England vs Australia 1st ODI: Moeen, Morgan hand England 1-0 lead

Moeen Ali three wickets England Australia 1st ODI The Oval cricket

Moeen Ali was named Man of the Match for his figures of 3-43 off 10 overs

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Moeen Ali took three wickets and captain Eoin Morgan scored 69 as England downed Australia by three wickets in the first ODI at The Oval.

Opting to bat first, Australia lost opener Travis Head early on as he was caught by Jonny Bairstow at slip off the bowling of David Willey for five runs.

Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh managed to add 40 runs to the score before Finch was caught by Mark Wood at short third man off the bowling of Moeen for 19.

Moeen struck again in his next over as he clean bowled Marsh for 24.

With captain Tim Paine and all-rounder Marcus Stoinis falling shortly after, Australia found themselves in trouble at 90/5 in the 20th over.

However, Glenn Maxwell and Ashton Agar halted England’s charge with an 84-run partnership, during which Maxwell surpassed his half-century.

Glenn Maxwell 62 England Australia 1st ODI The Oval cricket

Glenn Maxwell’s 16th ODI fifty went in vain

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Maxwell, however, was unable to push on and convert it into a bigger score as he was caught by Bairstow at deep square leg off the bowling of Liam Plunkett for 62, which came off 64 balls and included four boundaries and two sixes.

Agar ended up scoring 40 before he was trapped lbw off the bowling of Adil Rashid.

Once Agar was gone, England carved through Australia’s lower order and bowled them out for 214.

Moeen and Plunkett picked up three wickets apiece, while Rashid took two, and Willey and Wood chipped in with one wicket each.

Chasing 215 to win, England got off to a horrible start as opener Jason Roy was cleaned up by Billy Stanlake for a duck on the second ball of the innings.

Alex Hales was on his way back to the pavilion shortly after as he was given out lbw off the bowling of debutant Michael Neser for five runs.

Bairstow, who had scored three ODI centuries in a row coming into the match, could not extend the streak as he was caught by Head at deep square leg off the bowling of Kane Richardson for 28.

With England in a spot of bother at 38/3, Morgan and Joe Root came to the rescue with a 115-run partnership, during which Morgan brought up his fifty.

Eoin Morgan 69 England Australia 1st ODI The Oval cricket

Eoin Morgan scored his 36th ODI fifty

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Morgan went on to score 69 off 74 balls, which included 11 boundaries, before he was caught behind off the bowling of Andrew Tye.

Jos Buttler only made nine runs before becoming Tye’s second victim, while Root ended up scoring 50 off 71 deliveries, which included four boundaries, before he was caught behind off the bowling of Stanlake.

Joe Root 50 England Australia 1st ODI The Oval cricket

Joe Root struck his 28th half-century in ODI cricket

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Even though Neser sent Moeen packing for 17, Willey ensured England got across the finish line with as he struck an unbeaten 35.

Stanlake, Neser and Tye snapped up two wickets apiece, while Richardson claimed one.

Paine was disappointed to have lost, and said: “England’s batting line-up is really deep, a hard side to bowl, but our bowlers did a terrific job. Let down as a batting group. A lot of those guys have good white-ball skills. They played our spinners much better than we played theirs.

“Our top four or five didn’t get the job done. Maxi has been hitting the ball well in the nets and it’s nice to see him translate that to the middle. Thought it was simple today, our top order didn’t get the job done.”

Morgan was thrilled to have started the series on a high, and said: “Very pleased, particularly with the bowlers, thought they did amazingly well. The spinners turned the momentum in our favour. They’ve been a great combination for us in the middle. Moeen had a few left-handers to bowl at. He always gives you options, like Ben Stokes. He’s had a great day.

“The Scotland game kicked us into touch and helped us hone our skills. The big positive from today is that we were way off the mark with our batting but managed to win the game. Was nice to bat with Joe and get the momentum going, but more important we won. We can improve again with the ball and with the bat, building partnerships is crucial.”

Moeen was named Man of the Match, and said: “The most important thing is we won and to bowl the way I bowled was fantastic. I back myself in the Powerplay, and have bowled with the new ball recently and feel confident with it. You wanted to make the batters hit through the off side. You just try to hold your nerve.”

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