Australia beat England in 1st ODI
LONDON: Australia survived a late flourish by England to beat its old rival by four runs in the first of their seven one-day internationals.
England took the Ashes two weeks ago but Australia regained alittle pride at The Oval through Callum Ferguson''s best-ever 71 not out and Mitchell Johnson''s three wickets in a 13-ball spell that cost just five runs.
England''s spinners did well to restrict Australia to 260-5 but the tourists got an even firmer grip on the English run rate, at least until a seventh-wicket blitz of 46 from 33 balls by Luke Wright and Adil Rashid made the score competitive.
The home side needed 13 from the last over to win but Rashid and No. 10 batsman Ryan Sidebottom just came up short in front of a crowd that had earlier jeered England for its slow scoring.
The target had looked attainable on a slow pitch but England quickly fell behind Australia''s scoring rate as none of the top-order batsmen could build a game-changing score. Only Wright, with 38 from 27 balls, Rashid and Sidebottom seemed to fully get to grips with the conditions and situation.
England had lost captain Andrew Strauss (12), only playing because of the injury sustained in training by Joe Denly, and dawdled to 83-1 when Johnson at point plucked a reverse sweep by Matthew Prior out of the air to get rid of the No. 3 for 28.
Paul Collingwood survived a run out chance off the first ball he faced in a mix up with Owais Shah, who scored 40 off 48 deliveries before the need to hurry meant he trod on his wicket trying to work a delivery by Johnson down the leg side.
With Bopara already out, Collingwood, seemingly reacting to jeersat the turgid scoring from the crowd, lashed out at Johnson to be dismissed for 23 from 39 balls thanks to Shane Watson''s two-handed catch above his head.
Stuart Broad managed 2 from five balls before becoming Johnson''s third victim, but with Rashid alongside him, Wright started hitting out to finally give an agitated crowd a few cheers. Wright was run out off a no ball and Sidebottom''s subsequent seven-ball 13 was in vain.
Rashid ended with 31 from 23 deliveries and also showed promise with the ball in his first ODI against a test nation. His figures of 10-0-37-0 helped limit the Australians, alongside Graeme Swann and Collingwood who took two wickets.
But Cameron White and Watson shared an 82-run second-wicket partnership to lay the foundations for a total that hinged on Ferguson''s innings.
Collingwood got rid of Watson for 46 and the second of two run outs accounted for White on 53 to leave Australia at 111-3, with Michael Clarke and Ferguson going on to build sizable totals _ but not at speed.
Australia scored more than six runs per over from the eighth to the 18th overs, but then stayed at about half that rate until Rashid completed his overs in the 34th. The wrist-spinner was unlucky to have a leg-before-wicket shout against Clarke turned down. Australia took the final power play in the 43rd over and Collingwood immediately removed Clarke for 45 to a catch by Shahbe fore Michael Hussey was clean bowled for 20 in the 48th after charging down the wicket at Sidebottom. James Hopes was the unbeaten batsman alongside Ferguson, chipping in with a useful late cameo of 18 from 11 balls.