Woeful England couldn't take the heat against host’s Australia yesterday, as they suffered an 111 run defeat on the opening day of the World Cup.
Winning the toss and electing to bowl, England made a poor start, with Woakes dropping a simple chance on just the fifth ball of the match, which proved to be a costly mistake as Finch made the most of his reprieval, going on to make a century. Accompanied with a solid display from the middle order, England did not make it easy for themselves, bowling too short too often, with Australia making 342-9, 76 runs coming off the last six overs.
Despite England’s celebrations after Finn claimed the first hat trick of the World Cup, it was not one which needs to be remembered, with the three wickets coming off the last 3 balls over the innings, all skied catches. This came after a poor display of death bowling from the England bowlers that does not want to be repeated in their next game against New Zealand on the 20th February if they are to stand any chance of success against one of the tournament’s favourites.
An honest appraisal from the captain after our defeat http://t.co/unUtOdahwK— England Cricket (@ECB_cricket) February 14, 2015
A good pitch, some believed it could be a successful chase for England however it never looked likely, reduced to just 73-5 with poorly executed shots from the top order. The only beacon of light for England, in an otherwise embarrassing batting display, was James Taylor. Coming to the crease in impossible circumstances, Taylor could quite easily have raised the white flag and surrendered, however after being dropped down the order to accommodate Ballance, he took advantage of any loose bowling on offer, saving England from their heaviest World Cup defeat ever.
England managed to reach 231 before the game ended under bizarre circumstances, with Taylor given out LBW on 98, which was overturned but not before James Anderson was run out despite it being a dead ball. An inexcusable mistake from the umpires, however it would not have changed the result, with England completely outplayed by Australia, who were impressive in every department.
The nature of the defeat will be a cause for concern for England, with little control particularly towards the end of Australia’s innings, a lacklustre fielding display and inept batting from international one day players.
On Friday, they play co-hosts New Zealand, who beat Sri Lanka by 98 runs in the opening game of the tournament in Christchurch.