CRICKET / Chase down 270 with ease
A superb century from opener Aaron Finch helped Australia to a comprehensive six-wicket win over England in the first One-Day International at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.
After being dropped by Gary Ballance on just eight, Finch blasted 121 runs off 128 balls as Australia won with 4.2 overs to spare. Finch rode his luck early in the innings, but quickly seized control, racing to 50 from just 47 balls and outpacing partner David Warner.
The pair put on 163 for the opening wicket, but not without some controversy. Warner was given a reprieve by the television umpire when he was on 22, despite the opener accepting that a low catch claimed by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler had carried.
Warner, while walking back to the pavilion, was recalled to the middle and went on to make 65. He was eventually dismissed after holing out to Ben Stokes on the boundary off part-time spinner Joe Root, and when Chris Jordan bowled Shane Watson for a duck two runs later, England had a slim hope of pegging Australia back.
But Finch and captain Michael Clarke (43) quickly took the game away from England with a 72-run partnership, which ended when Finch sliced a Stokes delivery to Ballance at third man.
Earlier, a patient 79 from Ballance and a whirlwind 50 from Eoin Morgan helped England post what had looked like a competitive total.
Ballance shared an 83-run partnership with Morgan, who blasted his 20th ODI half-century off just 47 balls with five fours and a towering six. — AFP