ENG vs AUS: Sam Billings’ maiden ton goes in vain as Australia takes 1-0 lead

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  • Australia wins first of the three ODIs to take a lead.

  • For England, Billings scored his international career's first century.

ENG vs AUS: Sam Billings’ maiden ton goes in vain as Australia takes 1-0 lead
Sam Billings, Josh Hazlewood (Image Source: @Cricketcomau)

Sam Billings’ maiden international century was not enough to take England over the line in the Royal London One Day International (ODI) series opener against Australia at Old Trafford.

Chasing a target of 295, the hosts had an abysmal start as they lost four wickets for just 57. Billings and opening batsman Jonny Bairstow (84) steadied the ship by adding a crucial 113-run stand for the fifth wicket. Post Bairstow’s dismissal, no English batter was able to support Billings, who got out on the last ball of England’s innings.

The Kent cricketer took the game down to the final over despite wickets tumbling around him. He scored 118 from 110 balls with 14 fours and 2 sixes. But all his effort went in vain as the home side lost the battle by 19 runs.

Adam Zampa registers career-best figures against England

For the Aussies, fast-bowler Josh Hazlewood produced an inspirational performance. He picked up three wickets for just 26 in his quota of 10 overs. Apart from Hazlewood, leg-spinner Zampa (4/55) also shined in the contest as he bagged a four-wicket haul to claim his best ODI figures against England.

Zampa’s best ODI figures:

  • 4-43 (9.4) against Pakistan, 2019
  • 4-55 (10) against England, 2020*
  • 3-16 (5.3) against West Indies, 2016
  • 3-37 (10) against Ireland, 2016

Maxwell and Marsh took Australia out of hot waters

Earlier, the Eoin Morgan-led side looked to be in control after reducing the visitors to 123/5, especially in the absence of Steve Smith, who missed out the game after being hit in the head during nets on the eve of the first ODI.

But Mitchell Marsh (73) and Glenn Maxwell (77) screwed England’s hopes with a game-changing contribution. The pair put on Australia’s highest ever sixth-wicket partnership (126 runs) in ODIs against England.

A handy knock from Mitchell Starc (19 not out) down the order helped the tourists to post 294/9 on the scoreboard.

For England, Jofra Archer (3/57) and Mark Wood (3/54) picked up three wickets each. At the same time, Adil Rashid (2/55) bagged two scalps.

Brief Score:

Australia 294/9 (Maxwell 77, Marsh 73, Wood 3-54) beat England 275/ 9 (Billings 118, Bairstow 84, Hazlewood 3-26) by 19 runs.

Captain’s Corner:

Eoin Morgan – losing skipper:

“Australia bowled outstandingly well. We felt we could chase it down if we could establish a few partnerships. Jonny and Billings kept us in the game for very long. Full credit to Australia. They played well, we did everything to get into that position, but we let them recover. Sam’s opportunity has been limited and sporadic, but coming and getting a score today is outstanding. Batting at 5 and 6 is an area that we need to improve.”

Aaron Finch – winning captain:

“It was a nice start. The ball seamed around, Jofra exploited, and they bowled nicely with the new ball. Overall, it was a good game of cricket. It was a great partnership (Marsh and Maxwell), they played smart and mature innings. I thought on that wicket if we bowled well, we knew we had a chance. I was confident that we would pull it off.”

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CATEGORY: Australia

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