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London – Eoin Morgan's rapid 89 not out took England to 272 for five against Australia in the first one-day international at Lord's on Friday.
England, for whom a 5-0 series sweep would see them replace Australia at the top of the one-day international rankings, had largely been kept in check by their oldest rivals until left-hander Morgan, on his Middlesex home ground, came in at 121 for three.
The former Ireland international loosened Australia's grip on the game with a 63-ball innings featuring four sixes and five fours, sharing stands of 68 with Jonathan Trott (54) and 83 with Craig Kieswetter, out for 25 off the last ball of the innings.
Australia's five bowlers all took a wicket apiece with seamer Clint McKay returning figures of one for 43 in his 10 overs and fast bowlers Brett Lee and Pat Cummins both impressing before the late surge.
England's innings was interrupted several times by rain early on after Australia captain Michael Clarke won the toss and looked to his attack to make the most of any assistance from the overcast conditions.
McKay thought he had Ian Bell caught behind for just three. But the opener challenged English umpire Richard Kettleborough's verdict and, with replays showing the ball had hit his leg, was reprieved.
But Bell, who in his two previous innings as an England one-day opener following the retirement of Kevin Pietersen had made a hundred and a fifty, was eventually out for 41 when lbw to Lee.
And 74 for one became 89 for two when Cummins took his first wicket against England. The 19-year-old had home captain Alastair Cook – who'd scored three hundreds in his six previous ODI innings – caught behind for 40.
Trott was reprieved on 38 when Cummins dropped a caught and bowled chance. Next ball Trott flayed him through the offside for four and later that same over, which cost 13 runs in all, Morgan struck the teenager for a straight six.
The ever steady Trott completed a 65-ball fifty with just three fours.
But with England 189 for three entering the final 10 overs, Trott effectively yorked himself as he was bowled by left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty.
However, Morgan upped the tempo by smiting successive Lee deliveries for six over long-on. And he made it three sixes in as many balls faced with a pull off all-rounder Shane Watson. – Sapa-AFP