Australia beat England in first ODI despite Malan century
England were consigned to a six-wicket defeat by Australia in the first one-day international four days after winning the T20 World Cup despite a brilliant Dawid Malan century.
Malan made a superb 134, but lacked support as Jos Buttler’s side posted 287-9 – Pat Cummins and Adam Zampa taking three wickets apiece.
That was not enough to take a 1-0 lead, with David Warner (86), Travis Head (69) and Steve Smith (80 not out) making half-centuries as Australia got home with 19 balls to spare.
England were reduced to 31-3 after new ODI captain Cummins, who replaced Aaron Finch, won the toss and put them in, the skipper removing Phil Salt before the returning Jason Roy was cleaned up by Mitchell Starc.
The tourists were up against it at 118-5 after skipper Buttler (29) offered Ashton Agar a simple catch in the 24th over, but Malan's best ODI knock gave them hope.
Agar denied Malan a six with an incredible leap over the rope, then caught the left-hander two balls later for his fellow spinner Zampa.
While Malan gave England something to defend, they failed to make early inroads with the ball as Warner and Head – taking Finch’s place at the top of the order – got Australia off to a flyer.
They drove the hosts to 147 without loss before Head was taken by Salt off the bowling of Chris Jordan, while David Willey instilled some belief with the quickfire dismissals of Warner and Marnus Labuschagne.
However, they were unable to see the back of the composed Smith as Australia eased to victory.
147 - David Warner & Travis Head's (@CricketAus) partnership of 147 today is the second highest by an Aus opening pair in a men's ODI innings against England (Aaron Finch & David Warner - 163, 12 Jan 2014). Rapid.#AUSvENG pic.twitter.com/zysir6FA5R— OptaJason (@OptaJason) November 17, 2022
Australia batters make light work of chase
Warner and Head's partnership of 147 was the second highest by an Australian opening pair against England in a men's ODI, falling narrowly short of the record of 163 set by Warner and Finch in January 2014.
Head will have been particularly keen to demonstrate his value after being drafted in following Finch's ODI retirement ahead of this series, and he now has a chance to cement his spot during a busy schedule before next year's ODI World Cup in India.
Malan's efforts in vain
There were few positives for England to take following the high of being crowned T20 world champions for a second time at the MCG last weekend with a win over Pakistan.
Malan's hundred from only 128 balls, however, was a masterclass as he put the disappointment of not playing in the World Cup semi-final or final after sustaining a groin injury against Sri Lanka behind him. He struck four sixes and a further 12 boundaries.