placard, with this message: “David Warner can I have ur (sic) shirt?” Warner could be seen laughing after seeing the message on television and then he had a message for the kid too. “Get one off Marnus,” Warner wrote this line on a piece of paper. Marnus Labuschagne who was sitting by his side couldn’t stop laughing.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) November 17, 2022
Talking about the game, the Australian openers had made light work of the England attack and were in control from the outset as both David Warner and Travis Head launched an all-out assault. 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.
But Steve Smith, who finished not out 80, was untroubled as he guided Australia home despite losing Marnus Labuschagne for four and Alex Carey for 21 along the way.
Cummins won the toss and chose to bowl, and England were soon in trouble at 20-2 after four overs before Malan strode to the crease. When he departed, they were 259-8 with the next highest score Jos Buttler‘s 29. The England captain, who four days ago lifted the Twenty20 World Cup trophy at the MCG, said he wasn’t concerned at the result. “It’s all about the character we showed,” he said.
Malan’s 134, his second ODI century after the 125 he scored against the Netherlands in June, came off 128 deliveries, including 12 fours and four sixes.
With AFP inputs
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