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England register first win on Australian tour, beat Prime Minister’s XI by 172 runs

England © Getty Images
England relieved after winning their first match on the Australian tour, admitted captain Alastair Cook © Getty Images

Canberra: Jan 14, 2014

England‘s bowlers ripped through the Australian Prime Minister’s XI for a morale-boosting first tour victory of 172 runs ahead of Friday’s second One-Day International (ODI).

Chasing 265 to win in the Australian capital, the hosts lost wickets at regular intervals and were all out for 92 in the 26th over on Tuesday.

Ravi Bopara grabbed four wickets for three runs in just three overs to wrap up the match and end a winless streak going back to the first Ashes Test in Brisbane back in November.

Skipper Alastair Cook admitted his relief after a run of poor performances which saw an Ashes whitewash and dour, drawn tour games.

“It’s great to win. It’s been a long-time coming,” Cook said.

“We needed to start winning and winning puts you in the right frame of mind and gives you a little bit of confidence. We know we’ve got a huge amount of work to do,” he added.

The tourists had however laboured to 264 for eight off 50 overs on what was thought to be a good batting wicket, if a little slow.

Cook won the toss and decided to bat but rival captain and former Test quick Brett Lee knocked him over for just one, edging a full length ball to the wicketkeeper.

The 37-year-old Lee was in vintage form and had Joe Root lbw to leave England on two for 12 runs in the day-night 50-over game at the Manuka Oval.

The thermometer topped 37 Celsius (99 Fahrenheit), but Lee still returned figures of two wickets for 22 runs off seven overs, including a maiden.

England began to rally from yet another disastrous start when Lee went off after a four-over burst and finally set the PM’s XI a target of 265, at a run rate of 5.28.

Opener Michael Carberry found some form in his 47 off 50 balls, including five boundaries, before skiing Ben Cutting to Lee.

But it was Man-of-the-Match Jos Buttler, batting at number seven, who top-scored with 61.

England’s danger man was clean bowled by Jackson Bird before the final overs slog.

Coming in at four, Gary Ballance clipped a decent 56 off 71 balls but was caught at point off spinner James Muirhead, who snared three for 52.

Eoin Morgan had looked to leave a ripper from Muirhead that took big spin from outside off, leaving England on four for 98.

Bopara wasted no time and made 18 off 17 balls but an attempted drive off Muirhead flew head height to Michael Spaseski in the slips.

Bresnan put up 36 useful runs before the McDermott brothers combined with Ben taking the catch off Alister’s bowling.

Veteran Brad Hodge top-scored for the PM’s XI with 28.

He kept looking for the big shot but swung high at spinner James Tredwell straight to Carberry at deep mid-wicket.

The first three wickets fell rapidly as England ran through promising youngsters Peter Handscomb, Luke Pomersbach and Ben McDermott for 24 runs.

And they never let go with Canberra youngster Spaseski making the second highest score of just 13. He pulled Bresnan high to deep fine leg where Joe Root took an easy catch.

Lee tried to fight back and hit a huge six before Bopara clean bowled him for 12.

The second of five ODIs will be played at the Gabba on Friday. Australia won Sunday’s opening tie in Melbourne by six wickets following the 5-0 Ashes debacle.

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