LONDON: England returned to winning ways after their shock six-run defeat by Scotland with a three-wicket victory over Australia in their one-day international series-opener at The Oval on Wednesday.
However, the world’s top-ranked ODI side made hard work of chasing down a modest target of 215 before finishing on 218 for seven with six overs to spare.
David Willey (35 not out) ended the match with a six off Australia debutant Michael Neser as England went 1-0 up in this five-match series.
The 2019 World Cup hosts had been cruising to victory during a fourth-wicket stand of 115 between England one-day captain Eoin Morgan (69) and Test skipper Joe Root (50) that helped them recover from 38 for three.
Earlier, Australia were dismissed for just 214 against England after winning the toss in the first one-day international at The Oval on Wednesday.
Glenn Maxwell (62) and Ashton Agar (40) were the only batsmen to make more than 24 as Australia were bowled out with three overs left in their innings.
Off-spinner Moeen Ali took a trio of top-order wickets on the way to figures of three for 43 as England, the number one-ranked side in ODIs, looked to bounce back from their shock six-run loss to Scotland in Edinburgh on Sunday.
This five-match series was Australia’s first in international cricket since their controversial ‘ball-tampering’ tour of South Africa led to year-long bans for former captain Steve Smith and his deputy, David Warner, with batsman Cameron Bancroft suspended for nine months after applying sandpaper to the ball during the third Test in Cape Town.