Morgan ton spares England’s blushes


Published: Friday 16th January 2015 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

England captain Eoin Morgan hit a determined century but Australia grabbed the initiative in the Tri-Series opener by dismissing the tourists for 234 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Morgan, in his first one-day international since replacing Alastair Cook as skipper, scored 121 in 136 balls after arriving at the crease with England in crisis having chosen to bat first.

Two wickets in the first over from Mitchell Starc and one from Pat Cummins left the batting side 12 for three in the fourth over and facing embarrassment.

Morgan saved them from that fate, making a dogged fifty before moving through the gears on the way to his seventh ODI hundred and first in a year.

Yet there was no real support, Jos Buttler’s scratchy 28 the next best effort.

Australia rested England’s Ashes tormentor Mitchell Johnson but his young team-mate and fellow left-arm seamer Starc provided a blockbuster start to proceedings.

His first ball to Ian Bell, who came into the match on the back of 187 against the Prime Minister’s XI, was an opener’s nightmare – quick and swinging fractionally back towards the stumps.

Bell may have got a slight inside edge but it went undetected and he was on his way lbw.

James Taylor suffered the same fate two balls later, though there was no doubt about his dismissal – Starc going slightly fuller with one that would have torn out leg stump.

The series had started with a double-wicket maiden to the hosts and there was worse to come when Joe Root fell for five, aiming a big drive at Cummins and edging to Shane Watson at slip.

Moeen Ali attempted to rebalance the contest with a couple of powerful strokes and one wonderful pick-up six off Starc, but his charge did not last.

He fell for 21, chipping James Faulkner’s third ball to the waiting Glenn Maxwell, who had only just been moved to the ropes.

Morgan had a sizeable rebuilding job on his hands but needed a partner to assist him.

Ravi Bopara was not that man, feeding an innocuous Xavier Doherty ball straight to point.

At 69 for five, England were in serious strife.

But Morgan stayed calm and persuaded Buttler to dig in with him.

The pair, both naturally aggressive strokemakers, played a cautious game but halted the slide with a sixth-wicket stand of 67.

Australia spinner Doherty was a thorn in their stand, turning in 10 disciplined overs for 38, but Morgan finally got hold of him and brought up his 50 with a six down the ground.

England soon suffered another setback when Buttler, already dropped once by Brad Haddin, lobbed Faulkner gently to David Warner in the outfield.

But Morgan was now timing the ball sweetly and upped the rate with 11 runs off Maxwell’s sixth over, including a second maximum.

Morgan converted his century in style, planting Faulkner through the covers for a ninth boundary before cutting the next ball for four more.

Chris Jordan chipped in with 17 and Morgan struck a couple of handsome blows off Starc before the seamer had his revenge, the centurion holing out to deep midwicket.

Starc finished things by cleaning up Steve Finn first ball, returning four for 42.

Published: Friday 16th January 2015 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Local business search